Educational Value of a Medical Student-Led Head and Neck Cancer Screening Event

Monika E. Freiser, Dipan D. Desai, Patrick M. Azcarate, Mikhaylo Szczupak, Erin R. Cohen, Francesca N. Raffa, Joshua S. George, Kaming Lo, Chetan S. Nayak, Donald T. Weed, Zoukaa B. Sargi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To evaluate improvement of medical student knowledge of head and neck cancer (HNC) through participation in HNC screening fairs run by medical students. Study Design Prospective cohort study of surveys assessing medical students' knowledge of HNC before and after volunteering at screening fairs. Setting Four screening fairs held at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine during Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week. Subjects Medical student screening fair volunteers. Methods Four HNC screening fairs were organized by medical student volunteers. All students completed a preevent survey assessing baseline knowledge and participated in an otolaryngologist-led training session about HNC and the screening examination. During the screening events, students educated guests about HNC and performed physician-guided history and physical examinations. Finally, students completed identical surveys 1 week and 3 months after the event. Results Thirty-four (n = 34) students completed the preevent surveys. At baseline, 59%, 44%, and 24% named tobacco, alcohol, and human papilloma virus as risk factors, compared with 84%, 81%, and 69% on 3 month follow-up, respectively. Out of 6 analyzed questions, the median total number of correctly answered questions improved from 2 on pretest to 5 at 3 months (P <.0001). Conclusion Volunteer participation in a HNC screening program improves medical students' knowledge of HNC risk factors and symptoms. This innovative approach to students' education via participation and organization of screening events is a useful method of improving their HNC knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)638-644
Number of pages7
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • cancer screening
  • head and neck cancer
  • medical education
  • medical student

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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