ProKnow and the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse have teamed up to integrate ProKnow’s services into the University’s Medical Dosimetry Program. This initiative begins immediately for the 2017 graduating class’s curriculum, and includes three key components:
First, every dosimetry student will get full membership in the Contouring Accuracy Program (CAP). This will enable them to start practicing their anatomy contouring skills immediately using ProKnow’s cloud-based system, measure their performance against expert radiation oncologists, and then learn from organ-by-organ “walkthrough” video lectures with those experts.
Second, the students will be granted access to the suite of five TG244 Plan Studies, allowing them to use controlled patient datasets and specific planning objectives to hone their treatment planning skills. High performing students will be able to share their techniques with the whole class so that everyone can learn and improve.
Third, each class will participate in a “customized study” of two phases: 1) they contour all the critical organs of a common patient dataset individually and compare their results, then 2) continue with that dataset to generate treatment plans and again compare their results. Throughout phase 1 and 2, the class together learns and shares “best practices” for these core, real-world skills.
Nishele Lenards and Anne Marie Vann, the Program Director and Educational Coordinator, respectively, at UW-La Crosse, are enthusiastic. Says Lenards, “ProKnow tools will help quantitatively assess students contouring and planning skills while demonstrating growth throughout the program. This will ultimately improve critical thinking and problem solving skills, and add to each student’s overall sense of confidence prior to entering the workforce.”
Ben Nelms, co-founder of ProKnow, sees additional benefits. “I’m excited for these students,” says Nelms. “Not only will they develop a hunger for quality and continual improvement in terms of ‘real-world’ skills, but they will also be able to start building an objective track record of their performance. This could give them a real edge. For example, they can use our system to document their achievements and create a powerful supplement for their professional résumé. Dosimetry is an increasingly competitive job market, and proof-of-performance matters.”
For more information about the UW-La Crosse Medical Dosimetry Program, you can visit: www.uwlax.edu/grad/medical-dosimetry.