Introduction: The decision of radiation oncology residents to pursue academic versus private practice careers plays a central role in shaping the present and future of the field, but factors that are potentially predictive of this decision are lacking. This study was performed to examine the role of several factors publicly available before residency on postresidency career choice, including preresidency peer-reviewed publications (PRPs), which have been associated with resident career choice in comparably competitive subspecialties such as neurosurgery. Methods and materials: Using a combination of Internet searches, telephone interviews, and the 2015 Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology directory, a list of 2016 radiation oncology resident graduates was compiled, along with their postresidency career choice. PRP was defined as the number of PubMed publications encompassing the end of the calendar year (2010) in which residency applications were due; this number was then correlated with career choice. Results: A total of 163 residents from 76 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-certified programs were examined: 78% were male, 22% were MDs/PhDs, and 79 graduates (48%) chose academic careers. Fifty-two percent of graduates had at least 1 PRP at the time of application to radiation oncology residency; 35% had more than 1 PRP. Regarding career choice, the difference between 0 and 1+ PRP was statistically significant (odds ratio, 3.3; P < .01), but not between 1 and >1 PRP. Sex, PhD, or non-PhD dual degree status were not associated with career choice. Conclusions: Radiation oncology residency graduates with 1 or more PRPs at the time of residency application were roughly 2 times more likely to choose an academic career as their initial career choice than graduates with no preresidency PRPs. This information may prove useful to medical students, medical school advisors, and residency program directors and deserves further prospective investigation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging