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ASTRO Policies

Official Statements Policy

ASTRO may issue official statements for situations that directly impact radiation oncology, patient’s access to cancer care or impact our member’s practices.

March 22, 2024

Member Financial Hardship Policy

There are times when members may need relief from their annual dues assessment due to natural disaster, illness, physical impairment, other health emergencies or another reason that affects their ability to practice. The ASTRO Board of Directors recognizes that these challenges can arise and has, therefore, enacted a financial hardship policy to help members maintain their membership when practice may not be possible.

In the event a member is unable to practice, the member may petition ASTRO to have his or her dues waived for one year by completing the Dues Waiver Request Form. Completed forms will be submitted to ASTRO's Membership Department. Decisions regarding dues waivers for natural disasters and other special situations fall within the purview of the ASTRO Membership Committee. The Committee will review and evaluate petitions on a case-by-case basis and will report decisions to the ASTRO Board of Directors. If approved, the member will maintain his or her membership status, membership type and associated benefits during that year. 

February 2018

Membership Delinquency Policy

ASTRO membership dues are billed annually on a calendar year basis.

Any Active, Associate, Affiliate or International Member who remains delinquent in the payment of current dues four (4) months after the official billing shall automatically cease to be a member of the Society. Any Corporate Member who remains delinquent in the payment of current dues for more than ninety (90) days shall cease to be a Corporate Member of the Society. Delinquent members may be reinstated by the Board of Directors, but not unless all indebtedness to the Society is liquidated. The Board may establish a reinstatement fee or fees to be charged to former members whose membership has been terminated for non-payment of dues. Such a reinstatement fee or fees shall be required to re-establish the membership of lapsed members. 

ASTRO Position Statement on the U.S. Radiation Oncology Workforce

Radiation oncology has long been a critical component of multidisciplinary cancer management, driven by clinical and scientific innovation. Recent advances in technology and our understanding of cancer biology have allowed radiation oncologists to offer more accurate and effective therapies, often in fewer total treatments than before, resulting in improved patient care. ASTRO has observed growth in residency training positions over the past two decades. With more efficient treatment delivery, fewer radiation oncologists may be needed in the coming years. Residency training positions should be reserved for those who are enthusiastic about the field and should reflect the anticipated societal need for radiation therapy services. As we prepare the next generation of radiation oncologists for independent practice, we encourage stakeholders to carefully consider these aspects affecting our specialty as they review the size and scope of their training programs.

Additionally, ASTRO acknowledges the continued need to grow and nurture diversity within the next generation of our workforce. We serve diverse peoples, and our trainees and faculty should reflect that diversity. We are committed to addressing all aspects of bias as we seek to ensure equity and inclusion within our specialty and to improve health outcomes for all our patients.

(January 6, 2021)

ASTRO Position Statement on the U.S. Radiation Oncology Workforce

The ASTRO Board of Directors developed an affirmative statement detailing the scope of practice for radiation oncologists that includes the work up of patients with suspected cancer diagnoses.  This statement also emphasizes the role of the radiation oncologist as the leader of the oncology team.

Radiation oncologists are expert in the evaluation of patients with suspected or known cancer from the initial assessment of their signs and symptoms onward. They can perform a complete oncologic workup and can coordinate a patient’s cancer care with other physicians.

Radiation oncologists collaborate with multidisciplinary oncology teams that include specialists in surgical oncology, medical oncology, radiology, nuclear medicine, pathology, and other disciplines. Finally, radiation oncologists follow patients after they complete radiation treatment to monitor for recurrences, treat ongoing symptoms and address complications.

Radiation oncologists are the only physicians with the expertise and training to deliver radiation therapy. A radiation oncologist can also address possible side effects from treatment and offer guidance and solutions. To become board-certified, candidates complete five years of specialized training after medical school and then pass an examination by the American Board of Radiology.

(June 2017) 
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