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Virtual Oncology Series for Medical Students

In this lecture series, designed as a virtual oncology interest group for medical students, radiation oncology attendings, residents and residency applicants discuss topics relevant to students as they explore a clinical or research career in a cancer-oriented specialty. The content is intended to be valuable to all medical students, regardless of their career aspirations.

The views expressed in these webinars are those of the presenters and not necessarily those of ASTRO.

Lecture 1: Basic Principles of Multidisciplinary Cancer Care, and Career Pathways in Oncology

Presented by Malcolm Mattes, Avinash Chaurasia, Gabriel Vidal, and Alexandria Oliver

In this presentation, Dr. Malcolm Mattes introduces the different treatment modalities used by medical, surgical and radiation oncologists to treat cancer, and how they complement each other in multidisciplinary care. Dr. Avinash Chaurasia then describes the different career pathways in oncology, and Dr. Gabriel Vidal and fourth year medical student Alexandria Oliver discuss their journey in choosing to pursue a career in radiation oncology.

Lecture 2: Understanding and Addressing Cancer Health Disparities in the United States

Presented by Alexandra Diaz Pardo, Christina Chapman, Ivy Franco, and Rehema Thomas

In this presentation, Drs. Alexandra Diaz Pardo, Ivy Franco and Christina Chapman discuss social determinants of health in the United States, and how they contribute towards disparities in cancer outcomes among different patient populations. Each describes ways in which they as radiation oncologists have helped to address health disparities through a combination of local and national initiatives, research and political advocacy. Fourth year medical student Rehema Thomas then moderates a Q&A with attendees.

Lecture 3: Global Health in Oncology

Presented by Mac Longo, Shilpen Patel, Raymond Mailhot Vega, and Sara Beltran Ponce

In this presentation, Drs. Mac Longo, Shilpen Patel, Raymond Mailhot Vega and Sara Beltrán Ponce introduce the significant disparities in cancer outcomes across the globe, and the concept of decolonizing global health in order to better serve patients in developing nations. Each panelist describes their personal experiences working in global health as a radiation oncologist, and pathways for getting involved as a medical student, resident, attending physician and beyond. Finally, the panelists discuss opportunities for research in global oncology and building effective mentoring relationships.

Lecture 4: Approaching Oncology Research as a Medical Student

Presented by Pranshu Mohindra, Roberto Diaz, Malcolm Mattes, Erin Kaya

In this presentation, Drs. Malcolm Mattes, Pranshu Mohindra, Roberto Diaz and fourth year medical student Erin Kaya share their unique perspectives on finding success in oncology research as a medical student. Some of the topics covered include a discussion of the value of doing research as a medical student, tips on choosing the right project(s) and mentor(s), and local and national funding opportunities for students.

Additional Q&A Session with Members of SNMA and LMSA Chapters

Presented by Zachary White, Ivy Franco, and Malcolm Mattes

In this presentation, Drs. Zachary White, Ivy Franco and Malcolm Mattes answer questions from medical students in Student National Medical Association (SNMA) and Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) about the specialty of radiation oncology, applying for residency and the job market after graduation.


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This lecture series was created through a Radiation Oncology Institute research grant awarded in 2020 to Malcolm Mattes, MD, as part of the Improving Diversity and Inclusion in Radiation Oncology Awards. He was selected because his program takes a novel approach and focuses on outreach to medical students from groups underrepresented in medicine who might not otherwise gain exposure to the field of radiation oncology. Dr. Mattes’ team focused on increasing exposure to radiation oncology early on in medical school and translating that exposure into mentorship and career development opportunities. To learn more about Dr. Mattes and his award visit the ROI website.
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