Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 1176–1180 | Cite as

The Impact of a Radiation Oncologist led Oncology Curriculum on Medical Student Knowledge

  • Ankit Agarwal
  • Aishwarya Shah
  • Bhartesh Shah
  • Brian Koottappillil
  • Ariel E. Hirsch


Medical students at our institution all take a pre-clinical oncology course as well as a clinical radiation oncology didactic session during their clinical curriculum. The objective of this analysis is to demonstrate the impact of the radiation oncology didactic on medical student knowledge of core oncology concepts. All students received a standardized didactic lecture introducing students to core concepts of general oncology and radiation. We administered an 18-question pretest and a posttest examining student knowledge between 2012 and 2015. Changes in student responses between pre-test and post-tests were analyzed to evaluate the effectiveness of the didactic session. Over the course of three years, 319 (64.4%) of 495 students who completed the Radiology block completed both the pre-test and post-test. The average student test grade improved from 62.0% on the pretest to 69.6% on the posttest (p < 0.001). By category, students increased their score from 81.4% to 89.8% (p < 0.001) in general oncology, from 59.9% to 69.9% (p < 0.001) in breast oncology, from 43.0% to 51.0% (p < 0.001) in prostate oncology, and from 71.3% to 75.7% (p = 0.003) in radiation oncology. Students showed increases in knowledge across general oncology, prostate oncology, breast oncology, and radiation oncology.


Oncology Medical student Radiation oncology Knowledge Radiology block 


Conflicts of Interest



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Copyright information

© American Association for Cancer Education 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ankit Agarwal
    • 1
  • Aishwarya Shah
    • 1
  • Bhartesh Shah
    • 1
  • Brian Koottappillil
    • 1
  • Ariel E. Hirsch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA

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