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CANCER: THE PATIENT JOURNEY

Why should I take this Trinity Elective?

Most of us have some personal experience with cancer – be it ourselves, family, a friend. By 2020, 1 in 2 of us will get cancer in our lifetime. Cancer is the biggest killer in Ireland, with approximately 1 in 3 people dying of cancer-related illness. Despite this, many of us don’t know that much about cancer. If you would like to know more about cancer; How and why we get cancer? Why is cancer increasing in society, and what can I do to alter my risk? How is cancer detected and diagnosed? Who will make decisions about my treatment? Why are there so many treatment types, and what will work for me? Will I be cured? What if my cancer can’t be cured? What will happen afterwards? Knowledge is our greatest weapon against cancer, so if you have ever considered these questions and wanted to know more, then this is the Trinity Elective for you…

What will I learn?

  • You will follow a patients’ journey, learning the causes of cancer and the various modifiable factors that contribute to increasing our risk of cancer, and what you can do to reduce cancer risk.
  • You will learn what happens during the process of diagnosis of cancer, and the patients’ path from the GP’s office up to treatment at the hospital.
  • You will learn how cancer is treated, why there are many different types of treatment, and the rationale behind why some treatments are chosen and not others, and the value and importance of clinical trials.
  • You will understand what happens to survivors, how life will change, from the physical, emotional and mental perspective, and what support is there on the road to recovery.

What will I do?

  • Use a series of online lectures and tools from world-class cancer scientists and clinicians to understand the patients’ journey from life before cancer to cancer survivor (no prior knowledge necessary).
  • Participate in post-lecture, interactive, dynamic, flipped-classroom guided discussions to delve deeper into real-world fundamental issues surrounding the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship aspects of the patient journey.
  • Learn how to identify the everyday practical issues encountered by clinicians and scientists working in the area of research and healthcare delivery.

How will this be delivered?

  • Face-to-face contact time is ~12 lecture hours (including a 1 hour introductory session).
  • Online lecture time through the VLE is ~14 lecture hours.
  • A 1 hour face-to-face interactive seminar to discuss assessment tasks and strategies.
  • A 1 hour face-to-face interactive feedback seminar, providing open-forum feedback and revision support.
  • Private study and revision time is 72 hours.

How will this be assessed?

  • Assessment 1. Group poster, 3-5 students per group (weighting 30%, peer assessed). Topics will address an aspect of one of the four pillars of the patient journey (Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment or Survivorship). Students will be instructed on peer-assessment via a supplied structured marking rubric and established marking criteria, as well as resources from CAPSL (e.g. M. Wride, Guide to Peer Assessment, Academic Practice, TCD), which will be made available on the VLE. The group poster will include online collaborative group elements, such as a shared wiki-page, to support face-to-face work, as well as provide an opportunity for reflective practices in learning.
  • Assessment 2. MCQ exam (weighting 20%).
  • Assessment 3. Final SAQ exam (weighting 50%).
  • Reassessment: Essay related to the poster and aspect of the patient journey the student to which the student had been originally assigned (2500 words), repeat MCQ, repeat SAQ exam.

Who can take this Trinity Elective?

  • Any student eligible to take a Trinity Elective can select this Trinity Elective, except for students from the following programmes: Human Health and Disease, Molecular Medicine and Biochemistry and Immunology.

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