Virtual Radiation Oncology Clerkship During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond. International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics Sandhu, N., Frank, J., von Eyben, R., Miller, J., Obeid, J., Kastelowitz, N., Panjwani, N., Soltys, S., Bagshaw, H. P., Donaldson, S. S., Horst, K., Beadle, B. M., Chang, D. T., Gibbs, I. C., Pollom, E. 2020; 108 (2): 444–51


PURPOSE: We evaluated the impact of a virtual radiation oncology clerkship.METHODS AND MATERIALS: We developed a 2-week virtual radiation oncology clerkship that launched on April 27, 2020. Clerkship components included a virtual clinic with radiation oncology faculty and residents, didactic lectures, student talks, and supplemental sessions such as tumor boards and chart rounds. Medical students completed pre- and post-clerkship self-assessments. Faculty and resident participants also completed surveys on their experience with virtual lectures and clinics. Pre- and post-clerkship results were compared using a 2-sided paired t test. An analysis of variance model was used to analyze the clerkship components.RESULTS: Twenty-six medical students, including 4 visiting students, enrolled over 2 clerkship periods (4 weeks). All students completed the pre- and post-clerkship self-assessments and agreed that the clerkship improved their understanding of radiation oncology. Compared with 3 (11.5%) students who agreed that they understood the daily responsibilities of a radiation oncologist before the clerkship, 22 (84.6%) students agreed and 3 (11.5%) strongly agreed that they understood the daily responsibilities of a radiation oncologist after the clerkship (P < .0001). Although 15 students (57.7%) reported an increased interest in radiation oncology because of the clerkship, the mean level of interest in radiation oncology as a career remained the same, with pre- and post-clerkship scores of 3.0 (±0.9) and 3.0 (±1.1) on a 5-point scale, respectively (P = .7). Students found virtual clinic and didactic lectures to be the most valuable components of the clerkship. Most respondents agreed (30.8%) or strongly agreed (65.4%) to recommend the clerkship to their classmates.CONCLUSIONS: Our virtual clerkship was effective in increasing medical student interest in and knowledge about radiation oncology. These data will help optimize a new paradigm of virtual radiation oncology education for medical students during COVID-19 and beyond.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2020.06.050

View details for PubMedID 32890529