Citation: J Clin Oncol 28:7s, 2010 (suppl; abstr 6157)
Author(s): J. M. Hinkel, J. L. Vandergrift, E. M. Lepisto, K. A. Minogue, F. M. Stewart; National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Fort Washington, PA; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/University of Washington/Children's Hospital, Seattle, WA
Background: A survey of oncology fellows was conducted in February 2009 to gauge fellows' interest in pursuing clinical research post-fellowship and to identify factors associated with an interest in post-fellowship research.
Methods: A survey was developed by NCCN analytical staff and expert clinicians. The survey was distributed to 166 oncology fellows who attended the 2009 NCCN Annual Conference. Overall, 125 (75%) fellows completed the survey.
Results: Respondents' specialties were hematology/oncology (66%), radiation oncology (18%), medical oncology/solid tumor (15%), and surgical oncology (1%). A majority were active in clinical (63%), lab (5%), or both clinical and lab (18%) research. Most were very (54%) or somewhat (33%) interested in conducting clinical research post-fellowship. More than half (58%) had received formal instruction in clinical research skills. Interest in research post-fellowship was greater for fellows currently active in clinical research (Mann-Whitney U = 2.06, p = 0.04), and among those who received formal instruction in clinical research skills (Mann-Whitney U = 3.48, p < 0.001). Fellows who felt better prepared to enter academics/research/practice also reported greater interest in clinical research (rs = 0.333, p < 0.001). Interest in research post-fellowship was not significantly related to level of satisfaction with program characteristics including: ability to conduct research, mentorship, clinical responsibilities, and protected time (rs = 0.163, p = 0.09). A strong relationship was observed between fellows' interest in clinical research post- fellowship and their interest in practicing in an academic setting (rs = 0.499, p < 0.001).
Conclusions: A majority of fellows surveyed in this study expressed interest in conducting research post-fellowship. Current research activity and receipt of formal clinical research training were associated with a greater interest in post-fellowship research. Only 58% of fellows reported having received formal clinical research training. Interest in conducting clinical research was strongly associated with an interest in practicing in an academic setting.