Rad residency program to close; lessons of French radiation scandal; rectal cancer

Dear AuntMinnie Member,

In what could be a chilling sign of the times, a New York City hospital has announced that it plans to close its radiology residency program, and will move funding for the program into -- you guessed it -- the training of more primary care physicians.

The news is a disheartening blow to the 11 radiology residents who were training at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx. They are now faced with the prospect of trying to land spots in new residency programs -- and without the funding that had been paying for their training thus far.

The development may be just as ominous for anyone considering or about to enter a career in radiology. Like some other medical specialties, radiology has been battered by federal cost-cutting initiatives as the government tries to move the U.S. healthcare system toward a model that emphasizes primary care.

Learn about the program closure -- and the options for its "orphaned" residents -- by clicking here, or visit our Residents Digital Community at residents.auntminnie.com.

Lessons from the French radiation scandal

The fallout is still descending from the radiation therapy overdose scandal in France, where three doctors received prison sentences for their roles in incorrect radiation doses that were delivered to potentially hundreds of patients.

Contributing editor Frances Rylands-Monk of our sister site AuntMinnieEurope.com spoke about the case with Dr. Laurent Verzaux, 2012 president of the French Society of Radiology. Dr. Verzaux believes the unfortunate incidents indicate that we still have a lot to learn, despite all of the recent attention paid to quality control.

The French healthcare system has a number of checks and balances designed to prevent incidents like what occurred at the hospital in Epinal in northeastern France, but somehow the patients slipped through the cracks. Learn more about his opinions by clicking here.

Rectal cancer

Finally, learn about a new study from Tufts Medical Center in Boston that found that combined treatment with radiation therapy and surgery might be the best option for patients with advanced rectal or rectosigmoid cancer.

Researchers discovered that patients who received both types of treatment did significantly better in terms of survival outcomes. Learn more by clicking here, or visit our Radiation Oncology Digital Community at radiation.auntminnie.com.

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