ASCO-SEP®, 3rd Edition, Features Digital Formats and Complementary Study Tools

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ASCO-SEP is a useful resource for a broad range of health-care professionals.

—Charles L. Loprinzi, MD

ASCO has released the latest edition of ASCO-SEP®, a comprehensive resource designed to help medical providers assess and improve their level of knowledge in the various areas of oncology, enabling them to provide care that will optimize the quality of life for people with cancer. ASCO-SEP, 3rd Edition, authored by a team of experts in the various subject areas, features all new self-assessment questions that correspond with each of the 22 updated chapters, offered in both print and eBook versions; an Online Question Bank; and the new ASCO Flashcards app.

Useful Resource

According to the editor, Charles L. Loprinzi, MD, Regis Professor of Breast Cancer Research at the Mayo Clinic, “ASCO-SEP is a useful resource for a broad range of health-care professionals.” Of course, it serves as an ideal study guide for fellows preparing for board examinations and medical providers preparing for maintenance of certification exams. But is also a helpful general education tool for physician assistants, nurse practitioners, oncology nurses, researchers, and other professionals who work in oncology settings. Moreover, physicians can turn to the publication to research options for individual patients under their care.

ASCO-SEP includes more than 700 pages that cover key oncology topics, including all major cancer types, cancer prevention and epidemiology, molecular biology, therapeutic modalities, clinical trials and biostatistics, symptom management, palliative and end-of-life care, and geriatric care. Accompanying case studies, graphs, charts, tables, and images help make these topics easier to digest quickly. And the more than 170 new self-evaluation questions, with answer rationales and references, help users assess their comprehension.

Multiplatform Support

Recognizing that busy health-care providers today rely heavily on digital notepads, electronic readers, and smartphones, ASCO has made this publication available as an ­eBook that is compatible with iPhone, iPad, iPod, Kindle, and Nook devices. The eBook is provided along with the print edition at no additional cost.

Individuals looking for additional learning opportunities can access the Online Question Bank and ASCO Flashcards app. The 100 predominately case-based questions in the Online Question Bank differ from those included in the print and eBook, and they similarly include answer rationales and references for suggested reading. Users can track their scores, retake missed questions, and submit scores for continuing medical education credit.

Meanwhile, ASCO Flashcards is an app with 200 flashcards that highlight the key points covered in each chapter of the book, presented in an easy-to-digest format. It allows users to self test their knowledge and sort the flashcards based on topic areas of strength and weakness to guide further study. The app is compatible with iOS (iPhone or iPad) and Android devices. A Web-based version is also available for individuals using a different platform. The Online Question Bank and ASCO Flashcards app may be purchased separately or in a discounted bundle with the ASCO-SEP book.

Valuable Study Tool

Wells Messersmith, MD, Director of the Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology Program and Co-head of the Division of Medical Oncology at University of Colorado School of Medicine, relied on ASCO-SEP to help him prepare for his recent maintenance of certification exam. “My overall studying really changed once I started using the SEP program,” he says.

Having previously tried using a variety of study materials, such as national guidelines and online resources, he found that it was inefficient to comb through documents from various sources that often contained irrelevant information. According to Dr. Messersmith, who is also a member of ASCO’s Lifelong Learning Subcommittee and a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine’s Medical Oncology Board, “The ASCO-SEP program organizes all that information for you, with a defined number of chapters covering what the experts think are the main topics. Subjects are boiled down into various targeted modules with helpful tables and figures, as well as practice questions. For a busy person studying for the exam, that’s really what you need.”

Expert Opinions

Dr. Messersmith added that he appreciated knowing that the content in ASCO-SEP is written by experts in the field, many of whom have been members of American Board of Internal Medicine question committees. “Even in my own area of specialization, it was interesting to read these expert opinions,” he said.

The timing of his maintenance of certification exam—shortly before the release of ASCO-SEP, 3rd Edition—was unfortunate, Dr. Messersmith said, noting that he would have benefited from the electronic offerings and additional study tools.

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© 2013. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.