Is There a Difference Between Academic and Community Practice?

July 17, 2019

At this year's annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Jack West, MD, associate clinical professor and executive director of employer services at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Duarte, California, was struck by what he felt was "a growing disparity" between the resources and knowledge base at specialized cancer care centers compared with community settings.

"This may translate into real challenges in terms of delivering what we would consider the best care to patients," he said in a video panel discussion with Edward Garon, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Mark Lewis, MD, director of gastrointestinal oncology at Intermountain Healthcare in Utah. "I think it's a really frustrating issue," West said.

The oncologists discussed ways their institutions are using technology to bring subspecialty care to community settings, as well as frustration with the notion that academic and community oncologists are in two separate groups. "I've practiced in both community oncology and 'academic oncology' and I see both sides," said Lewis. "I just hate the thought that they might be warring factions."

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