Abstracts for Session 4C

Click on a tab below to view each abstract for this concurrent session. Plenary session information is provided in the online schedule’s session description, and poster presentation abstracts are provided elsewhere.

Session 4C: Cancer Training for Medical Students: International Perspectives

Friday, 16 September 2016
Room: Judiciary Suite


4C-1: Cancer Knowledge Progression of Medical Students in Four Dutch Universities. Does Curriculum Design Influence Knowledge Acquisition?

Wytze Aalders1, Dario Cecilio-Fernandes1, André Bremers2, René A. Tio1, Jakob De Vries1
1University of Groningen and University Medical Center Groningen, Center for Education Development, Research in Health Professions (CEDAR), Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands; 2Radboudumc Nijmegen, Nijmegen, Gelderland, Netherlands

Abstract: Background: Over the past 5 years, cancer replaced coronary heart disease as leading cause of death in The Netherlands. Previous studies indicate that there is an oncology knowledge deficit in medical schools (1), which may be due to not only content, but also structure of the curriculum (2). In this study, we compared students’ knowledge development in four different undergraduate medical curricula. We aim to better understand the effect of different curriculum on students’ knowledge acquisition in oncology. Methods: To measure student’ knowledge on oncology, we used their progress test result from 2007 to 2013. The progress test consists of 200 multiple-choice questions of graduate-level difficulty and is taken four times a year. We reviewed 4800 test items over 6 years for oncology involvement. The participants were 1440 medical students distributed over four universities in The Netherlands. To address our aim, we used mixed methods. First, we compared the growth of oncology knowledge using mixed models. Second, we interviewed the oncology coordinator of each university to explain the differences in students’ progression. Results: Two schools showed a similar increasing pattern in knowledge growth, with a slight downwards deviation of one of them during year 6. The third school had a faster initial growth with a faster decrease over time compared to the previous universities. The last school showed a steep decrease in knowledge growth during years 5 and 6. The interviews demonstrated that the two higher scoring schools had a more focused semester, whereas the others were scattered throughout the curriculum. Furthermore, the absence of a pre-internship training seems to hinder knowledge growth in one school. Discussion: Our findings suggest that curricula have an influence on students’ knowledge acquisition. A focused semester on oncology and a pre-internship preparation training are likely to have a positive impact students’ progression on oncology knowledge. Learning Objectives: The participant shall be able to recognize different variables that influence students’ progression in cancer knowledge. This article provides tools for building a complete and effective oncology curriculum. References: 1. Boehler M, Advani V, Schwind CJ, Wietfeldt ED, Becker Y, Lewis B, Rakinic J, Hassan I. Knowledge and attitudes regarding colorectal cancer screening among medical students: a tale of two schools. J Cancer Educ. 2011;26:147–152. 2. Schauber SK, Hecht M, Nouns ZM, Kuhlmey A, Dettmer S. The role of environmental and individual characteristics in the development of student achievement: a comparison between a traditional and a problem-based-learning curriculum. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 2015;20:1033–52. 

4C-2: Impact of Curriculum Design in Students’ Knowledge Acquisition on Oncology: Comparison Between Massed or Spaced Curricula

Dario Cecilio-Fernandes, Wytze Aalders, Jakob De Vries, René A. Tio
University of Groningen and University Medical Center Groningen, Center for Education Development, Research in Health Professions (CEDAR), Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands

Abstract: Background/Purpose: Several oncology curricula were developed to provide structure, content, and guidance to students’ learning (1). Within the implementation of these curricula, several problems were solved, but others emerged. In this study, we compared the influence of teaching oncology spread over a 3-year bachelor phase (spaced) versus so-called massed presentation (most of the study material concentrated in one semester). We hypothesized that the spaced curriculum would benefit students’ learning since the students would re-study previous learning material (2). Methods: Participants were 525 medical students from one medical school. Of those, 436 followed the Dutch track, in which oncology was taught in a massed fashion. The remaining 89 students followed an international track, in which oncology was taught in a spaced manner. To measure students’ knowledge, we used their progress test results from 2009 to 2012. All students took the same tests four times a year, totalizing 12 progress tests. The progress test aims to assess knowledge at the end of curriculum level, including oncology. All questions about oncology were categorized. Because of our unbalanced sample and missing data, we compared the growth of oncology questions using mixed models. Results/Findings: A cubic growth model with unstructured covariance matrix best fitted our data. Initially, students on the massed curriculum scored higher on oncology questions. The initial growth was faster for the spaced curriculum, whereas the acceleration over time was slower compared to massed curriculum. At the end of the growth curve, the acceleration of the massed curriculum increased faster. At the last test, the massed curriculum outperformed the spaced curriculum. Discussion: Curricula have an important impact on knowledge acquisition. The way students acquired and applied their knowledge was similar in both curricula; however, it seems that students benefit more with massed training than with spaced training, which may be due to comprehensive integrated teaching. Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, the participant shall be able to make well-chosen decisions regarding the design of a curriculum and its impact on students’ knowledge retention. References: 1. Patel S, Jagsi R, Cook N, Hughes-Davies L, Parkinson C. The International Core Literature Consensus (ICLC): an Alternative Curriculum for Oncologists. Journal of Cancer Education 2011; 26(3): 420-426. 2. Lindsey RV, Shroyer JD, Pashler H, Mozer, MC. Improving students’ long-term knowledge retention through personalized review. Psychological science 2014; 25(3), 639-647. 

4C-3: Students’ Evaluation of Oncology Education up to Fifth Year of Medical Training in Poland

Krzysztof Szewczyk, Ursula Staszek-Szewczyk, Rafał Matkowski
Wroclaw Medical University, Wrocław, Poland


4C-4: Oncology Education During the Final Year of Medical Training in Poland—Students’ Point of View

Ursula Staszek-Szewczyk, Krzysztof Szewczyk, Radoslaw Tarkowski
Wroclaw Medical University, Wrocław, Poland


4C-5: A Structured Real-Time Method for Teaching Urology Residents Robotic Cancer Operations

Gilad Amiel
Department of Urology, RAMBAM Healthcare Campus, Haifa, Israel