From orientation to onboarding: A survey-based departmental improvement program for new radiation oncology faculty physicians

John J. Cuaron, Erin F. Gillespie, Daniel R. Gomez, Atif J. Khan, Borys Mychalczak, Oren Cahlon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose: To evaluate physician-reported assessments of an established faculty orientation program for new radiation oncology physicians at a large academic center and to prospectively analyze the effects of an onboarding improvement program based on those assessments. Materials and Methods: An anonymous survey was designed and distributed to physicians new to the department who received onboarding orientation between 2013 and 2017. Survey questions addressed the comprehensiveness, effectiveness, and utility of various orientation activities. On the basis of the survey results, an improved onboarding program was designed and implemented for nine new faculty members between May 2018 and November 2018. A post-intervention survey querying topics similar to those in the pre-intervention survey was distributed to the new faculty members. Descriptive statistics were generated to compare the preintervention and post-intervention groups. Results: The overall rate of survey completion was 85% (17 of 20). The intervention program markedly improved physician assessment of comprehensiveness and effectiveness of the onboarding process. Physicians strongly and consistently identified mentor shadowing, on-the-job training, and other faculty mentorship activities as the most important components of an effective onboarding experience. Conclusion: An enhanced, tailored, person-oriented, formal onboarding improvement program significantly increased physician assessment scores of comprehensiveness and effectiveness of the faculty onboarding process. This model can serve as a framework for increasing physician preparedness, encouraging early physician mentorship, and ensuring a universal standard of quality across large practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E395-E404
JournalJournal of Oncology Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Health Policy


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