Radiation Oncology History/Education/Social Media

PV QA 3 - Poster Viewing Q&A 3

TU_43_2909 - Development and Implementation of a Patient Experience Open House for Medical Students: Impact on Knowledge and Interest in Radiation Oncology

Tuesday, October 23
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Location: Innovation Hub, Exhibit Hall 3

Development and Implementation of a Patient Experience Open House for Medical Students: Impact on Knowledge and Interest in Radiation Oncology
K. Doke1, X. Shen2, and A. M. Chen3; 1University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, 2University of Kansas School of Medicine, Department of Radiation Oncology, Kansas City, KS, 3Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, KS

Purpose/Objective(s): The proportion of medical students applying for residency in radiation oncology has historically been low relative to the total pool of graduates. Prior studies have reported little to no exposure to radiation oncology in formal medical school curricula. As a result, significant gaps in the general knowledge of the field among medical students persist. A Patient Experience Open House was designed and implemented to increase exposure and knowledge among medical students at our institution.

Materials/Methods: The Patient Experience Open House was developed with the goal of increasing awareness of radiation oncology as a career to medical students. The logistics of the program centered on interactive demonstrations of the process of radiation therapy, from the initial patient consult to the technical delivery of treatment. The interactive tour occurred over one hour and consisted of a physician presenting a head and neck cancer case, a therapist demonstrating a patient simulation and creating a mask for a volunteer, a physician and dosimetrist illustrating the basics of contouring and treatment planning, a therapist describing patient setup and delivery of treatment, and finally a volunteer cancer survivor speaking about her experience. Medical students who voluntarily attended the departmental open house also participated in this distinct educational session. A short survey evaluating general knowledge and interest in radiation oncology using a Likert scale was administered to these students prior to and after completion of the session.

Results: Twelve medical students participated in the Patient Experience Open House. Of these students, nine (75%) were first year pre-clinical students and three (25%) were third year clinical students. A majority (83%) said they had not had any exposure to radiation oncology in their medical school curriculum, and 66% had never shadowed a radiation oncologist. Prior to the intervention, when asked if they had a good understanding of what a radiation oncologist does, only 50% said they agreed (25%) or strongly agreed (25%). Afterwards 100% of students agreed (50%) or strongly agreed (50%) that they have a good understanding. Initially 75% of students were very interested in doing a clinical elective rotation in radiation oncology, and after the session 92% of students said they were very interested. When asked initially about choosing the field of radiation oncology for residency, 84% said they were either very interested (42%) or somewhat interested (42%). Upon completion, 100% of students said they were interested, with 58% responding that they were very interested and 42% saying that they were somewhat interested.

Conclusion: Creation and implementation of the Patient Experience Open House successfully increased medical students’ awareness and interest of radiation oncology. Increasing exposure of the role of the radiation oncologist to all medical students may be vitally important to continue to attract talent into the specialty.

Author Disclosure: K. Doke: Chair; ARRO. X. Shen: None. A.M. Chen: None.

Kaleigh Doke, MD

University of Kansas School of Medicine

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