Cancer continuum

What are the Integrated Learning Activities?

Integrated Learning Activites (ILAs) are over-arching activities covering several domains of the curriculum. They are designed to encourage student learning in the context of patient/physician experiences and emphasize links across different aspects of the medical programme courses. ILAs are not owned by individual courses but are used in and contribute to the assessment mix of several courses.

Roger booth talks about the project.Click to play the video (Requires Flash Player).

What is the Cancer Continuum?

The Cancer Continuum ILA presents the journeys of three cancer patients from their first appointments with their GPs through all their consultations, treatments and experiences. In addition to video enactments of patient consultations, students also examine the letters, reports and test results associated with each patient along the way.

There are a series of questions associated with each patient's scenario designed as self-directed learning aids to help students explore aspects of the cancer experience more fully and to link it with material in other parts the curriculum. Answers provided to these questions are stored in a database which students can access and review at any time during their medical training. Student answers are not assessed - they are stored for reference only. However, up to four of the questions, or modified forms of them, are used in the final exam. There are two workshops in the Principles of Medicine course to discuss the detail of the presented cases, including interpretations of the radiology, test results and histopathology from the patients, and the pathology, genetic, therapeutic and oncology principles illustrated by the cases.

So, the Cancer continuum was not developed to teach only about cancer. It was developed to assist students to learn new skills and consolidate existing skills in several areas of medicine - general pathology, genetics, communication skills, ethics, therapeutics, research and the evidence base of medicine, radiology, surgery, nutrition, complementary therapies and several others.

Who was involved?

Development involved input from a large number of people - medical specialists and actors.

Design and production was carried out by:

Producer and Clinical Director
Assoc Prof Graham Stevens

Academic Editors
Assoc Prof Roger Booth
Assoc Prof Cris Print
Barbara O'Connor

Development Manager
Kathryn Siow

TV Director and Editor
Richard Smith

Steering Commitee
Assoc Prof Graham Stevens
Assoc Prof Roger Booth
Assoc Prof Cris Print
Barbara O'Connor
Assoc Prof Phillippa Poole
Kathryn Siow

If you are interested in finding out more about the Integrated Learning Activities contact Associate Professor Roger Booth (rj.booth@auckland.ac.nz)

What do students say about it?

"A new initiative, this 8-hour set of video interviews take you through the stories of 3 patients with bowel cancer. While potentially cringe-worthy, the Faculty has managed to come up with a gem of a learning tool that can not only help you with your interview skills and consolidate the concepts of cancer, but will have you washed to and fro in the surging tide of emotion, from pure hatred for the annoying daughter, to devastation when the cancer runs away with the patient's dignity."