Using Holistic Residency Applicant Review and Selection in Radiation Oncology to Enhance Diversity and Inclusion-An ASTRO SCAROP-ADROP-ARRO Collaboration

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2023 Jun 1;116(2):334-347. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2023.01.009. Epub 2023 Jan 18.


Disproportionate sex, racial, and ethnic diversity remains in the radiation oncology physician workforce despite widespread awareness and longitudinal efforts to improve representation. In this collaborative review, we define the rationale and components of holistic review and how it can be best used to provide a comprehensive evaluation of applicants to residency programs in radiation oncology. We initially discuss the current state of diversity in the field of radiation oncology and highlight the components of the residency selection process that may serve to perpetuate existing biases. Subsequently, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and Association of American Medical Colleges holistic review framework is reviewed in detail to demonstrate the balanced assessment of potential applicants. The implementation of holistic review in medical school and residency selection to date is examined to underscore the potential value of holistic review in the radiation oncology residency selection process. Finally, recommendations for the practical implementation of holistic review in radiation oncology trainee selection are outlined.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accreditation
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Education, Medical, Graduate
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Radiation Oncology* / education