Cancer Res Treat.  2006 Apr;38(2):61-65.

Number of Radiation Oncologists in Korea, Adequate or Surplus?

  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Kyung Hee University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.


PURPOSE: The purpose of this research is to discern and address the issues related to the radiation oncology manpower supply and its distribution.
The statistical data of the Annual Report of the Korea Central Cancer Registry (KCCR) from 1997 to 2002 and the Annual Report of the Korean Society of Radiation Oncology (KOSTRO) from 1997 to 2004 were used to predict the status of the human resources in 2015. The estimated demand and supply were calculated with the Microsoft Excel(R) program (Microsoft, Redmond, WA).
The demand for radiation oncologists is estimated to be 161 in 2015 and about 4.9 radiation oncologists will be in demand annually. In contrast, an average of 15 new radiation oncologists will be supplied annually so that the accumulated surplus of radiation oncologists until 2015 is estimated to be 74.1. The main reason for the surplus comes from the discrepancy between the increased number of radiation therapy patients and the need for radiation oncologists. When there is an increase of 1,000 radiation therapy patients, the demand for radiation oncologists increases only by 2.4. This phenomenon is especially evident in the top 10 hospitals where the average number of radiation therapy patients per radiation oncologist is 341, which is 58% higher than the average number (215) of other 46 hospitals.
To prevent a surplus and to maintain the quality of management, the number of radiation therapy patients per radiation oncologist should be limited. Furthermore, coordinate control of the number of residency positions should be seriously considered.


Radiation oncologist; Demand; Supply and distribution

MeSH Terms

Internship and Residency
Radiation Oncology
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