Interprofessional Education in Radiation Oncology.


Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology, University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : Interprofessional education (IPE) is demonstrated to improve patient outcomes in a variety of health care fields and clinical settings. However, the extent and effectiveness of IPE in radiation oncology is undefined. This systematic literature review identifies reports of radiation oncology IPE and summarizes the outcomes of those initiatives.
METHODS : The literature was queried through PubMed using search terms focusing on IPE targeted toward radiation oncologists, radiation therapists, nurses, medical physicists, and medical dosimetrists in the undergraduate medical education, graduate medical education, and continuing medical education settings. IPE was defined as any educational initiative designed to improve understanding or teamwork efficiency between the learners of interest. Because of the lack of published material pertaining to IPE in radiation oncology, noninterventional, descriptive studies were included.
RESULTS : Of 1,306 articles screened, 4 were included in the qualitative analysis. Radiation therapists were included in IPE most frequently (four articles), followed by radiation oncologists, nurses, physicists, and dosimetrists (one article each). IPE initiatives identified ranged from descriptive surveys and written source review to IPE workshops and longitudinal IPE curricula with quantified outcomes. Descriptive studies viewed IPE positively, and all studies collecting quantitative data demonstrated positive outcomes. Undergraduate health profession students were included most frequently (three articles), followed by practicing professionals (one article). No articles reported IPE in the graduate medical education setting.
CONCLUSIONS : This systematic review demonstrates that despite the general association of IPE with improved outcomes, radiation oncology IPE initiatives are lacking. There is a significant opportunity to further develop radiation oncology IPE.


Interprofessional education,graduate medical education,radiation oncology,undergraduate medical education,