The purpose of this study was to gather descriptive information from residency program directors regarding characteristics of the education and experiences of resident physicians in oncology rehabilitation.
The program directors responded to a 28-question survey. Information collected included general descriptors of residency programs, oncology rehabilitation services lines within the institution, educational and clinical opportunities for trainees, and perceptions of quality for oncology experiences.
Thirty-eight responses, with a response rate of 48%, were recorded. Thirty-two percent of the programs did not have any dedicated faculty for cancer rehabilitation. A majority of the respondents felt that cancer rehabilitation should be an important component of the curriculum. Sixty-six percent of the programs admitted only one to two cancer diagnoses to their inpatient units per week, and 26% had outpatient clinics that focused specifically on rehabilitation needs for oncology patients. A majority of the programs felt that experiences were only average and that residents do not receive adequate exposure to cancer rehabilitation during their training.
Although cancer rehabilitation is considered an important area of education, quality and quantity of experiences may be improved. Several opportunities may exist to improve such exposure in anticipation of serving the functional needs for a growing population of cancer survivors.