Trainee research requirements of Australasian medical colleges: How does the Faculty of Radiation Oncology compare?

J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2019 Dec;63(6):862-868. doi: 10.1111/1754-9485.12930. Epub 2019 Aug 1.


Introduction: The Faculty of Radiation Oncology (FRO) of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) currently allows several pathways for trainees to satisfy its mandatory original research requirement. In practice, the majority need to have a manuscript 'accepted to peer review' by one of five specified radiation oncology (RO) journals before being eligible to sit for the final examination. The purpose of this work was to determine the corresponding trainee research requirements of the other Australasian medical colleges and compare them with FRO as a companion to a planned FRO trainee survey on the same topic.

Methods: The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) website lists 16 colleges conferring medical fellowships, four of which have various sub-faculties, and the New Zealand Medical Council website lists three other separate colleges (69 entities in all). Their individual websites were interrogated to determine and tabulate their respective trainee research requirements.

Results: 7/69 entities (10%) do not include a research component in their published training programme. Four (5.8%) mandate actual publication of a manuscript (and additionally, FRO does also require this for journals other than the five specified). The other training programmes have less rigorous submission requirements, for example internal assessment of a research report. In addition, many allow attainment of a research higher degree (including FRO) or multiple other options as an alternative pathway. Eleven entities (including FRO) stipulate that their requirement needs to be satisfied before sitting for the exit examination.

Conclusions: The current FRO trainee research requirement is at the more stringent end of the Australasian spectrum. This has advantages and disadvantages for RO trainees and their departments. The data presented here and the trainee survey will inform the RANZCR Training and Assessment Review project, ongoing at the time of writing.

Keywords: Australasian medical colleges; Faculty of Radiation Oncology; trainee research requirements.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Educational Measurement / methods*
  • Faculty
  • Fellowships and Scholarships
  • Humans
  • Publishing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Radiation Oncology / education*
  • Research / statistics & numerical data*
  • Schools, Medical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Students, Medical / statistics & numerical data*