Knowledge of head and neck cancer among medical students in the UK

Jaibaji, Raian, Irfan, Khansa, Choudry, Anum, Pillaai, Medha, Khan, Ayesha, Mustafa, Hassan, Jawad, Hadi, Al-Maiyah, Faida, Barnes, Sydney Lee Anthony et al (2023) Knowledge of head and neck cancer among medical students in the UK. British Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery . ISSN 0266-4356

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjoms.2023.11.015

Abstract

Head and neck cancer (HNC) refers to malignancies found in mucosal surfaces anywhere from the paranasal sinuses to the larynx, including the various glands and cavities. Between the years 2016 and 2018, there were about 3900 new cases every year in women and 8600 in men, making it the thirteenth most common cancer in women and fourth most common in men. The aim of our study was to evaluate the amount and type of teaching United Kingdom (UK) medical students receive on HNC, and to assess their current knowledge of these cancers. An online survey distributed via university representatives was responded to by 311 final year medical students from 25 medical schools across the UK. Regarding HNC teaching, 72 students (23.2%) reported receiving no teaching at their medical school. Of the 239 who reported receiving teaching, 169 (54.3%) received it in the format of a non-interactive, large group lecture. A total of 271 respondents (87.1%) believed that medical students at their university would benefit from more teaching on HNC. Based on our sample, there appears to be an overall dissatisfaction and lack of confidence surrounding HNC in the undergraduate curriculum. With its increasing prevalence in the UK, it is vital that red-flag symptoms and referral criteria are understood by the future medical workforce. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2023 The British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.]


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