Lung Cancer Screening Knowledge Among Internal Medicine Residents in a University Program

Samuel Urrutia Argueta, Nasser Hanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Lung cancer remains the main cause of cancer-related death. Even though several societies recommend that certain populations may benefit from lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT), its nationwide adoption has been slow. Practices in primary care are closely linked to residency training. Recognizing gaps in knowledge during training may translate into increased utilization of life-saving measures. Sixty internal medicine residents training at a university-based program were presented with an anonymous online-based survey designed to measure their knowledge about lung cancer screening. In the second phase, residents were presented with an infographic containing the answers to the initial survey. They were surveyed again 30 days after this intervention. The average correct response rate among all years was 42%. PGY-1 residents performed better compared with PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents (p = 0.015). Ninety-two percent of residents did not think screening improved all-cause mortality. Less than half thought screening had a lung cancer-specific mortality benefit. Fifty-three percent rated their self-perceived knowledge above 50%. There was no difference in knowledge after the intervention. Specific populations may benefit from LDCT screening. Even if these benefits do not directly translate to population settings, the burden and mortality of lung cancer calls for urgent measures to attempt an earlier diagnosis. Internal medicine residents in this program may have several concerns about lung cancer screening including coverage, benefit, and false positive rate. Educational methods such as infographics may not be effective in improving knowledge among residents. Lung cancer screening should be a priority in medical education, especially in states with high smoking rates and lung cancer mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Early detection of cancer
  • Graduate medical education
  • Lung neoplasm
  • Lung screening knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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