Exposure to radiation and medical oncology training: A survey of Canadian urology residents and fellows

Amandeep S. Taggar, Kevin Martell, Siraj Husain, Michael Peacock, Michael Sia, Geoffrey Gotto


Introduction: Residency experiences and teaching in oncology among urology residents are variable across Canada. We sought to identify how radiation and medical oncology concepts, as they pertain to genitourinary malignancies, are taught to urology residents.

Methods: A total of 190 trainees enrolled in Canadian urology residency training programs were invited to participate in the study from January 2016 to June 2016. Participants completed an online questionnaire addressing the training they received.

Results: The overall response rate was 32%. Twenty-three percent of respondents were in their fellowship year; 17%, 20%, 10%, 17%, and 12% were first-, second-, third-, fourth-, and fifth-year residents, respectively, with a median of four (range 1–9) respondents from each training program. Ninety-five percent of respondents had academic half-day (AHD) as part of their training that included radiotherapy (61%) and chemotherapy (51%) teaching. Most respondents indicated their main exposure to chemotherapy and radiation came from informal teaching in urology clinics. Twentynine percent and 41%, of participants had mandatory rotations in radiation and medical oncology, respectively. Only 6% of respondents used their voluntary elective time in these disciplines and most voluntary electives were of 1–2-week duration. Despite this, 90% of respondents preferred some mandatory radiation and medical oncology training.

Conclusions: Most of the limited exposure that urology residents have to medical and radiation oncology is through AHD or informal urology clinics, despite a desire among current urology trainees to have clinical exposure in these areas. Moving forward, urology residency programs should consider integrating medical and radiation oncology rotations into the residency program curriculum.

Full Text:


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5489/cuaj.5147