Medical College of Wisconsin
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Demographics of ASTRO Student Members and Potential Implications for Future U.S. Radiation Oncology Workforce Diversity. Adv Radiat Oncol 2022;7(2):100834



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85121184807 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   4 Citations


PURPOSE: The radiation oncology workforce in the United States is comparatively less diverse than the U.S. population and U.S. medical school graduates. Workforce diversity correlates with higher quality care and outcomes. The purpose of this study was to determine whether student members of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) are any more diverse than resident members-in-training using the recently established medical student membership category.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Self-reported sex, race and Hispanic ethnicity, medical school, and degree(s) earned for all medical students (n = 268) and members-in-training (n = 713) were collected from the ASTRO membership database. International members were excluded. The χ2 test was used to assess for differences between subgroups.

RESULTS: Compared with members-in-training, student members were more likely to be female (40.0% vs 31.5%, P = .032), black or African American (10.7% vs 4.8%, P = .009), candidates for or holders of a DO rather than MD degree (5.2% vs 1.5%, P = .002), and from a U.S. medical school that is not affiliated with a radiation oncology residency program (30.5% vs 20.9%, P = .001). There was no significant difference in self-reported Hispanic ethnicity (7.3% vs 5.4%, P = .356). There were no indigenous members in either category assessed.

CONCLUSIONS: Medical student members of ASTRO are more diverse in terms of black race, female sex, and osteopathic training, though not in terms of Hispanic ethnicity or nonmultiracial indigenous background, than the members-in-training. Longitudinal engagement with these students and assessment of the factors leading to specialty retention versus attrition may increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in radiation oncology.

Author List

Mattes MD, Deville C Jr, Vega RBM, Fung CY, Suneja G, Shumway JW, Chowdhary M, Shah C, Bates JE, Mohindra P, Siker ML, Winkfield KM, Vapiwala N, Royce TJ, ASTRO Committee on Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and ASTRO Workforce Committee


Malika L. Siker MD Associate Dean, Associate Professor in the Radiation Oncology department at Medical College of Wisconsin