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.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2014|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cancer Research