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International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics ; 111(3):e334-e335, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1433384


Purpose/Objective(s): Historically, work from home (WFH) policies were not common in radiation oncology (RO). With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and without oversight from professional organizations, many departments individually generated WFH policies. This study reports WFH policies and perceived impact on workflow and work-life balance within United States (US) academic RO departments for both residents and faculty. Materials/Methods: An IRB-approved questionnaire was developed and sent to one resident and one faculty member at each of the 92 US academic RO departments. Purposive sampling for residents and faculty was utilized. For residents, this consisted of the most senior resident and for faculty, a senior faculty member or the program director. If no reply was obtained after 3 weeks, an alternate member was selected. The survey remained open for 75 days. Categorical and continuous variables, along with free-responses were aggregated and reported. Results: 135 responses (residents n = 65, faculty n = 70) were received, representing 70.7% and 77.2% of the 92 programs respectively. A new WFH policy was reported by 83% faculty (58/70) and 92% residents (60/65), predominantly initiated within 2 months of the pandemic (60% faculty and 79% residents respectively). The initial WFH policy allowed moderate WFH for 40% faculty and 46% residents, while minimal WFH was offered for 30% faculty and 32% residents. Full WFH was reported by 14% of respondents in both categories. Policies have since contracted for 39% faculty and 62% of residents, being revoked for 11% of faculty and 22% of residents. 15/70 (21.4%) faculty and 12/65 (18.5%) residents report dissatisfaction with their current WFH policy. 18/70 (25.7%) faculty and 14/65 (21.5%) residents perceived negative sentiments from others regarding utilization of WFH. On a 4-point scale, residents and faculty reported personal/family life, research, and day-to-day productivity were positively impacted by WFH policy, while patient care was perceived as negatively impacted. No difference was reported for leadership or education. Conclusion: A variety of WFH policies have been adopted in RO. Understanding perceptions of the impact of different approaches can help to inform future policy and practice.