Innovation in Resident Core Oncology Education: Switching from an Inpatient Ward Rotation to a Hybrid Model of Inpatient Consultations and Outpatient Clinics

J Cancer Educ. 2021 May 14. doi: 10.1007/s13187-021-02025-y. Online ahead of print.


Interest in an oncology career has decreased among internal medicine residents completing an inpatient hematology-oncology rotation. Over years, our institutional data at Indiana University School of Medicine reflected lower satisfaction with the oncology inpatient ward rotation as compared to other rotations. We hypothesized that a switch from an inpatient ward rotation to a hybrid model of inpatient consultations and outpatient clinics would improve resident satisfaction with their educational experience in oncology. Over the 6-month periods preceding and following the change in rotation format, residents were asked to complete anonymous rotation evaluations and rate their experiences on a 5-point Likert scale (poor 1 to excellent 5). Areas assessed included patient load, educational value of patient mix, quality of didactics and teaching, quality of patient care delivery, adequacy of time for reading, and overall rotation quality. The hybrid oncology rotation was rated as significantly superior to the traditional ward format in six out of eight areas including patient load, educational value of patient mix, time for study, teaching quality, relevance of material, and overall rating. Improvements in the perceived quality of patient care delivery (p = 0.139) and quality of didactics (p = 0.058) were also observed without reaching statistical significance. The balance of inpatient and outpatient experiences with the hybrid rotation was highly rated (4.5 ± 0.5). The implementation of a hybrid oncology rotation was associated with perceived improvement in educational value, patient mix, and time for reflection and study without apparent compromise in the quality of patient care delivery.

Keywords: Medical education; Oncology.