Skip to main content Accessibility help

Review of the clinical benefits and implementation of peer review of treatment plans in undergraduate medical dosimetry and radiation therapy training

  • Crispen Chamunyonga (a1), Scott Crowe (a2) (a3) and Julie Burbery (a1)



Peer review of treatment plans has been used to improve planning consistency, decrease the need for replanning and improve quality of care through the safe delivery of high-quality radiotherapy plans. This narrative review summarises the clinical benefits and addresses the implementation of peer review of treatment plans in undergraduate medical dosimetry and radiation therapy training.


There are encouraging results of peer review for advanced treatment planning techniques such as Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy techniques in clinical practice. Peer review can be used as a tool to improve students’ knowledge of organ-at-risk contouring, treatment plan critique and quality assurance. These desirable treatment planning skills can be easily transferred to clinical settings. Moreover, there are several potential pedagogical benefits such as improvement in student engagement, better communication skills and provision of synchronous and asynchronous feedback that can positively impact student success and future employment. However, there are several challenges in facilitating its implementation in university settings.


Embedding skills in peer review of treatment plans at undergraduate teaching level can be a powerful tool to impart clinical treatment planning knowledge. This narrative review provides a basis on which to develop an exploratory study of structured peer review activities in a training environment.


Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Crispen Chamunyonga, School of Clinical Sciences, Medical Radiation Sciences, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), GPO Box 2434, Brisbane QLD 4001, Australia. Tel: 61 4 5245 1727. Fax: 61 7 3138 2273. E-mail:


Hide All
1. Lausch, A, Chen, J, Ward, A, Gaede, S, Lee, T, Wong, E. An augmented parametric response map with consideration of image registration error: towards guidance of locally adaptive radiotherapy. Phys Med Biol 2014; 59 (22): 70397058.
2. Lim, G, Bezjak, A, Higgins, J et al. Towards adaptive radiotherapy—role of image guidance on the radiotherapy treatment unit in assessing tumour change during a course of radical chemo-radiotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). J Thorac Oncol 2009; 4 (9): S530S531.
3. Dutta, D, Balaji, S, Murli, V, Sudahar, H, Gopalakrishna, K, Potharaju, M. Dosimetric comparison of Linac-based (BrainLAB®) and robotic radiosurgery (CyberKnife®) stereotactic system plans for acoustic schwannoma. J Neurooncol 2012; 106 (3): 637642.
4. Adams, R B, Marks, L, Pawlicki, T, Hayman, J, Church, J. The new radiation therapy clinical practice: the emerging role of clinical peer review for radiation therapists and medical dosimetrists. Med Dosim 2010; 35 (4): 320323.
5. Marks, L B, Adams, R D, Pawlicki, T et al. Enhancing the role of case-oriented peer review to improve quality and safety in radiation oncology: executive summary. Pract Radiat Oncol 2013; 3 (3): 149156.
6. Boxer, M, Forstner, D, Kneebone, A et al. Impact of a real-time peer review audit on patient management in a radiation oncology department. J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol 2009; 53 (4): 405411.
7. Brundage, M, Foxcroft, S, McGowan, T, Gutierrez, E, Sharpe, M, Warde, P. A survey of radiation treatment planning peer-review activities in a provincial radiation oncology programme: current practice and future directions. BMJ Open 2013; 3 (7): e003241.
8. Chamunyonga, C, Bridge, P. Radiation therapist peer review: raising the bar on quality and safety in radiation oncology. J Radiother Pract 2014; 13 (4): 484489.
9. Matuszak, M M, Hadley, S W, Feng, M et al. Enhancing safety and quality through preplanning peer review for patients undergoing Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy. Pract Radiat Oncol 2016; 6 (2): e39e46.
10. Lo, A C, Liu, M, Chan, E et al. The impact of peer review of volume delineation in Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy planning for primary lung cancer: a multicenter quality assurance study. J Thorac Oncol 2014; 9 (4): 527533.
11. Kaewlai, R, Abujudeh, H. Peer review in clinical radiology practice. AJR Am J Roentgenol 2012; 199 (2): W158W161.
12. Boehm, H, Bonnel, W. The use of peer review in nursing education and clinical practice. J Nurses Staff Dev 2010; 26 (3): 108115.
13. Brunskill, K, Nguyen, T K, Boldt, R G et al. Does peer review of radiation plans impact clinical care? A systematic review of the literature. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2016; 96 (2): E541.
14. Hoopes, D J, Johnstone, P A, Chapin, P S et al. Practice patterns for peer review in radiation oncology. Pract Radiat Oncol 2015; 5 (1): 3238.
15. Rouette, J, Gutierrez, E, O’Donnell, J et al. Directly improving the quality of radiation treatment through peer review: a cross-sectional analysis of cancer centres across a provincial cancer program. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys.
16. Pham, N, Asper, J A, Bonnen, M, Jhaveri, P M. Pretreatment peer review: a way to increase efficiency and effectiveness of departmental peer review. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2016; 96 (2): E541.
17. Moeller, B, Liang, M, Bobo, W et al. Rotational peer review: prospective evaluation of a novel physician peer review model in radiation oncology. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2015; 93 (3): E493E494.
18. Chi, M, Siler, S A, Jeong, H, Yamauchi, T, Hausmann, R G. Learning from human tutoring. Cogn Sci 2001; 25 (4): 471533.
19. Drane, D, Smith, H D, Light, G, Pinto, L, Swarat, S. The gateway science workshop program: enhancing student performance and retention in the sciences through peer-facilitated discussion. J Sci Educ Technol 2005; 14 (3): 337352.
20. Gormally, C, Evans, M, Brickman, P. Feedback about teaching in higher ed: neglected opportunities to promote change. CBE Life Sci Educ 2014; 13 (2): 187199.
21. Braxton, J M, Jones, W A, Hirschy, A S, Hartley, I H. The role of active learning in college student persistence. New Dir Teach Learn 2008; 2008 (115): 7183.
22. Bonwell, C C, Eison, J A. Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom. Washington, DC: School of Education and Human Development, George Washington University, 1991.
23. Micari, M, Drane, D. Intimidation in small learning groups: the roles of social-comparison concern, comfort, and individual characteristics in student academic outcomes. Active Learn High Educ 2011; 12 (3): 175187.
24. Bloom, L, Dole, S, Kowalske, K. Transforming pedagogy: changing perspectives from teacher-centered to learner-centered. Interdiscip J Probl Based Learn 2015; 10 (1): 4558.
25. Volet, S, Vauras, M, Salonen, P. Self- and social regulation in learning contexts: an integrative perspective. Educ Psychol 2009; 44 (4): 215226.
26. Athanassiou, N, McNett, J M, Harvey, C. Critical thinking in the management classroom: bloom’s taxonomy as a learning tool. J Manag Educ 2003; 27 (5): 533555.
27. Semper, J, Halvorson, B, Hersh, M, Torres, C, Lillington, L. Clinical nurse specialists guide staff nurses to promote practice accountability through peer review. Clin Nurse Spec 2016; 30 (1): 1927.
28. George, V, Haag-Heittman, B. Nursing peer review: the managers’ role. J Nurs Manag 2011; 19 (2): 254259.
29. La Lopa, J M. A scholarly approach to a peer review of teaching. J Culinary Sci Technol 2012; 10 (4): 352364.


Review of the clinical benefits and implementation of peer review of treatment plans in undergraduate medical dosimetry and radiation therapy training

  • Crispen Chamunyonga (a1), Scott Crowe (a2) (a3) and Julie Burbery (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed