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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2010 Mar 1;76(3):649-55. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2009.08.038.

Radiation oncology in undergraduate medical education: a literature review.

Author information

1
Radiation Oncology Program, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. kdennis@bccancer.bc.ca

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To review the published literature pertaining to radiation oncology in undergraduate medical education.

METHODS AND MATERIALS:

Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid MEDLINE Daily Update and EMBASE databases were searched for the 11-year period of January 1, 1998, through the last week of March 2009. A medical librarian used an extensive list of indexed subject headings and text words.

RESULTS:

The search returned 640 article references, but only seven contained significant information pertaining to teaching radiation oncology to medical undergraduates. One article described a comprehensive oncology curriculum including recommended radiation oncology teaching objectives and sample student evaluations, two described integrating radiation oncology teaching into a radiology rotation, two described multidisciplinary anatomy-based courses intended to reinforce principles of tumor biology and radiotherapy planning, one described an exercise designed to test clinical reasoning skills within radiation oncology cases, and one described a Web-based curriculum involving oncologic physics.

CONCLUSIONS:

To the authors' knowledge, this is the first review of the literature pertaining to teaching radiation oncology to medical undergraduates, and it demonstrates the paucity of published work in this area of medical education. Teaching radiation oncology should begin early in the undergraduate process, should be mandatory for all students, and should impart knowledge relevant to future general practitioners rather than detailed information relevant only to oncologists. Educators should make use of available model curricula and should integrate radiation oncology teaching into existing curricula or construct stand-alone oncology rotations where the principles of radiation oncology can be conveyed. Assessments of student knowledge and curriculum effectiveness are critical.

PMID:
20159359
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijrobp.2009.08.038
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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