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Title: Mapping the Future: Towards Oncology Curriculum Reform in Undergraduate Medical Education at a Canadian Medical School

Purpose: To evaluate (1) the quantity and quality of current undergraduate oncology teaching at a major Canadian medical school; and (2) curricular changes over the past decade, to enhance local oncology education and provide insight for other educators. Methods and Materials: Relevant 2011-2012 undergraduate curricular sessions were extracted from the University of Toronto curriculum mapping database using keywords and database identifiers. Educational sessions were analyzed according to Medical Council of Canada objectives, discussion topics, instructor qualifications, teaching format, program year, and course subject. Course-related oncology research projects performed by students during 2000 to 2012 were extracted from another internal database. Elective choices of clerks during 2008-2014 were retrieved from the institution. The 2011-2012 and 2000-2001 curricula were compared using common criteria. Results: The 2011-2012 curriculum covers 5 major themes (public health, cancer biology, diagnosis, principles of care, and therapy), which highlight 286 oncology teaching topics within 80 sessions. Genitourinary (10, 12.5%), gynecologic (8, 10.0%), and gastrointestinal cancers (7.9, 9.8%) were the most commonly taught cancers. A minority of sessions were taught by surgical oncologists (6.5, 8.1%), medical oncologists (2.5, 3.1%), and radiation oncologists (1, 1.2%). During 2000-2012, 9.0% of students (233 of 2578) opted to complete an oncology research project.more » During 2008-2014, oncology electives constituted 2.2% of all clerkship elective choices (209 of 9596). Compared with pre-2001 curricula, the 2012 oncology curriculum shows notable expansion in the coverage of epidemiology (6:1 increase), prevention (4:1), screening (3:1), and molecular biology (6:1). Conclusions: The scope of the oncology curriculum has grown over the past decade. Nevertheless, further work is needed to improve medical student knowledge of cancers, particularly those relevant to public health needs. Defining minimum curricular content, emphasizing content based on population needs, and ensuring educational delivery with the support and expertise of oncologists and non-oncologists will be essential next steps.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3]
  1. School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario (Canada)
  2. Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario (Canada)
  3. Department of Radiation Oncology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Ontario (Canada)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22458639
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics; Journal Volume: 91; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2015 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
62 RADIOLOGY AND NUCLEAR MEDICINE; CANADA; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DIAGNOSIS; EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES; EPIDEMIOLOGY; MAPPING; MEDICAL PERSONNEL; MOLECULAR BIOLOGY; NEOPLASMS; PUBLIC HEALTH; SCREENING; SURGERY; THERAPY