Thumbnail
Access Restriction
Open

Author Zaorsky, Nicholas G. ♦ Shaikh, Talha ♦ Handorf, Elizabeth ♦ Eastwick, Gary ♦ Hesney, Adam ♦ Scher, Eli D. ♦ Jones, Ryan T. ♦ Showalter, Timothy N. ♦ Avkshtol, Vladimir ♦ Rice, Stephanie R. ♦ Horwitz, Eric M. ♦ Meyer, Joshua E.
Source United States Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information
Content type Text
Language English
Subject Keyword RADIOLOGY AND NUCLEAR MEDICINE ♦ EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES ♦ NEOPLASMS ♦ PUBLIC OPINION ♦ RADIOTHERAPY
Abstract Purpose: The purposes of this study were to assess the exposure that medical students (MSs) have to radiation oncology (RO) during the course of their medical school career, as evidenced by 2 time points in current medical training (ie, first vs fourth year; MS1s and MS4s, respectively) and to assess the knowledge of MS1s, MS4s, and primary care physicians (PCPs) about the appropriateness of RT in cancer management in comparison with RO attendings. Methods: We developed and beta tested an electronic survey divided into 3 parts: RO job descriptions, appropriateness of RT, and toxicities of RT. The surveys were distributed to 7 medical schools in the United States. A concordance of >90% (either yes or no) among RO attendings in an answer was necessary to determine the correct answer and to compare with other subgroups using a χ{sup 2} test (P<.05 was significant). Results: The overall response rate for ROs, MS1s, MS4s, and PCPs was 26%; n (22 + 315 + 404 + 43)/3004. RT misconceptions decreased with increasing level of training. More than 1 of 10 MSs did not believe that RT alone could cure cancer. Emergent oncologic conditions for RT (eg, spinal cord compression, superior vena cava syndrome) could not be identified by >1 of 5 respondents. Multiple nontoxicities of RT (eg, emitting low-level radiation from the treatment site) were incorrectly identified as toxicities by >1 of 5 respondents. MS4s/PCPs with an RO rotation in medical school had improved scores in all prompts. Conclusions: Although MS knowledge of general RT principles improves from the first to the fourth year, a large knowledge gap still exists between MSs, current PCPs, and ROs. Some basic misconceptions of RT persist among a minority of MSs and PCPs. We recommend implementing formal education in RO fundamentals during the core curriculum of medical school.
ISSN 03603016
Educational Use Research
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2016-02-01
Publisher Place United States
Journal International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics
Volume Number 94
Issue Number 2


Open content in new tab

   Open content in new tab