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Radiation Oncology Workforce

Over the past decade, concerns have arisen in radiation oncology regarding potential workforce supply and demand imbalance. ASTRO has long shared concerns about the future of the workforce and in 2021 formed a Task Force to analyze the current and projected status of the radiation oncology workforce, the potential oversupply of radiation oncologists (RO) and ways to inform and attract an appropriate number of interested medical students to the field. In 2022, at the recommendation of the Task Force, ASTRO released an updated position statement on the workforce (see below) and commissioned an independent analysis looking at supply and demand in the United States radiation oncologist workforce and projecting future trends for 2025 and 2030. The final report, titled "Projected Supply and Demand for Radiation Oncologists in the U.S. in 2025 and 2030," is published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics. The analysis evaluated projected radiation oncologist supply (new graduates, exits from the specialty), potential changes in demand (growth of Medicare beneficiaries, hypofractionation, loss of indications, new indications) as well as RO productivity (growth of work relative value units [wRVUs] produced), and demand per beneficiary. Additionally, a tool is available for members to further model different scenarios based on evolving data.

Note: ASTRO understands our members will make individual decisions regarding their own workforces and what resources they will need to serve their own patients, research and teaching missions going forward. ASTRO will not comment on those decisions or how they may affect the radiation oncology workforce of the future.

  • ASTRO Statement on the U.S. Radiation Oncology Workforce (February 2022)

    ASTRO continues to support the critical role of high-quality residency training to optimally educate and prepare our future workforce. It is a foundational principle that residency training positions should be filled by qualified candidates who are enthusiastic about the field. To that end, we encourage stakeholders to carefully consider the following factors as they evaluate the size, selection process and scope of their training programs:

    1. The quality and extent of each candidate’s interest in radiation oncology.
    2. How the specialty, as a whole, as well as individual programs, can engage, recruit and retain diverse applicants.
    3. Availability of sufficient resources for clinical operations so that the priority for residents is education.
    4. The future expected need for radiation oncologists.
    5. Whether participation in the SOAP is warranted and in the best long-term interest of providing quality training, innovation and patient care.

Read more

The Radiation Oncologist Workforce Today and Beyond 2030 - Chirag Shah, MD; Chelsea Pinnix, MD, PhD; and Neha Vapiwala, MD, FASTRO, Annual Meeting Show Daily, Page 13, October 2, 2023

The American Society for Radiation Oncology Workforce Taskforce Review of the United States Radiation Oncology Workforce Analysis - Chirag Shah, et. al., Critical Review, International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, July 2023

Projected Supply and Demand for Radiation Oncologists in US in 2025 and 2030, Health Management Associates, Study Results, International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, Supplemental Material, July 2023

Balance in Radiation Oncology Workforce Supply and Demand Predicted through 2030 - Geraldine Jacobson, MD, MPH, MBA, FASTRO; Bruce Haffty, MD, FASTRO; Pranshu Mohindra, MD, MPH; and Chirag Shah, MD, Blog, March 7, 2023

A Look Ahead at the Radiation Oncology Workforce in the United States – Bruce Haffty, MD, FASTRO, Chirag Shah, MD, and Pranshu Mohindra, MD, MPH, Blog, March 1, 2022

The Future of our Field – Thomas Eichler, MD, FASTRO, Blog, January 5, 2021

A Commitment to the Field - Theodore DeWeese, MD, FASTRO, Blog, March 10, 2020

The Residency Training Landscape, Continued - Paul Harari, MD, FASTRO, Blog, May 28, 2019

The Residency Training Landscape - Paul Harari, MD, FASTRO, Blog, March 20, 2019

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