Purpose The aim of this study was to examine the experiences of radiation oncology applicants and to evaluate the prevalence of behaviors that may be in conflict with established ethical standards. Methods and Materials An anonymous survey was sent to all 2013 applicants to a single domestic radiation oncology residency program through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Questions included demographics, survey of observed behaviors, and opinions regarding the interview and matching process. Descriptive statistics were presented. Characteristics and experiences of respondents who matched were compared with those who did not match. Results Questionnaires were returned by 87 of 171 applicants for a 51% response rate. Eighty-two questionnaires were complete and included for analysis. Seventy-eight respondents (95.1%) reported being asked at least 1 question in conflict with the NRMP code of conduct. When asked where else they were interviewing, 64% stated that this query made them uncomfortable. Forty-five respondents (54.9%) reported unsolicited post-interview contact by programs, and 31 (37.8%) felt pressured to give assurances. Fifteen respondents (18.3%) reported being told their rank position or that they were "ranked to match" prior to Match day, with 27% of those individuals indicating this information influenced how they ranked programs. Half of respondents felt applicants often made dishonest or misleading assurances, one-third reported that they believed their desired match outcome could be improved by deliberately misleading programs, and more than two-thirds felt their rank position could be improved by having faculty from their home institutions directly contact programs on their behalf. Conclusions Radiation oncology applicants report a high prevalence of behaviors in conflict with written NRMP policies. Post-interview communication should be discouraged in order to enhance fairness and support the professional development of future radiation oncologists.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics|
|State||Published - Jul 1 2015|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cancer Research