A medical oncology department was established as a new department in January 2008 in Hirosaki University School of Medicine. Although I faced several difficulties at beginning, a big problem was shortness of human resource. This problem has not being solved yet.
A role of medical oncology department includes practice, research, and education same as other medical department in school of medicine. Since a part of practice has been big in each effort, spending time for research and education has been short so far. However, education is a most important for medical oncologist in medical school.
Medical oncologists in medical school have many opportunities to educate medical students, graduate students, other medical doctors, and other staffs (pharmacist, nurses) in various situations.
Particularly, education for medical students is very important. For fourth grade medical students, we taught medical oncology eight classes as a part of clinical pharmacology from 2009 to 2011. From 2012, we will teach medical oncology 15 classes as a medical oncology course. For fifth grade, we accept one or two students as bed side learning for every 2 weeks. Students learned mainly from one staff through treating one in-patient. About only 15 students exposed to medical oncology because of shortness of staffs. For sixth grade, four to six students chose medical oncology as a clinical clerkship. Although curriculums and texts have not been confirmed yet, we are developing better educational systems.
Junior residents expose cancer chemotherapy only in each speciality. Only few junior residents choose medical oncology course. This limited chance to learn medical oncology during residency causes that only few doctors choose medical oncology as specialist.