OAK BROOK, Ill--Young physicians seeking careers in radiation
on-cology may have severely limited employment opportunities in
the foreseeable future, according to the American College of Radiation
Oncology (ACRO). The College forecasts that up to 1,000 radiation
oncologists will be either underemployed or unemployed shortly
after the year 2000.
The College's Personnel Needs Assessment Committee found that
approximately 800 new radiation oncologists will enter the job
market in the next 5 years while fewer than 200 existing radiation
oncologists will leave the workforce during the same period.
Quality of Training Affected
The Committee anticipates that the annual average caseload is
expected to remain between 210 and 216 patients through the year
2004. A surplus of radiation oncologists may decrease patient
caseload at large medical centers and limit the number of patients
available for resident training, thereby adversely affecting the
quality of training available to radiation oncology residents.
"The word needs to get out," said ACRO president William
D. Bloomer. "Unlike medical subspecialists who can fall back
on general internal medicine if their specialty practice falters,
radiation oncologists have no fall-back position without major