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Training of doctors needs to be modernized, say experts during cancer congress


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The training curriculum for physicians must be updated to incorporate oncology concepts already in the first year of graduation, and the courses need to develop in students skills such as communication and the ability to work in a team.

These were points defended by specialists in oncology who participated in the 9th edition of the All Together Against Cancer Congress, which began on Tuesday morning (27), in São Paulo.

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The event takes place until Thursday (29) and brings together specialists from different areas of health, references in national and international oncology. The congress is organized by the Todos Juntos Contra o Câncer (All Together Against Cancer Movement), an entity that brings together more than 200 civil society organizations.

“This story of waiting four years for an enlightened person to arrive in the classroom to say everything the student needs to know about oncology costs a lot of time. This knowledge has to be taught throughout the course”, says Edson Arpini Miguel, professor of health conference at the State University of Maringá.

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In addition to inserting the subject earlier in the curriculum, the specialist says that the courses need to stimulate not only academic skills in the student. He cites as an example the ability to collaborate with others and communicate clearly.

“Competence is a mixture of skill, knowledge and attitude. It’s not about who is better than the others”, he says, adding that it is important to update the training of doctors because medicine itself has undergone transformations.

“We want to change teaching because care has changed. We no longer provide care for cardiorespiratory arrest as we did 30 years ago. So why is the class still the same?”

At UFPA (Federal University of Pará), the curriculum has already been updated to make more space for oncology. According to Marianne Fernandes, visiting professor at the institution, the topic has become a mandatory subject in the medical course, where they teach how to care for cancer patients and how to identify symptoms.

According to Fernandes, most universities present oncology concepts punctually throughout the course, but this does not happen continuously.

“Talking about education in oncology is a challenge. Many think that they will learn the basics of the subject and that is all right, but a professional must be prepared to work in all areas”, she says.

The specialist also says it is necessary to encourage the teacher to leave their comfort zone to seek updates. “We have to encourage them to do things differently instead of sticking to the standard. The standard no longer exists.”

Professor of the Inca (National Cancer Institute) residency program, Mario Jorge Sobreira says it is important to teach students about medical literacy, that is, the ability to know how to communicate well with the patient and with team members.

“We need to be able to talk to each other. Literacy is nothing more than that. It’s understanding what is being said.”

He argues that this is important because the team that accompanies patients can be composed of multiple professionals, from physical therapists to social workers. “You have to do the language adequacy so that each of them can understand what is being said.”

In addition, the expert says that doctors should use accessible language to communicate with the patient. “He must understand his situation and the itinerary he will carry out within the health center. These are fundamental aspects that we need to work on in oncology training.”

Resident in oncology-hematology, social worker Eduarda Maria Campelo is well aware of the importance of dialogue between patients and health professionals.

She says that, in the unit where she works, a leukemia patient asked to see her family members, but they were not allowed to go to the medical center due to the pandemic.

“But our team spared no effort to fulfill this wish. In the fourth attempt, we were able to release the visit”, says Campelo. “After the visit, the patient died the next day.”

This experience inspired the creation of Correio Afetivo, a project that connects patients with relatives through letters.

The project is important, she says, for people who are unable to visit family members often due to lack of money to travel. “The patient in bed has desires and tastes. We need to help him fulfill those desires”, she says.

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I have over 10 years of experience working in the news industry. I have worked for various news websites and have been an author at News Bulletin 247 for the past 2 years. I mostly cover technology news and have a keen interest in keeping up with the latest trends in the industry. I am a highly motivated individual who is always looking to improve my skills and knowledge. I am a team player who is always willing to help out others, but also able to work independently when required. I am proactive and always take initiative to come up with new ideas and solutions.

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