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A survey of the educational environment for oncologists as perceived by surgical oncology professionals in India

Chandrakanth Are1*, Madhuri Are2, Hemanth Raj3, Vijayakumar Manavalan4, Lois Colburn5 and Hugh Stoddard6

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Surgery, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE

2 Cancer Pain and Palliative Care, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE

3 Cancer Institute (WIA), Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

4 Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Benagaluru, Karnataka, India

5 Executive Director, Center for Continuing Education, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE

6 Curriculum and Educational Research Office, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE

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World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2012, 10:18  doi:10.1186/1477-7819-10-18

Published: 23 January 2012



The current educational environment may need enhancement to tackle the rising cancer burden in India. The aim of this study was to conduct a survey of Surgical Oncologists to identify their perceptions of the current state of Oncology education in India.


An Institutional Review Board approved questionnaire was developed to target the audience of the 2009 annual meeting of the Indian Association of Surgical Oncology in India. The survey collected demographic information and asked respondents to provide their opinions about Oncology education in India.


A total of 205 out of 408 attendee's participated in the survey with a 42.7% response rate. The majority of respondents felt that Oncology education was poor to fair during medical school (75%), residency (56%) and for practicing physicians (71%). The majority of participants also felt that the quality of continuing medical education was poor and that minimal emphasis was placed on evidence based medicine.


The results of our survey demonstrate that the majority of respondents feel that the current educational environment for Oncology in India should be enhanced. The study identified perceptions of several gaps and needs, which can be the targets for implementing measures to enhance the training of Oncology professionals.

Education; Oncology; perceptions; survey; India