Radiation Oncology History/Education/Social Media
PV QA 3 - Poster Viewing Q&A 3
Purpose/Objective(s): Surveys conducted by the International Communications Workgroup of the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology (CIC) revealed that half of radiation oncology residents were interested in Global Health electives, yet only 1 resident had completed such an elective between 2007-2013. Studies on Global Health electives frequently identify a lack of financial resources and difficult-to-find information on placements as two important barriers to address. In order to promote personal and professional development, provide trainees with a unique perspective on global cancer control, and foster international collaboration, our objective was to increase the number of radiation oncology trainees completing electives in Global Health.
Materials/Methods: The CIC created a Radiation Oncology Global Health Scholarship, available to residents (PGY 2-5) and fellows. It provides $2500 in travel and lodging expenses for oncology-related Global Health electives, requires applicants to reflect on CanMEDS competencies acquired on elective, supports pre-departure training, and encourages familiarity with the ethics of Global Health. Recipients are encouraged to present their experience at the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology annual meeting and must complete an exit evaluation. The scholarship is supported by an industry-supported unrestricted educational grant. Potential applicants are provided with resources to find opportunities, including a network of previous participants, and access to a worldwide elective database through GlobalRT.org, an initiative of the Young Leaders Program of the Global Task Force on Radiotherapy for Cancer Control.
Results: Three scholarships were awarded from 2014-2017. A PGY-3 resident traveled on elective to Accra, Ghana, collaborating on cervical cancer research and helping establish a distance learning program with The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. A PGY-3 traveled to Zambia for a clinical elective focused on gynecological malignancies, and a PGY-2 is conducting research on access to radiotherapy in the territory of Nunavut. Preliminary data from exit evaluations suggest electives have contributed to personal and professional development, provided unique perspectives on global cancer control, developed CanMEDS competencies, and fostered international collaboration.
Conclusion: Between 2014-2017, the CIC Radiation Oncology Global Health Scholarship has increased the number of radiation oncology trainees completing Global Health electives in Canada and abroad. In exit evaluations, electives have met defined goals for the Scholarship.
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