Multi-Institutional Implementation and Evaluation of a Curriculum for the Medical Student Clerkship in Radiation Oncology

Daniel W. Golden, Steve Braunstein, Rachel B. Jimenez, Pranshu Mohindra, Alexander Spektor, Jason C. Ye, Kristin A. Bradley, Steven J. Chmura, Adam Currey, Prajnan Das, Kevin Du, Daphne Haas-Kogan, Andrew R. Howard, Susan A. Higgins, Arthur Y. Hung, Jordan Kharofa, Monica S. Krishnan, Shannon M. MacDonald, Brandon R. Mancini, Bhupesh ParasharNikhil G. Thaker, Charles R. Thomas, Akila N. Viswanathan, Matt Wheatley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Purpose Radiation oncology curriculum development is challenging because of limited numbers of trainees at any single institution. The goal of this project is to implement and evaluate a standardized medical student clerkship curriculum following the multi-institutional cooperative group research model. Methods During the 2013 academic year, a standardized curriculum was implemented at 11 academic medical centers consisting of three 1-hour lectures and a hands-on radiation treatment planning workshop. After the curriculum, students completed anonymous evaluations using Likert-type scales (1 = "not at all" to 5 = "extremely") and free responses. Evaluations asked students to rate their comfort, before and after the curriculum, with radiation oncology as a specialty, knowledge of radiotherapy planning methods, and ability to function as a radiation oncology resident. Nonparametric statistical tests were used in the analysis. Results Eighty-eight students at 11 academic medical centers completed the curriculum de novo, with a 72.7% (64 of 88) survey response rate. Fifty-seven students (89.1%) reported intent to pursue radiation oncology as their specialty. Median (interquartile range) student ratings of the importance of curricular content were as follows: overview, 4 (4-5); radiation biology/physics, 5 (4-5); practical aspects/emergencies, 5 (4-5); and planning workshop, 4 (4-5). Students reported that the curriculum helped them better understand radiation oncology as a specialty (5 [4-5]), increased specialty decision comfort (4 [3-5]), and would help the transition to radiation oncology residency (4 [4-5]). Students rated their specialty decision comfort significantly higher after completing the curriculum (4 [4-5] versus 5 [5-5]; P <.001). Conclusions A national standardized curriculum was successfully implemented at 11 academic medical centers, providing proof of principle that curriculum development can follow the multi-institutional cooperative group research model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-209
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Radiation oncology
  • curriculum
  • medical students
  • undergraduate medical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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