August 10, 2020

RO Corner: Resident Advocacy in Radiation Oncology

By Edina Wang, MD, radiation oncology resident at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and ACR RFS RO Representative

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It can be exciting to take part in advocacy, to learn more about important healthcare policies facing the field of radiation oncology — and to help change healthcare. Advocacy is an activity that residents can be involved in both during and after their residency training.

There are many avenues to get involved in advocacy as a resident physician. Some of these avenues include joining committees and/or sub-committee work groups within different organizations (e.g. ACR, ASTRO, ASCO, AMA, etc.). Many of these organizations host seminars and webinars on topics such as coding and coverage, payment reform, and awareness/education. These organizations also have Capitol Hill Days, wherein physicians can learn about important policy issues facing the field and interact with policymakers and legislative experts.

There are also opportunities within these groups to get involved with legislators or invite health staffers to facility tours. Many organizations have formal health policy fellowships, as well as mentors who can help residents learn more about how different policy issues affect the field of radiation oncology. Furthermore, there are health policy fellowships at the national level, including the White House Fellows or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows Program.

Recently, the ACR held a webinar entitled, “Advocacy in Radiation Oncology,” hosted by panelists Paul E. Wallner, DO, FACR, and Amar Rewari, MD. The panelists provided a general overview of advocacy, discussing approaches to advocacy and how to get involved, as well as advocacy in relation to healthcare policy and economics. There was a Q&A session as well as live questions from the audience. To access the webinar, visit

Below are some links related to health policy, health policy scholarships, and advocacy:

  • ACR Advocacy and Economics
  • ASTRO Advocacy
  • ASCO Advocacy
  • AMA Healthcare Advocacy
  • ASCO Leadership Development Program
  • James M. Moorefield, MD, Fellowship in Economics & Health Policy
  • Rutherford-Lavanty Fellowship in Government Relations
  • White House Fellows
  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows program