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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2014 Jan 1;88(1):45-50. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2013.10.041.

Radiation oncology medical student clerkship: implementation and evaluation of a bi-institutional pilot curriculum.

Author information

1
Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois. Electronic address: dgolden@radonc.uchicago.edu.
2
Department of Radiation Oncology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
3
Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To develop and evaluate a structured didactic curriculum to complement clinical experiences during radiation oncology clerkships at 2 academic medical centers.

METHODS AND MATERIALS:

A structured didactic curriculum was developed to teach fundamentals of radiation oncology and improve confidence in clinical competence. Curriculum lectures included: (1) an overview of radiation oncology (history, types of treatments, and basic clinic flow); (2) fundamentals of radiation biology and physics; and (3) practical aspects of radiation treatment simulation and planning. In addition, a hands-on dosimetry session taught students fundamentals of treatment planning. The curriculum was implemented at 2 academic departments in 2012. Students completed anonymous evaluations using a Likert scale to rate the usefulness of curriculum components (1=not at all, 5=extremely). Likert scores are reported as (median [interquartile range]).

RESULTS:

Eighteen students completed the curriculum during their 4-week rotation (University of Chicago n=13, Harvard Longwood Campus n=5). All curriculum components were rated as extremely useful: introduction to radiation oncology (5 [4-5]); radiation biology and physics (5 [5-5]); practical aspects of radiation oncology (5 [4-5]); and the treatment planning session (5 [5-5]). Students rated the curriculum as "quite useful" to "extremely useful" (1) to help students understand radiation oncology as a specialty; (2) to increase student comfort with their specialty decision; and (3) to help students with their future transition to a radiation oncology residency.

CONCLUSIONS:

A standardized curriculum for medical students completing a 4-week radiation oncology clerkship was successfully implemented at 2 institutions. The curriculum was favorably reviewed. As a result of completing the curriculum, medical students felt more comfortable with their specialty decision and better prepared to begin radiation oncology residency.

PMID:
24331650
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijrobp.2013.10.041
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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