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Situation of young radiation oncologists, medical physicists and radiation biologists in German-speaking countries

Results from a web-based survey of the Young DEGRO working group

Situation junger Mediziner, Physiker und Biologen in der Radioonkologie im deutschsprachigen Raum

Ergebnisse einer webbasierten Umfrage der Arbeitsgruppe „Junge DEGRO“

Strahlentherapie und Onkologie Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Background and purpose

The working group “Young DEGRO” (yDEGRO) was established in 2014 by the German Society of Radiation Oncology (DEGRO). We aimed to assess the current situation of young radiation oncologists, medical physicists and radiation biologists.


An online survey that included 52 questions or statements was designed to evaluate topics related to training, clinical duties and research opportunities. Using the electronic mailing list of the DEGRO and contact persons at university hospitals in Germany as well as at four hospitals in Switzerland and Austria, young professionals employed in the field of radiation oncology were invited to participate in the survey.


A total of 260 responses were eligible for analysis. Of the respondents 69 % had a professional background in medicine, 23 % in medical physics and 9 % in radiation biology. Median age was 33 years. There was a strong interest in research among the participants; however a clear separation between research, teaching and routine clinical duties was rarely present for radiation oncologists and medical physicists. Likewise, allocated time for research and teaching during regular working hours was often not available. For radiation biologists, a lack of training in clinical and translational research was stated.


This survey details the current state of education and research opportunities in young radiation oncologists, medical physicists and radiation biologists. These results will form the basis for the future working program of the yDEGRO.



Die Arbeitsgruppe „Junge DEGRO“ (yDEGRO) wurde 2014 innerhalb der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Radioonkologie (DEGRO) gegründet. Ziel dieser Arbeit ist die Statuserhebung der aktuellen Situation von jungen Ärzten, Physikern und Biologen in der Radioonkologie in Deutschland.


Es wurde eine Onlineumfrage mit 52 Fragen zu den Themen Aus- und Weiterbildung, klinische Tätigkeit und Forschung entwickelt. Mithilfe der elektronischen DEGRO-Mitgliedskartei und Kontaktpersonen an den deutschen Universitätskliniken sowie an 4 Kliniken in Österreich und der Schweiz wurde die Einladung zur Teilnahme an dieser Umfrage per E‑Mail an junge Mediziner, Physiker und Biologen in der Strahlentherapie verschickt.


Insgesamt wurden 260 Antworten ausgewertet; 69 % der Teilnehmer waren Mediziner, 23 % Physiker und 9 % Biologen. Das mediane Alter betrug 33 Jahre. Unter den Teilnehmern bestand ein großes Interesse an Forschung, doch eine klare Trennung zwischen Forschung, Lehre und klinischen Routinetätigkeiten war für Mediziner und Physiker selten gegeben. Ebenso waren dezidierte Zeitfenster für Forschung und Lehre selten vorhanden. Im Bereich der Biologie zeichnete sich ein Bedarf in der Aus- und Weiterbildung bezüglich klinischer und translationaler Forschung ab.


Diese Umfrage gibt detaillierte Einblicke in die aktuelle Situation junger Ärzte, Physiker, und Biologen bezüglich Aus- und Weiterbildung, klinischer Routine und Forschung in der deutschen Radioonkologie. Die Ergebnisse dieser Umfrage bilden die Grundlage für das zukünftige Arbeitsprogramm der yDEGRO.

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We would like to thank the DEGRO board for providing financial support for several group meetings as well as for the great general support and trust in the yDEGRO. Furthermore, we would like to thank Heide Müller (DEGRO office) for providing the DEGRO membership characteristics. We thank all members of the yDEGRO as well as all participants to this survey.

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Correspondence to David Krug.

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Conflict of interest

D. Krug, Rene Baumann, T. Rieckmann, E. Fokas, T. Gauer and M. Niyazi declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical standards

The accompanying manuscript does not include any studies on humans or animals performed by any of the authors.

Additional information

D. Krug and R. Baumann share first authorship. T. Gauer and M. Niyazi share senior authorship.



Table A 1 Survey questions/statements

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Krug, D., Baumann, R., Rieckmann, T. et al. Situation of young radiation oncologists, medical physicists and radiation biologists in German-speaking countries. Strahlenther Onkol 192, 507–515 (2016).

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