ASCO’s Train the Trainer Program Extends the Reach of Multidisciplinary Cancer Management Education

Mar 20, 2015

Multidisciplinary Cancer Management Courses (MCMC) offered by ASCO International, in collaboration with other organizations, seek to improve cancer care globally through the promotion of interdisciplinary cancer management.

Attendees of select MCMCs have the option to attend a one- to two-day training workshop called Train the Trainer (TTT). During this workshop, attendees can increase their understanding of multidisciplinary cancer care concepts, learn effective teaching methods and practical skills, and discuss implementation strategies for their own trainings with their communities and institutions.  Those who have completed the training are encouraged to disseminate what they have learned by organizing their own courses.

ASCO International asked the following past participants from Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia to share their TTT workshop experience on ASCO Connection. Learn more about MCMCs and ASCO International.


photo of Dr. Caglevic wearing a white coatChristian Caglevic, MD

During the year 2006, the first MCMC was held in Chile thanks to the efforts of ASCO and some Chilean oncologists, especially Dr. Jorge Gallardo, a medical oncologist who in 2010 also brought the new TTT program to Chile.

This was my first time participating, outside the United States, in an ASCO activity. I was invited to participate as an attendee in the TTT course. I didn´t really know what TTT was and what it would mean for me in my professional career years later. I did know, though, that TTT’s purpose was to teach us about how to lead presentations, speak in front of other colleagues, and feel confident when giving a speech. The ASCO delegates leading the course (Dr. Hugo Villar, Dr. Frank Ferries, and Vanessa Eaton) taught us some techniques that we practiced during TTT, including being the speaker in front of the audience, role playing different situations, and just observing and commenting the performance of our colleagues.

My major hope for this course was to be able to stand alone in front of an audience, and with a calm and clear voice, share something related to my profession so clearly that everyone in the audience could understand the presentation. All my hopes for this course were achieved thanks to the ASCO delegates. I learned so many things that I still practice today. I still remember one of the main messages I took home—that ASCO could have given us a “fish,” but if ASCO taught us “how to fish” it would be much better for our lives. Dr. Villar was right; ASCO gave us the tools, through TTT, to be able to train our colleagues to be trainers too.

Thanks to this opportunity with ASCO’s leaders and my colleagues from other South American countries, I have been a trainer in several activities with ASCO in Paraguay, Bolivia, and Chile. A few years ago, there was a MCMC in Bolivia with a TTT course, and it was the first TTT that I participated in as a trainer. It was a great experience, and my colleagues from Bolivia were very happy with our performance, but especially with what they learned. They “learned to fish” and we gave them the tools.

I think TTTs should keep on going all around the world. ASCO supports many different activities, but this one truly makes a difference with other cancer organizations. Thanks to TTT, I became a trainer and now I can help my colleagues to do a better job wherever they are, just like ASCO did with me years ago.

Christian Caglevic, MD, is a medical oncologist at the Fundación Arturo López Pérez de Santiago in Chile.

Dr. Caglevic will be organizing a MCMC on Gastroesophageal Cancer in Chile on April 14th, 2015. To learn more, visit the event’s website*   
*Please note, the event website is in Spanish.