Resident Engagement in Global Health: Results of the First Decade (2009-2019) of the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology (ARRO) Global Health Initiative

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Conference Proceeding

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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys


Purpose/Objective(s): To evaluate current United States radiation oncology (RO) resident engagement in global health (GH) education opportunities relative to 2009 benchmarks. Materials/Methods: National web-based GH surveys were sent to all resident trainees actively enrolled in U.S. RO training programs in 2009 and 2018 using questionnaires developed by the ARRO Global Health subcommittee. Statistical analyses were performed using Chi-square and multivariate logistic regression. Results: A total of 139 (22.1%) of 627 current residents responded, similar to 2009 (n= 115/566, 20.5%). 83% of responders were interested in a RO GH educational experience. 83% of those interested desired short term (<1 month) and 28% desired extended (>1 month) exposure. 78% expressed interest in connecting remotely with GH opportunities during residency. From 2009 to 2018, there was three-fold increase in reporting of formal GH educational opportunities offered by residency programs (9% v 27%, respectively, p=<0.001). Perceived availability of faculty guidance (44% v 37%, p=0.215) and program director support (26% v 22%, p=0.473) remained stable. However, perceived barriers to funding (35% v 76%, p=<0.001) and elective time (28% v 59%, p=<0.001) more than doubled. Outside of lower interest in GH work among residents with children (OR 0.36, 95% CI 0.13-1.01, p=0.052), no other demographic or training factor was predictive of GH interest in this self-selected sample. 43% of respondents stated dedicated time for GH work in their future job was a higher priority than salary. Conclusion: There has been durable interest in GH opportunities among U.S. RO residents across the past 10 years. Our self-selected resident sample appears to represent a dedicated pool of trainees committed to expand the global impact of U.S. radiation oncology and who recognize the need for resources to ensure successful follow through. This information identifies an important opportunity for innovation and service in U.S. RO graduate medical education.





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