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University Medical Center Groningen

International Summer School 'Oncology for Medical Students'


The International Summer School 'Oncology for Medical Students' is currently one of the main activities of the WHO-CCCE. The first International Summer School 'Oncology for Medical Students', held in 1996, became the start of an annual, successful activity. The aims are:

  1. helping students to become familiar with cancer care in general practice
  2. reducing fear for patients with cancer
  3. learning more about cancer-related problems in other countries
  4. the interchange of international contacts between the future generation of medical doctors.  

Cancer care in general practice

The emphasis of the Summer School programme is on cancer care in general practice. The target group is medical students who are around the clinical phase of their training, and especially medical students who do not intend to specialize in oncology, but who want to know more about cancer care in general practice.

Course focus

Over 25 faculty are involved in the multidisciplinary teaching programme. The cancer education coordinator is the pivot of the course. The course duration is two weeks; and the course language is English. Contact with cancer patients is the focus of the course. A variety of teaching techniques is used.

From five continents

Since 1996 participants registered from: Afghanistan, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Burkina Faso, China, Colombia, Czech Republique, Denmark, Egypt, England, Estonia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Libya, Moldovia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, and Zambia.

Social activities

The students are housed in an international student guest house. Six medical students from Groningen University Faculty of Medical Sciences help with the organization of each Summer School; they are responsible for social activities.


The first International Summer School ‘Oncology for Medical Students’ was developed and implemented by dr. E. Milly L. Haagedoorn. When the decision had been taken in 1997 to continue the Summer School on an annual basis, dr. J. de Vries became second coordinator. In 1998 de Vries and Haagedoorn changed places: de Vries became first coordinator, Haagedoorn second. In 1998 dr. de Vries became chairman of a triumvirate of coordinators chairman, including prof. dr. J.L.N. Roodenburg MD PhD, head & neck oncologist, and prof.dr. B. Szabó, radiation oncologist. Since 1999 there is a collaboration with the Medical University of Vienna, Austria and since 2001 this collaboration has been extended by alternating summer schools in either Groningen or Vienna. Faculty from both universities participate.

  • The Groningen Summer School aims at Cancer Care in General Practice.
  • The Vienna Summer School aims at Clinical and Experimental Oncology for Medical   Students.



Both Summer Schools are held under auspices of the WHO-Collaborating Centre for Cancer Education. De Groningen Summer School is also held under auspices from the International Union for Cancer: UICC Global Cancer Control; and is made possible through support from Groningen University, University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG), and the Comprehensive Cancer Centre Groningen.

Last modified:12 December 2012 10.48 a.m.