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      The status of radiation oncology (RO) teaching to medical students in Europe

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          • RO teaching is underrepresented in the curriculum of medical students in Europe.

          • RO is often taught and examined in modular courses.

          • E-learning, computer-based examination and OSCE are used in few institutions.

          • Clerkships and policies to enroll students in RO departments should be improved.



          To provide an overview of Radiation Oncology (RO) teaching to medical students around Europe.

          Materials and methods

          An electronic survey was sent to European academic teachers of RO. The survey focused on the teaching of RO to medical students throughout their undergraduate education.


          A total of 87 academic RO teachers from 29 countries were invited to participate in the electronic survey. Thirty-two surveys were completed by respondents from 19 European countries (response rate: 37%). The median number of hours devoted to RO teaching was 10 h (mean 16 h, range 2–60). The number of hours assigned to RO teaching was equal or inferior compared to medical oncology. In two institutions (6%) RO was delivered as a stand-alone course with an individual knowledge assessment. In 30 institutions (94%), the RO course was taught and/or assessed in a modular curriculum with other disciplines. Radiobiology, breast, lung, gastrointestinal, gynecologic malignancies, RO adverse events and palliative RO were taught in 80% of institutions. Pediatric RO, RO for benign conditions and economic topics were taught in less than 30% of institutions. In most institutions, classical written and oral examinations were used. Computer-based examinations and/or objective structured clinical examinations (OSCE) were seldom used. E-learning methods were available in less than 10% of institutions. A clerkship in RO department was available in 28 out of 32 institutions (87%), less than 5% of medical students were involved in research in RO during their undergraduate education. Strategies to encourage medical students to consider RO as a future career were offered in 53% of institutions.


          RO teaching to medical students was not uniform in Europe. RO teaching during undergraduate education in Europe was undervalued, and its knowledge and learning tools could be broadened and updated in the core curricula of medical students

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          Most cited references 31

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          Scripting by assigning roles: Does it improve knowledge construction in asynchronous discussion groups?

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            Analysis of radiology education in undergraduate medical doctors training in Europe.

            The purpose of the present study is to describe how undergraduate radiology teaching is organized in Europe and to identify important characteristics of undergraduate radiology curriculum. An electronic survey on undergraduate teaching was distributed by the European Society of Radiology (ESR) to 38 national delegates of the ESR Education Committee. The "classic type" of radiology teaching method is more frequent than the "modular type". In 38% of medical training centres the first experience with radiology is in pre-clinical years. The students enrolled in the fourth medical year experience the largest involvement in radiology education. The total number of teaching hours (mean 89 h, median 76 h) varies across the countries and differs depending on the radiological topic (mean across all topics 14.8h, median 13). Written tests and oral exams were the most frequently used examination modes. Clerkships are reported as a key part of training. This first international comparative study of undergraduate radiological curriculum in Europe identifies a large number of differences in curriculum content and teaching methods throughout Europe. More research is needed to establish the radiological educational competences resulting from these differing curricula's to improve and to standardize the teaching according to (inter)national and institutional needs. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              Evidence-based estimates of the demand for radiotherapy.

               G P Delaney,  M Barton (2015)
              There are different methods that may be used to estimate the future demand for radiotherapy services in a population ranging from expert opinion through to complex modelling techniques. This manuscript describes the use of evidence-based treatment guidelines to determine indications for radiotherapy. It also uses epidemiological data to estimate the proportion of the population who have attributes that suggest a benefit from radiotherapy in order to calculate the overall proportion of a population of new cases of cancer who appropriately could be recommended to undergo radiotherapy. Evidence-based methods are transparent and adaptable to different populations but require extensive information about the indications for radiotherapy and the proportion of cancer cases with those indications in the population. In 2003 this method produced an estimate that 52.4% of patients with a registered cancer-type had an indication for radiotherapy. The model was updated in 2012 because of changes in cancer incidence, stage distributions and indications for radiotherapy. The new estimate of the optimal radiotherapy utilisation rate was 48.3%. The decrease was due to changes in the relative frequency of cancer types and some changes in indications for radiotherapy. Actual rates of radiotherapy utilisation in most populations still fall well below this benchmark.

                Author and article information

                Clin Transl Radiat Oncol
                Clin Transl Radiat Oncol
                Clinical and Translational Radiation Oncology
                12 April 2019
                July 2019
                12 April 2019
                : 17
                : 40-46
                [a ]Department of Radiation Oncology, CHU de Liège, University of Liège, Liège Belgium
                [b ]Department of Radiation Oncology, Iridium Kankernetwerk, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
                [c ]Institute of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiation Oncology, Health Center, Kaposvár University, Hungary
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author.
                © 2019 The Authors

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (



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