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Radiation Oncology Missing in Medical School Education

Survey reveals ideas for more ‘robust involvement’ in undergraduate medical education

MONDAY, April 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A small number of academic-affiliated radiation oncology (RO) departments report involvement with formal teaching of medical students, according to a study published recently in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Malcolm D. Mattes, M.D., from West Virginia University in Morgantown, and colleagues surveyed chairpersons and residency program directors at RO departments directly affiliated with a medical school (49 of 75) in order to understand all the ways in which radiation oncologists are involved in medical student education, excluding elective clerkships.

The researchers found that 40.8 percent of departments reported that at least one faculty member participates in a curricular educational session on an oncology-related topic. Faculty members from 42.9 percent of departments are involved with organized clinical shadowing or preceptorship programs for first- and second-year medical students. Nearly one in four departments reported no involvement in the formal curricula at their local or affiliated medical school.

“Reported novel approaches to teaching included development of multidisciplinary clerkships or educational sessions that include RO concepts, guest lectures on RO during a required clerkship, organized extracurricular experiences such as an oncology seminar series, participation in special medical student enrichment programs, and sponsorship or initiation of an RO interest group,” the authors write.

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