Fostering Radiation Oncology Physician Scientist Trainees Within a Diverse Workforce: The Radiation Oncology Research Scholar Track.
There is a need to foster future generations of radiation oncology physician scientists, but the number of radiation oncologists with sufficient education, training, and funding to make transformative discoveries is relatively small. A large number of MD/PhD graduates have entered he field of radiation oncology over the past 2 decades, but this has not led to a significant cohort of externally funded physician scientists. Because radiation oncologists leading independent research labs have the potential to make transformative discoveries that advance our field and positively affect patients with cancer, we created the Duke Radiation Oncology Research Scholar (RORS) Program. In crafting this program, we sought to eliminate barriers preventing radiation oncology trainees from becoming independent physician scientists. The RORS program integrates the existing American Board of Radiology Holman Pathway with a 2-year post-graduate medical education instructor position with 80% research effort at the same institution. We use a separate match for RORS and traditional residency pathways, which we hope will increase the diversity of our residency program. Since the inception of the RORS program, we have matched 2 trainees into our program. We encourage other radiation oncology residency programs at peer institutions to consider this training pathway as a means to foster the development of independent physician scientists and a diverse workforce in radiation oncology.
Salama, JK; Floyd, SR; Willett, CG; Kirsch, DG
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