Rising costs and increasing job pressures are driving family doctors, who provide the broadest and most basic health care, from the field, according to the Detroit News.
Oncologists practicing in urban/metropolitan areas are significantly more satisfied than their counterparts in suburban and rural areas when evaluating their access to information, technology, new drugs, clinical trials and thought leaders, according to survey results released today by Oncology World Congress.
� 57% of urban oncologists are �very� or �completely satisfied� with their level of patient access to clinical trials vs. 30% of oncologists in suburban and rural areas.
� 57% of urban oncologists are �very� or �completely satisfied� with their level of access to new technologies vs. 33% of oncologists in suburban and rural areas.
� 67% of urban oncologists are �very� or �completely satisfied� with their level of access to new research vs. 48% of oncologists in suburban and rural areas.
Close to 50% of oncologists practicing in urban areas categorize their place of work (private practice, hospital or cancer center) as an �innovator� on the cutting edge of finding new cancer treatments, compared to only 14% of rural/suburban oncologists. More than 10% of the latter group classify their place of work as a �late adopter� of new treatments and technologies, compared to only 2% of urban oncologists.
�Filling the information gap between local community practitioners and urban oncologists working at or near major cancer research centers is critical to achieving more effective therapeutic outcomes for patients,� said Dr. Waun Ki Hong, Oncology World Congress Chair and head of the Division of Cancer Medicine at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. �With an estimated 90% of U.S. oncology care performed outside of academic cancer centers, community oncologists are in crucial need of timely information on research advances and emerging technologies, as well as greater access to clinical trials and new therapies.� Dr. Hong and 170 colleagues will be working to address these issues and bridge the current gaps in treatment information and patient care at the upcoming Oncology World Congress meeting scheduled to take place in New Yorkon November 16-19, 2005.
Eighty percent of the oncologists polled cite accessibility to clinical trials as �very� and �extremely important� for effective patient treatment. According to the President�s Cancer Panel 2004-2005 annual report, approximately 20% of oncology patients are medically eligible for clinical trials, yet only 3% of adults with cancer are currently enrolled. Access to trials is typically concentrated around academic medical centers, with many community physicians outside of these centers unable to arrange for their patients to participate.
Response across both groups (urban and rural) reflect a wide gap between attributed level of importance to and satisfaction with access to information, technology, new drugs, clinical trials and thought leaders.
� 85% feel access to new technologies is �very or extremely important,� yet only 49% are �very� or �completely satisfied� with the access they currently have.
� 89% feel access to the latest cancer treatment drugs is �very or extremely important,� yet only 54% are �very� or �completely satisfied� with the access they currently have.
� 80% feel patient access to clinical trials is �very or extremely important,� yet only 49% are �very� or �completely satisfied� with the access they currently have.
According to the survey, administrative issues such as cost of care and staffing have a significant impact on patient treatment for oncologists in both urban and rural settings. Forty-one percent of the physicians polled claim standard health coverage and Medicare pose the greatest limitations on their ability to treat patients effectively.
Oncology World Congress conducted the survey to get a current pulse on U.S.oncology practice, as well as anecdotal thoughts about obstacles that practitioners face. Results include responses from 292 oncologists across a variety of disciplines and have a margin of error of 6%.
Oncology World Congress faculty is comprised of researchers, educators and practice guideline authors committed to helping community oncologists effectively incorporate emerging medical treatments within their practices and to expediting the translation of clinical research and technological innovations to patient care. The Congress also works to focus on the day-to-day challenges of running an oncology practice, including improving reimbursement and overcoming a lack of resources. The first annual meeting, chaired by Dr. Hong, will take place at the New York Marriott Marquis on November 16-19, 2005. Institutional partners include MemorialSloan-KetteringCancerCenter, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, RoswellPark Cancer Institute and FoxChaseCancerCenter.
To obtain a copy of the survey results and additional information on Oncology World Congress, visit www.oncologycongress.com/survey