SU-F-P-13: NRG Oncology Medical Physics Manpower Survey Quantifying Support Demands for Multi Institutional Clinical Trials




A survey was taken by NRG Oncology to assess Full Time Equivalent (FTE) contributions to multi institutional clinical trials by medical physicists.No current quantification of physicists’ efforts in FTE units associated with clinical trials is available. The complexity of multi-institutional trials increases with new technologies and techniques. Proper staffing may directly impact the quality of trial data and outcomes. The demands on physics time supporting clinical trials needs to be assessed.


The NRG Oncology Medical Physicist Subcommittee created a sixteen question survey to obtain this FTE data. IROC Houston distributed the survey to their list of 1802 contact physicists.


After three weeks, 363 responded (20.1% response). 187 (51.5%) institutions reporting external beam participation were processed. There was a wide range in number of protocols active and supported at each institution. Of the 187 clinics, 134 (71.7%) participate in 0 to 10 trials, 28 (15%) in 11 to 20 trials, 10 (5.3%) in 21 to 30 trials, 9 (4.8%) had 40 to 75 trials. On average, physicist spent 2.7 hours (SD: 6.0) per week supervising or interacting with clinical trial staff. 1.25 hours (SD: 3.37), 1.83 hours (SD: 4.13), and 0.64 hours(SD: 1.13) per week were spent on patient simulation, reviewing treatment plans, and maintaining a DICOM server, respectively. For all protocol credentialing activities, physicist spent an average of 37.05 hours (SD: 96.94) yearly. To support dosimetrists, clinicians, and therapists, physicist spend on average 2.07 hours (SD: 3.52) per week just reading protocols. Physicist attended clinical trial meetings for on average 1.13 hours (SD: 1.85) per month.


Responding physicists spend a nontrivial amount of time: 8.8 hours per week (0.22 FTE) supporting, on average, 9 active multi-institutional clinical trials.