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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 62-65

Oncology knowledge gap among freshly passed interns in a Government Medical College of Eastern India

1 Department of Radiotherapy, Calcutta National Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Calcutta National Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
3 Department of Medicine, Calcutta National Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
4 Department of Surgery, Calcutta National Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Anis Bandyopadhyay
Department of Radiotherapy, Calcutta National Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-330X.110488

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Objectives: A survey was conducted among freshly passed undergraduate doctors of a medical college in Eastern India with the aim to investigate their exposure to oncology patients, their knowledge about various aspects of oncology patient management and their confidence in managing patients with cancer. Materials and Methods: One hundred and twelve newly passed interns of a Government Medical College in Kolkata were interviewed using semi-structured partly open ended and partly closed end questionnaire. The questionnaire dealt with the qualitative and quantitative aspects of knowledge and perception of the interns about the problem of cancer and its management. Results: A total of 82 interns responded to the questionnaire, with a response rate of 73.2%. About 53% of the respondents have seen less than five patients during their undergraduate ward/clinical postings. Among the respondents, 71% felt they were confident in diagnosing cancer, and about 56% were confident in counseling of patient and their relatives about cancer. About 63% were aware about the role of surgery; however, only 32% and 37.5% were aware about the role of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, respectively. A dismal 12.5% were confident of care of terminal and late stage patients. Preparedness was correlated with exposure to patients with cancer ( P = 0.03). Majority (87%) felt the need for incorporating oncology training at the undergraduate level and the most frequent method (67%) suggested for doing so was having separate posting in radiotherapy department/oncology wards. Conclusion: There is glaring knowledge gap among newly passed doctors and integrated oncology postings during undergraduate training and during internship may help seal this gap.

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