Medical Care of the Gynecologic Oncology Patient

Sites: MGH
Director(s): Don Dizon, Alberto Puig, Marcela del Carmen
Offered: Full time every month. Not offered in April.
Location: MGH - Mass. General Hospital (3)
Open to Exclerks: Yes (may be restricted for international students)
Description: This course will expose students to the comprehensive care of women with gynecologic cancers. The emphasis will be on the treatment and management of women with cancer and the outpatient practice of gynecologic oncology. The experience will be offered as a four week outpatient elective. Students will be assigned to clinics in both surgical gynecologic oncology and medical gynecologic oncology clinics, which will be further enhanced by expected participation in clinical consultations with radiation oncology as required. The student will be expected to see patients with the attendings during clinics. Students attend weekly conferences that include the weekly multidisciplinary tumor board, radiology conference, gynecologic oncology lectures, research meetings, and medical oncology didactic conferences. Additional lectures and conferences in basic, health services, clinical, and bioethical areas are open to student participation. In addition, the student will be expected to complete a small research project with the objective of presentation to the Interdisciplinary group at the end of the rotation. The experience aims to give the student an in-depth experience in the longitudinal care of the female patient, from initial diagnosis to palliative care and terminal illness.
Incorporation of Basic Science Content and Evidence-Based Medicine:
The treatment of gynecologic oncology relies upon evidence obtained from prospective clinical trials that has helped shape standard recommendations in the medical, surgical, and radiation-related treatments. The rationale for the therapies we administer will be a primary source of teaching of students involved in the clerkship. In addition, gaps in our knowledge are served by clinical trials, which themselves are based on a scientific rationale that underlie the trials themselves and these discussions are routinely held between providers and in doctor-patient discussions. Through immersion in the multidisciplinary elective, attendance at multiple weekly conferences, and clinical trial reviews, students will gain ample exposure to the preclinical and clinical evidence that underlies our approach to treatment.
Grade Criteria:
Honors with Distinction: Students receiving Honors with Distinction are expected to demonstrate a superior fund of medical knowledge in gynecologic oncology, based on their immersion into the relevant literature (guided by the patient diagnosis and presentation). These students will demonstrate proficiency in history-taking and physical exam and by their ability to communicate with patients empathically and honestly. These students will demonstrate their ability to formulate clinical and laboratory data into a cohesive and succint oral presentation across multiple disciplines and will demonstrate their ability to work as part of the entire care team. Students receiving Honors with Distinction will complete a clinical project and will deliver a concise well researched presentation at the end of their clerkship. Honors: Students receiving honors are expected to show their interest in ambulatory gynecologic oncology, to demonstrate knowledge of basic mechanisms and clinical diseases, to attend and participate in rounds and teaching conferences, to be knowledgeable of the status of patients whom they have evaluated, to be able to present patient-related information in an intelligible manner, to relate humanistically to patients and their families, and to relate well to the medical care team. Students receiving honors are expected to give a thoughtful presentation on a clinical topic demonstrating an understanding of the medical literature. Satisfactory: Students receiving a satisfactory grade are expected to attend clinic regularly and to participate in onferences on a regular basis. These students will demonstrate an understanding of the disease processes and relevant treatment options, interact with patients and their families respectfully, and will demonstrate their ability to deliver anoral presentation. However, students who do not deliver a presentation at the end of the clerkship but demonstrate their commitment to the learning objectives of the rotation, are generally given a grade of Satisfactory. Unsatisfactory: Students who are given a grade of Unsatisfactory are those whose attendance at rounds and conferences is erratic at best. This includes individuals who show a disregard to the basis of treatment that underlies our approach to gynecologic cancers, and those who interact poorly with patients and their families as well as the medical care team. It will also include those students who show no motivation in preparing a presentation, consistent with their overall lack of interest in this course.