The Impact of Oncology Rotation on Medical Students’ Perception of Cancer

Author(s) :

Cristina Lungulescu1, Mihaela Dănciulescu2, Ștefan Răileanu2

1 Department of Oncology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Craiova, Romania

2 Department of Oncology, Filantropia Clinical Hospital, Craiova, Romania

Corresponding author: Cristina Lungulescu, Email:

Published: Volume I, Issue 2 (December 2021) 55-62, , , - DOI: 10.53011/JMRO.2021.02.06

Open Access

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December 27, 2021 0 Comments


Background: Cancer is a major health concern globally, with accelerated advancements in terms of understanding its physiopathology and treatment protocols. These rapid advancements make the determination of the ideal method of educating students in Medical Oncology increasingly difficult. The purpose of this research paper is to evaluate how students from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Craiova, Romania perceive certain topics related to cancer and the specialty of Medical Oncology, in order to improve their education in this field.

Material & Methods: We compared questionnaires consisting of 28 scaled-response questions and one free-response question filled in by 40 students at the beginning and end of their oncology clinical rotation. The questions were assigned numerical values so that statistical analysis could be performed.

Results: After their clinical oncology rotation, students in the Faculty of Medicine had more confidence in diagnosing cancer (p=0.012), and had a better understanding of the implication of the side effects of treatment in patients who can no longer be cured (p=0.04). Students in the Faculty of Nursing were better able to understand the risks and benefits of treatment after their clinical oncology rotation (p=0.007) and had increased confidence in recognizing cancer symptoms (p=0.001).

Conclusion: The results of our study show that after clinical placement, students experienced an increase in empathy for cancer patients; correspondingly, there was an increased likelihood that students would consider oncology as a specialty in the future. Students began to recognize cancer as a chronic condition and were better able to consider the psychosocial issues after their clinical placement.

Fig. 1: Responses to the first questions before and after clinical placement – Faculty of Medicine
Fig. 2: Responses to the first 27 questions before and after clinical placement – Faculty of Nursing
Fig. 3: Responses to question 28 – Faculty of Medicine

Fig. 4: Responses to question 28 – Faculty of Nursing
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