The Summer School Oncology Groningen: Improving a Successful International Course by Refining the Old, Maintaining What’s Good

For more than two decades, the International Summer School Oncology for Medical Students (ISOMS) has been organized at the University Medical Center Groningen. Every two years, students from all over the world are welcomed to Groningen to learn about oncology. The summer school aims to teach students a multidisciplinary approach to oncology, help students become familiar with cancer care for general health practice, and teach students critical scientific thinking skills in oncological subjects. Bringing together students from many different backgrounds, the summer school also helps increase students’ awareness of differences cancer care across countries and cultures.

Before the pandemic, the summer school program was modernized into a new, innovative educational format. We described the changes to the program and evaluated its effects in a recent publication in the Journal of Cancer Education. The alterations to the course format were received well by the participating students. Our critical reflection provides a basis for ongoing innovation of the summer school, allowing us to continue laying a foundation for future doctors to serve cancer patients. 

As the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now adapting our education to adapt to this situation. By developing a new online course, we aim to bring our oncology education to where they are. Moreover, this online course will allow an ever-larger audience to learn more about oncology. In the future, combining the online course with the onsite summer school will improve our education even more.

Read the Journal of Cancer Education