The Accelerators Podcast

The Accelerators

Oncology News and Views from Drs. Anna Laucis, Matt Spraker, and Simul Parikh. Cover art by Danielle Cunningham (@CunninghamOnc). Theme song by Louis Cantor Santiago (www.lucascantormusic.com). Now part of the Photon Media collaborative (www. photonmedia.org).

"Should we be concerned we don't have a VC problem?": Analyzing Job Board Postings with Mudit and John
Oct 22 2022
"Should we be concerned we don't have a VC problem?": Analyzing Job Board Postings with Mudit and John
The Accelerators host (Dr. Anna Laucis, Matt Spraker, and Simul Parikh) another resident-attending duo to discuss the #RadOnc workforce and job market!  Drs. Mudit Chowdhary and  John Shumway (a graduating PGY-5 resident at University of North Carolina) review their recent publication evaluating trends in numbers of yearly society job board postings versus graduating residents. We then analyze some of the paper's methods and online discussion of the statistics. We then discuss the ratio of job postings to graduating residents over time and supplement the data with the lived experience of interviewing for a job in #RadOnc. There is now a strong, data-driven argument against expanding residency positions in our field, so what factors are being considered when departments decide to expand? Are people considering activity in their region? We don't think so. Finally, Mudit is optimistic that publication and discussion of this issue has initiated a contraction, or at least halted growth. We all agree that progress has been made and modern discussion of the radiation oncology workforce is improved compared to the past. Remember friends, help control the graduating resident population and don't SOAP in March!Here are some other things mentioned during the show:The Emergency Medicine Workforce Study"How Much Are Resident Physicians Worth?" by friend of the show Dr. Carmody (The Sheriff of Sodium)Mudit's article on the growth of radiation oncology residency programs The 2020 ARRO Graduating Resident Survey Podcast art generously donated by Dr. Danielle Cunningham. Intro and Outro music generously donated by Emmy-award winning artist Lucas Cantor Santiago.The Accelerators Podcast is a Photon Media production.
Addressing Radiotherapy Disparities With the Suneja Lab
Sep 10 2022
Addressing Radiotherapy Disparities With the Suneja Lab
The Accelerators host (Dr. Anna Laucis, Matt Spraker, and Simul Parikh) the Suneja Lab, leaders in health equity research! Radiation Oncologist Dr. Gita Suneja and PGY-5 resident Dr. Ryan Hutten to discuss their recent publication examining disparities in initiation of advanced radiotherapy between White patients and patients of minoritized groups. We summarize and analyze the paper, then discuss potential causes of these disparities. Of course, we must #FixPriorAuthNow - like, yesterday - but the causes spill outside the hospital. Racism and disparities in wealth, power, and resources add up in complex ways to delay care. We then discuss Dr. Suneja's local efforts to act on these findings, her health equity research laboratory. The group offers mentorship for a diverse group of students and cross pollination of ideas while recognizing health equity research as a valid academic pursuit. But you don't have to start a lab to act; we share ways to improve equity in your clinic as well.Finally, Simul's Lighting Round is back! Grab your favorite mocktail, we're headed to Salt Lake City.Other things we talked about in the show:Hutten et al. on worsening disparities between racial and ethnic groups in IMRT use in the US.The Michigan Radiation Oncology Quality Consortium (MROQC)Podcast art generously donated by Dr. Danielle Cunningham. Intro and Outro music generously donated by Emmy-award winning artist Lucas Cantor Santiago.
Low-Dose Radiotherapy for Osteoarthritis With Austin Dove
May 12 2022
Low-Dose Radiotherapy for Osteoarthritis With Austin Dove
Dr. Simul Parikh hosts Dr. Austin Dove for a fireside chat about his new review article in the Red Journal on low-dose radiotherapy for osteoarthritis (OA). In this episode, Austin reviews the history of low-dose radiotherapy for OA, which includes multiple prospective studies evaluating efficacy and safety of the technique. These studies show that one example, 0.5 Gy x 6 fractions (3 Gy total) delivered every other day is associated with an excellent and durable symptomatic response in a high number of patients with essentially no acute effects. Considering 32 million people suffer from osteoarthritis in the US, these data have huge implications for the field. This is similar to the number of patients with prostate cancer treated in the US every year with radiation.Simul and Austin then discuss the German’s love for placebo pills and call for thoughtful and scientific evaluation of low-dose radiotherapy for OA in the US. Later, Austin hypothesizes that low-dose radiotherapy may be used for other etiologies of arthralgia, such as those experienced by patients with breast cancer undergoing hormone therapy. Regardless, Simul and Austin agree that multi-disciplinary collaboration will be required for optimal implementation.At the end of the episode, Simul holds Austin’s feet to the fire in a mock oral exam and an Accelerators Lightning Round. Memphis BBQ or Nashville Hot Chicken? What is Austin’s backup specialty? And, importantly, is Taylor Swift’s music country?Here are some other things that came up:Pattern of care study from Germany; 15,000 are treated each year with radiation for OA!DEGRO - a German radiotherapy organizationEpisode art generously donated by Dr. Danielle Cunningham
Mobilize The Canadians! A Workflow Episode
Apr 30 2022
Mobilize The Canadians! A Workflow Episode
Sim orders, documentation, prior auth, oh my! Is it death by 1000 clicks? The Accelerators Podcast (Drs. Anna Laucis, Simul Parikh, and Matt Spraker) host their first industry experts for an intimate discussion on the radiotherapy workflow: David Lindsey (CEO, Oncora Medical and graduating MD/PhD student), Sasa Mutic (SVP, Varian Medical Systems), Jacob Philip (CEO, Medlever), and Nathan Wolfe (CEO, Remote Dosimetrist). We discuss current challenges such as interdisciplinary communication among dispersed teams, how EMRs are really designed for billing, and how artificial intelligence and automation could close the technology gap between centers in US #RadOnc and around the world. Then, we discuss how increasing availability of high speed internet, the COVID19 pandemic, and culture change drove the rise of remote dosimetry and other remote work. This leads to a more broad discussion of resource allocation and Varian's effort to reduce treatment start time from an average of 2 weeks to 2 hours. We also discuss a new challenge, the increasing need for radiotherapy re-treatment. In a short after-show, we discuss the "Cheesecake Factory" model of medicine. Will these workflow improvements help small clinics push back against growing hub-and-spoke networks? Note: The opinions expressed on this episode do not reflect the opinions of the host's or guest's employers. The guests volunteered their time to participate in the show and their participation on The Accelerators Podcast is not an endorsement of their products. If you saw Simul driving a lambo shortly after this show, it is simply a coincidence. Unfortunately, nobody made any money on this show. Custom show art generously donated by Dr. Danielle Cunningham.