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International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics ; 111(3):e194, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1458445


Purpose/Objective(s): Medical student education in radiation oncology traditionally takes place in-person during 3rd or 4th year of medical school. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, onsite clerkships were placed on hold, leading to virtual medical student clerkships in radiation oncology which incorporated didactics and hands-on learning. We sought to implement this virtual medical student clerkship in radiation oncology at multiple institutions and analyze the impact and utility of this platform. Materials/Methods: An IRB-approved virtual clerkship was created and implemented at 7 institutions. Students enrolled in home or away rotations. Clerkships offered general and disease subsite-specific oncology topics through recorded didactics geared towards medical students on, as well as clinical vignettes, telehealth visits, chart rounds, contouring, and capstone presentations. Surveys were given pre- and post-clerkship to assess baseline comfort and knowledge. At the end of each clerkship, a course exam was given consisting of 48 questions. Clerkship directors were given a survey to assess comfort and ease of implementing the virtual clerkship. Surveys and course exams were analyzed using Wilcoxon Signed rank test and t-test, 2-sided. Results: Seventy-two (72) students enrolled at 7 institutions between 4/2020 and 2/2021. Survey response rates were 100% pre- and post-clerkship as well as from course directors. The majority of students were MS4 (57%) and MS3 (33%) with equal distribution in gender. Each institution's median number of total medical students doing an away rotation was 4 (range 3-9) and home rotation number of students 2 (range 0-36). The median length of each virtual rotation was 2.5 weeks (range: 1-4 week). 71% (n = 51) of medical students had never previously enrolled in a radiation oncology elective. Improvements in the overall knowledge of radiation oncology, as well as specific knowledge in the scope of radiation oncology, roles of radiation physicist, dosimetrist and therapist, contouring, treatment planning, and training path to the field (all P < 0.001). There was no significant difference in course final exam scores between students who had attended a radiation oncology elective before enrollment and those who had not (P = 0.27). Course directors reported spending an additional 5-10 hours per week with students. The survey revealed 100% were satisfied with content and delivery of this virtual elective, and 83% (n = 6) indicated they would utilize the material for future rotations. Conclusion: Implementation of a multi-institutional virtual radiation oncology elective was successful at improving knowledge for medical students at all levels, even those that had exposure previously. This virtual elective platform can be utilized to improve access to multiple institutions, resources, mentors, and networking opportunities. Resources in the virtual rotation platform can also be integrated into traditional educational paradigms to increase exposure in the field.

International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics ; 111(3):e424-e425, 2021.
Article in English | CINAHL | ID: covidwho-1428053