Discordance between cancer prevalence and training: A need for an increase in oncology education

Sarah Payne, Danny Burke, Janine Mansi, Alison Jones, Alison Norton, Johnathan Joffe, David Cunningham, Gordon Mcvie, Roshan Agarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The impact of cancer on healthcare is increasing. Therefore, it is key that all doctors receive oncology training. This study surveyed UK undergraduate medical schools to determine the extent of oncology training provided by their curricula. Data on foundation year (FY) and core medical training (CMT) programmes were obtained and analysed for the proportion of oncology posts. Of the responding medical schools, five (36%) had a defined period dedicated to oncology (mean 2 weeks). Four foundation schools were in London, with 10,094 FY posts in 1699 programmes. Of these, 1.5% of post and 8.7% of programmes were in oncology. For CMT offered by the London deanery specialty schools, 11% of CMT post and 48% of programmes included oncology. Oncology was included in 11% posts and 48% programmes offered by the London Deanery specialty schools. Our results show that >50% of junior doctors receive dedicated undergraduate or postgraduate oncology training. An increase in oncology training is therefore urgently required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-56
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Medicine, Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of London
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2013


  • Clinical oncology
  • Core medical training
  • Foundation programme
  • Medical oncology
  • Specialist trainee

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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