Adult Hospitalists’ Knowledge of Radiation Oncology in an Independent Nonacademic Healthcare System in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Link to article at PubMed

Cureus. 2023 Jul 13;15(7):e41856. doi: 10.7759/cureus.41856. eCollection 2023 Jul.


Radiation oncology (RO) plays a crucial role in cancer care; cancer patients often undergo their initial diagnostic study by general physicians. However, studies have shown that most physicians are uncomfortable referring cancer patients to radiation therapy (RT). To assess the knowledge of RO among non-oncology physicians, we sent invitations to complete an online survey that required the responders to self-rate their understanding of RT and objective assessment. The survey was targeted at hospitalists and primary care physicians. Forty physicians responded to the survey, and 89.7% practiced primarily as hospitalists, with 67% being Internal Medicine graduates. Fifty percent of physicians have referred patients to RO before, although more than 90% have not done additional CME (continuing medical education) in Oncology. More than 50% of recent graduates (one to five years post-residency) self-rated themselves as "not knowledgeable" when it comes referral process to RO as well as general knowledge regarding RT. Factors, such as "type of cancer," "patients' wishes," and "life expectancy," are most cited as factors influencing the decision for a referral.

PMID:37551222 | PMC:PMC10404457 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.41856

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