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Online Oncology Careers Events to Attract the Future Oncology Medical Workforce: An Exemplar Event and Review of the Literature

We are really proud of our BONUS Core Committees, who just published an article in Clinical Oncology related to Online Oncology Careers Events.

Read the article here : 10.1016/j.clon.2023.10.053

Clinical Oncology, published on 26 October 2023

E. Khoury, K. Lynch-Kelly, T. Fulton-Ward, S. Heritage, A. Devasar, C.M. Jones


  • Most attendees reported undergraduate oncology rotations were 2 weeks or less in duration.

  • Attendees reported limited knowledge on what a career in oncology entails.

  • Targeted online events increase knowledge of and interest in a career in oncology.

  • Interest in medical and surgical oncology increased post-event.


Aims: There are too few oncologists to meet the increasing burden imposed by the rising incidence of cancer. This results from issues with the retention of established oncologists and longstanding challenges to the recruitment of adequate numbers of trainees. To counter this, the British Oncology Network for Undergraduate Societies (BONUS) devised an oncology oncology careers event for medical students and junior doctors who are yet to select a specialty.

Materials and methods: An online careers event was devised with a focus on oncology practice and related subspecialities, as well as research. Event attendees were asked to respond to piloted pre- and post-event surveys. Knowledge and attitudes towards a career in oncology were evaluated using Likert scale and multiple choice questions. A systematic literature search was carried out to contextualise these data.

Results: Of the 73 attendees, 44 (60%) participants completed both the pre- and post- event surveys; 79.5% of attendees believed that information on a career in oncology is lacking in medical training. This viewpoint was supported by the systematic review, which highlighted a need for relevant focussed interventions targeted at medical students and fledging doctors. The education event led to an increase in the median reported understanding of the oncology career pathway from 6.0 to 8.0 (p < 0.05 and p < 0.001), as well as the likelihood of pursuing a career in oncology (8.0 - 9.0, p < 0.05). It was also associated with a proportional increase in medical and surgical oncology interest, albeit with a fall in interest in clinical and interventional oncology as well as academia.

Conclusion: A targeted online careers event increases knowledge of and interest in a career in oncology, albeit predominantly for medical and surgical subspecialities. Broader initiatives based on our model should be developed and careers in academia as well as clinical and interventional oncology emphasised.

Read the full article here : 10.1016/j.clon.2023.10.053

Published on 26 October 2023

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