A 20th-century medical specialty, radiotherapy is almost exclusively concerned with the treatment of malignant tumors; hence, its frequent designation as "radiation oncology." Practiced initially by surgeons or as a sideline to radiodiagnosis, therapeutic radiology has developed into a vigorous and indispensable clinical specialty. The American Board of Radiology has certified its practitioners as distinct specialists, from its inception in 1934; in 1980, a total of 91 candidates passed the examinations and were certified by the board. The number is insufficient to satisfy the demand for skillful radiotherapists.Organized training programs for radiotherapists were not available in the United States for a long time. In 1981, three hundred seventy-two residents are receiving training in radiation oncology in 88 different institutions. Such training programs require the availability of varied and costly equipment, skillful medical and ancillary personnel, a large and varied volume of cancer patients, hospitalization and other clinical facilities,
Regato JAD, Brady LW. Therapeutic Radiology. JAMA. 1981;245(21):2222–2223. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310460074037
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