An assessment of radiation oncology medical physicists’ perspectives on undertaking research


As part of a study of the radiation oncology workforce, radiation oncology medical physicists (ROMPs) who had worked in Australia were surveyed regarding their attitudes to participating in research. Responses from 88 ROMPs were available for analysis, representing a broad mix of employment situations and research experience. Greater than 70% of ROMPs described their involvement in research as “liking it” or “loving it”, with associated identified benefits including skills development, job satisfaction and career progression. Over half of respondents agreed that involvement in research inspired them to stay in their profession. However, lack of time, support and motivation were all identified as barriers to participation in research. Areas of research interest were identified. This study highlights the importance of a research culture for job satisfaction and staff retention.

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We acknowledge the financial support of the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing as part of the project Establishing a Sustainable Radiation Oncology Workforce Through Greater Access to Collaborative Research and Education Facilities. We are very grateful to members of the Radiation Oncology Workforce Western Australia group, survey reviewers and those who provided survey responses. We also thank the WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network for their ongoing support of the WA Workforce group beyond completion of our initial project.

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Correspondence to Martin A. Ebert.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Ethical approval was obtained from Curtin University’s Human Research Ethics Committee (RD-25-13).

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Ebert, M.A., Halkett, G.K., Berg, M. et al. An assessment of radiation oncology medical physicists’ perspectives on undertaking research. Australas Phys Eng Sci Med 40, 173–180 (2017).

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  • Radiation oncology
  • Physicists
  • Research
  • Occupational
  • Workforce
  • Satisfaction