Patel, S., Jagsi, R., Cook, N. et al. J Canc Educ (2011) 26: 420. doi:10.1007/s13187-011-0242-y
Oncologists must familiarize themselves with a complex evidence base. Several curricula have been devised, but it is not clear how these are used. We chose breast cancer, since this has a large literature base. Of the 285 radiation and medical oncology trainees in the USA and UK responding to our survey, over 90% reported knowledge of the literature was essential. Just over half of respondents had actually read the ASCO or ESMO curricula, with only 23% reporting that the curricula were important in their learning. Our survey revealed dissatisfaction with current curricula and a demand for more pragmatic literature guidance. We designed an alternative curriculum by using a 21-member peer review group to validate a list of key papers in breast oncology. Oncologists in training need guidance to direct their study. A curriculum based on an International Core Literature Consensus might match the needs of trainees more closely.