Oncology education in Canadian undergraduate and postgraduate training programs

J Cancer Educ. 2009;24(4):284-90. doi: 10.1080/08858190902973143.


Background: We evaluated the quality of oncology education in undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) training programs.

Methods: We surveyed UG schools in medicine, nursing, and pharmacy as well as PG residencies in family and internal medicine to assess the programs' oncology content.

Results: Among 58 UG and 26 PG programs nationwide, response rates were 58.6% and 69.2%, respectively. Cancer constituted <10% of the curriculum and <10% of the final examination in 70.6% and 58.8% of UG schools. For PG programs, most devoted more time to teaching other specialties: cardiology (89%), respirology (67%), nephrology (67%), and gastroenterology (61%).

Conclusions: Oncology is underrepresented in current curriculums.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Clinical Competence
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / standards*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / standards*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / standards*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / standards*
  • Medical Oncology / education*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching