“There is greater demand on our profession due to increasing numbers of patients and, in particular, better therapeutic options,” said ESMO president Rolf A. Stahel. “As the international society for medical oncology we want to develop a dialogue with the medical student community through a tailor-made course to broaden their knowledge and insight into the field. We hope this will stimulate a similarly steady increase in the number of professionals dedicating their career to this disease.”
Nearly 300 medical students from all over the world applied to the 40-seat, five-day residential course organised by ESMO in collaboration with the European School of Oncology (ESO). Featuring lectures by top academic and clinical experts in medical oncology, this major educational event is a unique opportunity for fourth and fifth year medical students to gain insight into the field before selecting their specialisation.
“I truly believe this course would be an invaluable opportunity to broaden my horizons, to supplement my knowledge and skills and help me to become a better doctor in the future,” said one applicant from Latvia.
“I remember so vividly wanting to make a difference to the field when I chose medical oncology as my discipline,” said Susana Banerjee, medical oncology consultant at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, UK, co-chair of the course and a member of the ESMO Young Oncologists Committee. “Reaching medical students directly with this course is the best way to ensure that ESMO’s aims are presented to them before they settle on a career path. This is all about improving patients’ lives.”
Lectures have been designed so that participants can interact with faculty and participate in discussions in a dynamic and stimulating way. Students will learn a practical approach to cancer diagnosis, staging, prognosis and therapy, as well as the basic principles of medical therapy for different types of cancer. Clinical cases will be presented within an integrated approach to cancer care.
“In line with the ESO mission, contributing to this course lets us further emphasise the importance of the teaching and learning process in which we strongly believe,” said Nicholas Pavlidis, professor and director of the Medical Oncology Department at the University of Ioannina in Greece, course co-chair. “The possibility to share experiences and network with other international students, all focused on identifying their future profession, is a priceless privilege that these students are offered. We are extremely pleased to have received so many applications,” he said.
“Medical oncology is such an exciting field of cancer therapy,” said Andrés Cervantes, professor of medicine at the University of Valencia, Spain, chair of the course. “Exceptional progress has been made possible by continuous discoveries at the clinical and basic research level: this has transformed cancer from a dreadful disease into a sometimes chronic disease that can be dealt with in numerous ways through an integrated approach to patients.”
“Medical oncology is not a profession for everyone but the challenges and successes in this fast evolving discipline are rewarding for those involved,” Cervantes said.
The ESMO-ESO Course on Medical Oncology for Medical Students 2015 is being held 16 to 21 July at the University of Valencia in Valencia, Spain. The packed programme promises to give students an understanding of the practice of medical oncology and how to plan a successful career in the profession. One applicant said: “This course will provide practical knowledge as well as personal growth and development in the way of becoming a great doctor.”