Undergraduate education about cancer: a survey in Australian medical schools

Eur J Cancer Clin Oncol. 1988 Mar;24(3):467-71. doi: 10.1016/s0277-5379(98)90018-9.


The goals of undergraduate medical education are to provide a core of basic knowledge, and a framework to permit further development of that knowledge. The structure of teaching and experience in cancer medicine should reflect the increasing importance of cancer in the community. Undergraduate teaching of oncology and its scientific bases is currently fragmented, and in some cases may be deficient. Until now, there have few analyses of what is being taught about cancer at different medical schools. We have undertaken a survey of final year medical students or recently qualified doctors in Australia enquiring about their cancer education. The results indicated that substantial differences existed between the medical schools, and we therefore surveyed the teaching faculty in the schools to determine their view of the validity of the questions we used. Together these surveys showed that significant disparities existed between what the faculty felt should be taught and what students had actually experienced.

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate*
  • Medical Oncology / education*
  • Schools, Medical