Background: The aim of this study was to analyze demography, motivation behind the choice of the medical oncology specialty, career plans, and the quality of training in medical oncology and to provide guidance to candidates for boosting the number of oncologists.
Methods: In 2007, the French Association of Residents in Oncology conducted a nationwide study of all medical oncology residents in France.
Results: The strongest factors that had influenced their decision to become a medical oncology specialist were an interest in medical oncology (98%), exposure to this branch of medicine during graduate training as a medical student (83%), interest in research (81%), and the diversity of the activity (75%). The mean score for the quality of training was 6 (0-10). More time for reading during working hours as well as for attending staff meetings and greater availability of teaching oncologists would improve the quality of training. The most popular career choice was working in a public hospital but most residents stated that they had not received adequate information about the different career plans.
Conclusions: No data are available regarding how training in medical oncology is perceived. This study provides useful data for future policies to boost the number of oncologists.