The ‘Foundations in Oncology’ course, which has been running since 2015, sets out to enhance the knowledge, skills and aptitude of medical students and graduates in the field of oncology. The aim of the programme is to whet the students’ appetites to the subject, so that they consider specialising in the discipline and making it a career of choice, thus better serving society’s growing need for trained and specialised cancer care professionals. The two-week long course gives an overview of cancer management and enables participants to realise their aptitude and future career in oncology.
The course is conducted by Tata Memorial Centre in partnership with King’s College & Guys Cancer Centre London. This year, the fifth ‘Foundations in Oncology’ course was held from May 6-17, 2019, at Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai. The course was inaugurated by Dr R A Badwe, Dr Shripad Banavali and Dr C S Pramesh, from Tata Memorial Centre; Prof Arnie Purushotham from the Tata Trusts and Dr Simon Hughes from Kings College & Guys Cancer Centre.
The course was managed and coordinated by Dr Kailash Sharma from Tata Memorial Centre, his team and a team from the Cancer Care Programme of Tata Trusts.
To motivate the medical students and build a capacity of trained and qualified human resources in oncology, eminent faculties from Guys Cancer Centre, London, and Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, were engaged to conduct the programme. The course consisted of lectures including, but not limited to, Basics in Oncology, Multi-Disciplinary Cancer Care Management and, in addition, master classes in Head and Neck Oncology, Medical Oncology and Gynaecological Oncology.
A total of 151 students (96 undergraduate final year and 55 postgraduate first year) from government medical colleges were selected on the basis of pre-set criteria to attend the course. In 2015, the course had 38 participants and the numbers have been increasing year-on-year. To strengthen the lack of trained manpower in North East India, special emphasis is given to students from the region.
All participating students received certificates, awarded jointly by Tata Memorial Hospital and King’s College London. The top eight students by merit will undergo their two-week clinical observership at Tata Memorial Hospital and two-week clinical observership at Guys Cancer Centre and St. George Hospital, London, on scholarship.
The Tata Trusts are honoured to support programmes like the Foundations in Oncology course, as its goals align close to the values and aspirations of the Trusts.