Residents Excited About IO University - "an incredible foundation of knowledge"

With the debut of the Colorectal Cancer Module on IO University, we are incorporating it into the IR training program at U Penn. I asked all the Fellows and our residents interested in IR to work there way through the CRC module and provide feedback. What follows is from one of the residents who has a specific interest in IO. The WCIO vision is that once complete, the IO University curriculum will become an integral part of the new IR/DR residency in the U.S., as well as a resource for IR trainees throughout the world.


Many residents, including myself, have been drawn to the field of interventional oncology because it encompasses the unique opportunities and fulfillment of treating among the most complex and poignant disease entities in medicine today. The field is constantly in motion and requires a wide spectrum of skills and knowledge, ranging from the molecular underpinnings of cancer biology to compassionate end-of-life counseling. The treatment of cancer patients has evolved into an inherently multidisciplinary field, one that requires effective communication and collaborative decision-making between many different providers.

As trainees, we often only see a small part of the process of treating any individual patient, usually at the stage of administering locoregional therapy in interventional radiology. In this setting, it can be difficult to fully understand the role of IR within the larger picture of multidisciplinary oncologic care. The WCIO IO University modules provide a tremendous resource to bridge this knowledge gap, via interactive didactics that cover a wide range of topics, from basic oncologic terminology to chemotherapy regimens, surgical management, and the optimal role of interventional oncology therapies. Importantly, these modules provide detailed, comprehensive explanations of current consensus guidelines and are enriched with ample, up-to-date randomized controlled trial data. Audio narrations are provided by experts in the field, who deftly highlight the implications and nuances of these multifaceted topics. The modules also contain numerous interspersed questions and high quality multimedia to reinforce the key learning points, and offer views into medical and surgical clinical realms that would otherwise be difficult to directly experience. The content of these modules closely emulates the types of high quality presentations that one would ordinarily only be able to experience when attending conferences like the WCIO in person.

After completing this first set of modules on the language of oncology and metastatic colorectal cancer, I feel much more adept in discussing these topics with both patients and other clinical colleagues, and will certainly continue to refer back to this set of resources as my interventional oncology knowledge continues to mature. These modules provide an incredible foundation of knowledge for any trainee with interest in the interventional oncology and could be an integral part of the training for the next generation of interventional radiologists as we transition toward the IR/DR pathway. 


James X. Chen, MD
PGY-4, Department of Radiology
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
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