QIM22-197: Protected Time and Provision of Resources at National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Member Institutions (MIs)

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  • 1 Moffitt Cancer Center, FL
  • | 2 UT Southwestern Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dallas, TX
  • | 3 Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA
  • | 4 University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO
  • | 5 National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Plymouth Meeting, PA
  • | 6 Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN

Background: Successful high-quality research requires dedicated time, finance, and organizational structure. Current institutional practices, however, regarding protected research time and resources for academic oncologists are variable. The goal of the NCCN Protected Research Time survey was to assess the current state across NCCN MIs. Methods: The NCCN Investigator Steering Committee developed and distributed a survey of 17 questions focusing on medical oncology and hematology faculty to the NCCN MI Best Practices Committee members in 2021. Salient survey information included career specific tracks (clinical research physicians (CRP); physician scientists (PS); clinical educators (CE)), time in clinic and inpatient service, research recruitment start-up and maintenance, source of support, and metrics used to measure success. Free standing comments were permitted. Data was summarized using descriptive statistics. Results: A total of 21 NCCN MIs (68%) responded to the survey. Key results are outlined in the table. Among medical oncologists, 42% CE and 30% CRP had > 5 weeks of inpatient service; this was 94% and 86% respectively for equivalent track hematology physicians. For junior recruits in clinical research, 29% members provided $100,000-249,000/year in start-up funds; 43% provided less than $50,000/year. For PS engaged in laboratory research, 33% were provided $250,000-500,000/year, with 24% receiving > $500,000/year in support. Majority (75%) of CRP received 2-3 years of start up support; 48% PS received > 4 years of funding. Support typically came from > 2 sources (cancer center, division, department, university). Beyond the start-up period, CRP mainly maintained protected time through clinical trial investigator fees and/or percentage effort as well as grants, while 100% PS needed grant funding to sustain protected time. For K grant awardees, the division typically covered the salary shortfall. As expected, investigator-initiated trials and accruals were high measures of success for CRP. However, number of patients seen in clinic (62% MIs) and work relative value units (RVUs) generated figured prominently in this metric too. Conclusions: Expected clinical effort across academic tracks appear similar among NCCN MIs, though with considerable variation in start-up funding for junior recruits. Concerted efforts to define an optimal balance of academic faculty tracks and standardize research protected time metrics for success are needed.

QIM22-197 Table


Corresponding Author: Nicole A. Zion, BS, CCRP
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