SROA members began Day 2 of SROA’s 2022 Annual Meeting with a general session called, “Centering Diversity in Radiation Oncology: The What, The Why, and The How.” Dr. Parul Berry, Dr. Jerry Jaboin and Dr. Ivy Franco provided historical context about diversity and shared some of the personal challenges they have encountered as radiation oncologists from underrepresented minority groups. They offered numerous concrete suggestions on how radiation oncology departments and centers can diversify their radiation oncologist staff and improve their retention. Some suggestions include: giving less weight to test scores; exploring more deeply the reasons for lower test scores (for example, due to lack of financial resources to take test prep courses); and having standardized questions for all interviewees. The panelists also talked about ways to improve retention such as ensuring that the HR partners have the appropriate expertise for specific circumstances.
Dr. Ruth Gotian spoke about mentorship at SROA’s 2022 Annual Meeting. She said we need four roles in our life:
Patty Saponaro, Associate Chair for Administration at UNC Radiation Oncology, presented on mentoring and being mentored.
The leader’s role is to be curious, to keep learning, and to teach others, she said. You have to start with the work (what work needs to be done) and knowing what you have to offer and what the person wants. In doing so, you’re asking the person to be self-reflective about why they’re seeking mentorship.
Mike Grindstaff, director, Radiation Oncology at TriHealth Cancer Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio, is SROA’s new member-at-large. He participated in a Q&A to talk about his new role.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years getting people interested in you,” Mattson
Job satisfaction is important because it helps us have a healthy attitude that permeates all areas of our life. One was to ensure job satisfaction is having an honest conversation about career development with your manager. A good manager is willing to act as a mentor and help foster your career growth.
Mentoring, in my opinion, is an overused term because I think we do it without putting the “mentoring” label on it. Mentoring is not like a shoebox with stuff in it that you pull out when you need it. It’s more aptly called relationship building, and it’s a core skill you should develop to use personally and professionally.