Introduction: Currently, there is a lack of formalized educational curricula for medical students rotating through radiation oncology electives. A curriculum including both didactics and hands-on training has been developed and implemented at numerous institutions throughout the nation. We have developed an additional module to augment this curriculum and give students experience with contouring tools used in treatment planning software. We also aim to teach a functional approach to contouring an unfamiliar target volume, a task certainly encountered during the early months of residency. Methods: This module was developed using a CT image set of a prostate cancer patient who has undergone prostatectomy. The clinical target volume (CTV) for this patient was delineated and confirmed by two genitourinary radiation oncology experts. A teaching guide, in PowerPoint format, was constructed to provide educational information on prostate and pelvic anatomy, contouring resources, and a step-by-step guide to contouring this specific CTV. Results: Across two institutions, 24 students completed the contouring module, and 21 completed the post-session evaluation. Out of the 21 who completed the postsession evaluation, eight students had participated in the care of a post-prostatectomy patient, and three were familiar with post-prostatectomy contouring guidelines. All students regarded this exercise as "moderately" (five students), "quite" (eight students), or "extremely" (eight students) important. The students reported their comfort/confidence level with a number of tasks. Many more students felt "moderately," "quite," or "extremely" comfortable (in contrast to "slight" or "not at all") after the teaching intervention for the following questions: ability to contour a PF (four students before vs. 20 after), ability to find and use contouring resources (10 before vs. 21 after), knowledge of CT prostate/pelvis anatomy (eight before vs. 21 after), and ability to use treatment planning software (nine before vs. 21 after). Discussion: In the future, we would like to expand this module to include many additional institutions. Additionally, modules for other commonly treated anatomic sites can be developed built on the same educational framework.
- Contour the clinical target volume for a post-operative prostate patient.
- Understand prostate and pelvic anatomy.
- Explain where to find contouring resources such as atlases and articles.
- Utilize contouring tools in treatment planning software.
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