Diversity based on race, ethnicity, and sex, of the US radiation oncology physician workforce

Christina H. Chapman, Wei Ting Hwang, Curtiland Deville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess the current diversity of the US radiation oncology (RO) physician workforce by race, ethnicity, and sex. Methods and Materials: Publicly available American Medical Association, American Association of Medical Colleges, and US census registries were used to assess differences by race, ethnicity, and sex for 2010 among RO practicing physicians, academic faculty, residents, and residency applicants. RO resident diversity was compared to medical school graduates and medical oncology (MO) fellows. Significant differences in diversity of RO residents by race, ethnicity, and sex were evaluated between 2003 and 2010 academic years. Results: Females and traditionally underrepresented minorities in medicine (URM), blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders are underrepresented as RO residents (33.3% and 6.9%, respectively), faculty (23.8%, 8.1%), and practicing physicians (25.5%, 7.2%) levels compared with the US population (50.8%, 30.0%; P<.01). Although females and URMs remain underrepresented at the resident trainee level compared with their proportions as medical school graduates (48.3%, 15.6%) and MO fellows (45.0%, 10.8%; P<.01), females are significantly increased in proportion as RO residents compared with RO practicing physicians (P<.01), whereas representation of individual URM groups as RO residents is no different than current practicing physicians. There is no trend toward increased diversification for female or URM trainees over 8 years, suggesting underrepresentation is not diminishing. Conclusions: Females and URM are underrepresented in the RO physician workforce. Given existing cancer disparities, further research and efforts are needed to ensure that the field is equipped to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)912-918
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 15 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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