(P126) Student Institute to Stimulate Interest in Radiological Sciences Academic Careers (SISIRSAC): A Novel Near-Peer Mentoring Approach

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Article
OncologyOncology Vol 28 No 1S
Volume 28
Issue 1S

The World Health Organization predicts that 26.4 million new cancer cases will be reported in 2030 alone. It is necessary to establish an effective mentoring paradigm in radiological science, not just for medical students (MS) but also for high school (HS) and college undergraduate (UG) students, to promote a greater general awareness of the study of oncology as well as its therapeutic implementation.

Charles R. Thomas, Jr., MD, James A. Tanyi, PhD; Department of Radiation Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University

Introduction: The World Health Organization predicts that 26.4 million new cancer cases will be reported in 2030 alone. Between 2010 and 2020, the number of patients receiving radiotherapy will increase by 22%. Assuming that the current graduation rate of 140 residents/year remains constant, the number of full-time equivalent radiation oncologists is expected to increase only 2%. The number of residents would have to increase to 280/year for the years 2014–2019 to equal expected demand. For these reasons, it is necessary to establish an effective mentoring paradigm in radiological science, not just for medical students (MS) but also for high school (HS) and college undergraduate (UG) students, to promote a greater general awareness of the study of oncology as well as its therapeutic implementation.

Methods: Research experience in the Department of Radiation Medicine provides full-time summer and/or year-round research educational experience to HS, UG, and MS interns. Interns are paired in a “near-peer” fashion-that is, a junior or less experienced student matched with a senior or more experienced student. Each pair is subsequently matched with an experienced faculty preceptor. All interns spend a minimum of 10–12 weeks working full time in the preceptor’s laboratory. Preceptors are encouraged to involve interns as much as possible in all facets of the research process, such as reading relevant literature and participating in regularly scheduled lab meetings and journal clubs, research seminars, and multidisciplinary tumor boards. Didactic sessions on how to conduct scientific research and program evaluation from learners will be a core of the program.

Results: From 2007–2013, the department has mentored and sponsored a total of 50 students (excluding graduate, postdoctoral, and/or international students). A proud feature of the department’s mentorship program is that HS interns, like their UG and MS counterparts, are active participants who contribute significantly in the preparation of scientific abstracts for national/international conferences, as well as in the drafting of scientific manuscripts. While most HS interns typically start on short-term projects, they understand that research questions may not necessarily be answered in a limited time period. Nine of our HS students have coauthored at least one scientific abstract and/or peer-reviewed manuscript; three HS students successfully competed in regional and/or national science fairs, one UG intern was a laureate of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) Summer Research Fellowship, three UG interns have successfully earned college credits for their research, six MS have successfully secured competitive Research Medical Student Grant awards from the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), and one MS was a Tartar Trust Fellow.

Conclusion: Based on the success of our current program, we will submit an R25 that will specifically meet the goals for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Education Grant Programs initiatives through the following specific aims: Aim 1: To increase the number of students with an interest in cancer and radiation research by identifying and selecting HS and UG students and MS with strong interests in cancer and emphasize recruitment of women and underrepresented minorities into the program. Aim 2: Create and implement a structured mentored research and educational experience with emphasis on radiological sciences, near-peer mentorship, and dyadic mentorship.

Articles in this issue

(P113) Age and Marital Status Are Associated With Choice of Mastectomy in Patients Eligible for Breast Conservation Therapy
(P112) Single-Institution Experience With Intrabeam IORT for Treatment of Early-Stage Breast Cancer
(P110) Breast Cancer Before Age 40: Current Patterns in Clinical Presentation and Local Management
(P111) Accelerated Partial-Breast Irradiation With Multicatheter High-Dose-Rate Brachytherapy: Feasibility and Results in a Private Practice Cohort
(P115) Breast Cancer Laterality Does Not Influence Overall Survival in a Large Modern Cohort: Implications for Radiation-Related Cardiac Mortality
(P117) Anatomical Variations and Radiation Technique for Breast Cancer
(P116) Bilateral Immediate DIEP Reconstruction and Postmastectomy Radiotherapy: Experience at a Tertiary Care Institution
(P118) Metadherin Overexpression Is Associated With Improved Locoregional Control After Mastectomy
(P119) Effect of Economic Environment on Use of Postlumpectomy Radiation Therapy for Stage I Breast Cancer
(P120) Immediate Versus Delayed Reconstruction After Mastectomy in the United States Medicare Breast Cancer Patient
(P121) Trend in Age and Racial Disparities in the Receipt of Postlumpectomy Radiation Therapy for Stage I Breast Cancer: 2004–2009
(P122) Streamlining Referring Physicians Orders With ‘Reflex Testing’ Significantly Decreases Time to Resolution for Abnormal Screening Mammograms
(P123) National Trends in the Local Management of Early-Stage Paget Disease of the Breast
(P124) Effect of Inhomogeneity on Cardiac and Lung Dose in Partial-Breast Irradiation Using HDR Brachytherapy
(P125) Breast Cancer Outcomes With Anthracycline-Based Chemotherapy for Residual Disease Burden After Full-Dose Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy and Surgery Followed by Radiation Treatment
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