The Medical Education Foundation for Arkansas (MEFFA) was established by the Arkansas Medical Society in 1959 to provide grants to support education for medical students in Arkansas. MEFFA has given a series of annual grants to the College of Medicine each year since 1959. The grants are intended to provide support for educational projects/equipment/programs that involve medical student education.
Dr. Lewis proposed using the MEFFA grant funding to support a medical student pre-clinical rotation in radiation oncology (RO) to be completed in the summer between the first and second year of medical school. Unfortunately, there is a lack of oncology (and specifically Radiation Oncology) education in medical school training. Recent evidence suggests that 60+% of medical students had no exposure to RO during medical school training or had not considered it as a career choice. This is particularly true for women and underrepresented minorities, who are less represented in oncology compared to the general population.
Dr. Lewis and the Radiation Oncology Department hopes to establish this medical student pre-clinical rotation in radiation oncology to improve medical student understanding and knowledge of radiation oncology (and oncology in general), cultivate and develop an interest in medical students exploring careers in cancer care, and improve the diversity of the oncology workforce.