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MAYWOOD, IL – Medical school students receive little formal instruction in radiation oncology, a Loyola study has found.

Researchers who surveyed radiation oncology departments at academic medical centers found that only 41 percent of departments reported that at least one faculty member taught a topic related to radiation oncology. In only 25 percent of departments, a faculty member taught topics focused specifically on radiation oncology.

Loyola Medicine radiation oncologist William Small, Jr., MD, is a co-author of the study, published Jan. 2, 2018 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. Dr. Small is chair of the department of radiation oncology of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

At Stritch, the department of radiation oncology is more involved in medical student education than departments at many academic medical centers. Dr. Small lectures second-year students on radiation oncology. Faculty members mentor students through the Student Training in Approaches to Research (STAR) program, an eight-week research education program for first-year students. Faculty also mentor fourth year students during a four-week elective rotation in radiation oncology.

The school also sponsors a radiation oncology interest group, in which first-year students tour the department, learn about workflow and go through a sample

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