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PAradmed

Radiation Oncology

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Hi all - 

I was just hired as the first PA for a radiation medicine department at a teaching hospital.

We are still defining my position and I am looking for resources and people to connect with to develop this position.

Also, any helpful associations, books, journals, etc that you have found helpful in your practice.

Thanks in advance for the help!

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Hi PAradmed... just seeing this now. Wondering how it's going for you. I've been in rad onc for just about 2 years now.... I've been very fortunate to have a team who has taken a lot of my input in developing my current position along the way, as I'm their first PA. We're hiring a second APP soon... So in preparation of adding this position we've been working to redefine... or perhaps just more completely define... the PA/NP role and the role of the nursing staff, etc. Obviously we don't see consults completely independently, write XRT prescriptions, and so on.... so initially it was a challenge to get to a place where I felt autonomous enough. But I it's definitely do-able... just challenging. PAs are relatively new to the XRT world. Would love to hear your experience thus far... 

Kate

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Hey guys, I'm another PA in Rad Onc at a teaching hospital. I'm also the first PA to the department and am specific to the CNS team. I previously worked along side my current team (them as consultants) when I was working inpatient solid tumor oncology. I run my own follow up clinic independently and see the occasional consult in conjunction with my attendings if needed from a scheduling standpoint. Like KateD said above, it does take time to figure out what a PA's role is within the department because we aren't going to be prescribing radiation treatments or laying out the sim plan/contouring, etc. If my patients have progressive disease when they come for their follow up I will make a treatment plan (WBRT, SRS/SRT, Trial, observation, IMRT, etc) and give my attending a call to discuss. This process works for us because all of our follow up patients get MRIs before they present to my clinic so we have up to date imaging to make decisions from. Once my attending and I agree on the plan I will go in to see the patient, review the MRI with them, explain and answer the patients questions, consent them, send a request to our admins to arrange the sim/tx apts. Then behind the scenes my attending will write the script, approve the physics plan, etc. Then the patient will follow back up with me after treatment.

In terms of learning resources:

I attend all the resident morning lectures (daily - even if its about prostate and I only do brain), I also completed the resident didactic curriculum for my disease specific site. 

Gunderson - Clinical Radiation Oncology

Hall - Radiobiology for the Radiologist (only if you want to understand how radiation works in more depth, you get the basics in Gunderson though)

A good CT or MRI Atlas for your disease specific location

Have your dept refund you for a subscription to the red journal (International Journal of Radiation Oncology) and the Journal of Clinical Oncology. 

PM me if you need more resources I can email you some or discuss this further. 

Best of luck!

Kate 

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