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Poor knowledge of basic cancer facts of physicians-in-training.

By Atul K. Madan, Shaghayegh Aliabadi-Wahle and Derrick J. Beech


PURPOSE: Since many physicians-in-training will play an important role in cancer screening, their understanding of cancer screening and basic cancer facts is paramount. This investigation was undertaken to determine their baseline knowledge in basic cancer facts. METHOD: A questionnaire was used to assess the knowledge of basic cancer facts of medical students, medical residents and surgical residents. Participants were asked to rank five different malignancies in their correct order for both mortality and incidence. Physicians-in-training were given separate questions for male and female patients. The questions were considered correct if at least the first three malignancies were ranked in the appropriate order. RESULTS: One-hundred-twelve second-year medical students and 78 residents were assessed. Few physicians-in-training ranked the malignancies in correct order for mortality (21% for female patients and 18% for male patients). Even fewer physicians-in-training ranked the malignancies in correct order for incidence (2% for female patients and 9% for male patients). CONCLUSION: Most physicians-in-training lack an understanding of basic cancer facts. If this poor basic cancer fact knowledge represents an overall lack of cancer knowledge, educational efforts need to be focused on cancer care for all levels and specialties of physician training

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: National Medical Association
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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