OPINION: The need for multidisciplinarity in specialist training to optimize future patient care

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Abstract

| Harmonious interactions between radiation, medical, interventional and surgical oncologists, as well as other members of multidisciplinary teams, are essential for the optimization of patient care in oncology. This multidisciplinary approach is particularly important in the current landscape, in which standard-of-care approaches to cancer treatment are evolving towards highly targeted treatments, precise image guidance and personalized cancer therapy. Herein, we highlight the importance of multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity at all levels of clinical oncology training. Potential deficits in the current career development pathways and suggested strategies to broaden clinical training and research are presented, with specific emphasis on the merits of trainee involvement in functional multidisciplinary teams. Finally, the importance of training in multidisciplinary research is discussed, with the expectation that this awareness will yield the most fertile ground for future discoveries. Our key message is for cancer professionals to fulfil their duty in ensuring that trainees appreciate the importance of multidisciplinary research and practice.

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