Mentorship Needs for Radiation Oncology Residents: Implications for Programme Design

J. Croke*, E. Milne, A. Bezjak, B. A. Millar, M. Giuliani, S. Heeneman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Web of Science)


Aims: Mentorship during residency guides and supports professional and personal development. Despite this, mentorship programmes within many postgraduate medicine programmes, including radiation oncology, are not standard. The objective of this qualitative study was to carry out a needs assessment to determine the perceived mentorship needs and experiences of radiation oncology residents and faculty.

Materials and methods: Radiation oncology residents and faculty from a single university were invited to participate in semi-structured interviews in September 2017. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. An inductive thematic analysis was carried out using NVivo Pro version 11. Data collection occurred until saturation. Codes were derived and a systematic framework was applied to yield emergent themes. Trustworthiness was verified through triangulation and member checking.

Results: Twenty interviews (10 residents and 10 faculty) took place between October and December 2017, at which point thematic saturation was achieved. Four major themes emerged: (i) the perceived experiences of residents and faculty with mentorship, (ii) the evolution of mentorship needs during residency training, (iii) the mechanisms of creating mentorship relationships and (iv) peer mentorship.

Conclusions: In this study, the perceptions of mentorship from the perspective of radiation oncology residents and faculty were explored. Important areas of alignment and discordance were discovered. These insights will inform the development and implementation of a mentorship programme that can be adapted for use by other oncology training programmes. (C) 2019 The Royal College of Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E119-E125
Number of pages7
JournalClinical oncology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Mentorship
  • postgraduate medical education
  • radiation oncology
  • resident wellness

Cite this