Undergraduate Medical Education is a vital step to create good physicians. It is important that students learn oncology in an ideal approach. In Iraq, a war-torn country, there is no consensus on what and how much oncology should be learned at this level.
This abstract tries to explore the initiative experience that was accomplished in May 2014 at Tikrit University – College Of Medicine.
10 lectures (50 minutes each) given in a condensed course along two days during the last month of 4th grade students. Topics as follows: 1. Oncology: Introductions; 2. Cancer awareness, prevention & early detection; 3. Patients’ rights, ethics & communication skills in oncology; 4. Cancer patients’ care: global and local perspectives; 5. Surgical oncology: at glance; 6. Radiation oncology: at glance; 7. Adult & Pediatric Medical oncology: at glance; 8. Nursing oncology: at glance; 9. Palliative and supportive oncology: at glance; 10. Integrated oncology and comprehensive cancer care: at glance. Pre-Course Survey (Pre) “composed of 14 questions” and Post-course survey (Post) “composed of 9 questions” were spread, collected and analyzed.
Students were 39 & Male/Female ratio was 1.4/1. From Pre, 17% chosen oncology as a career in the future and 54% did not agree that their current oncology hours are ideal. From Post, 51% mentioned that the curriculum hours ideally should be ranged from 8-25 hours/annum and 84% agreed that setting a standard of oncology objectives, curriculum, and reference resources will be useful and 49% agreed to attend a voluntary summer oncology school course.
As a career, oncology seems to be the choice in a minority of students. There is a trend that under-graduate oncology education is not ideal and this needs to be addressed in further studies in order to improve the status of this field and its involvement in conquering cancer.