The Hematology and Oncology Section oversees an exceptional fellowship program preparing fellows for sub-specialty certification in both medical oncology and hematology. Twelve fellows are currently engaged in clinical training based on a diverse patient population at both Boston University Medical Center and the Boston VA Health Care System. Between these two training sites Fellows are exposed to a very wide variety of newly diagnosed cases and come out with extremely solid clinical skills. Both institutions have long standing and distinguished histories of providing the highest level of care for underserved patients and this is an integral part of our training in Hematology Oncology.
In addition Fellows all participate extensively in clinical and basic research through a broad range of research opportunities. Hematology and Oncology fellows also have the opportunity to apply for an additional year of research training through the Hematology Training Program which is a T32 funded National Institutes of Health (NIH) training grant in hematology and to achieve Masters in public health through an additional NIH training grant and collaboration with the Boston University School of Public Health.
In collaboration with the Section of Geriatrics, the Hematology and Oncology Section also offers one of the few integrated Geriatric Oncology Fellowship Program in the country. This program has produced leaders in this emerging field and prepares trainees for certification in hematology, oncology and geriatrics.
Goals of the Hematology and Oncology Fellowship Program
The overall goals of the Hematology and Oncology fellowship program are to provide an academically excellent, challenging and personally satisfying training experience for all Fellows. The Faculty work close with Fellows to identify their future career path and maximize their ability to succeed in this path. Fellows learn to grow as expert and compassionate Hematologist and Oncologists, and are provided various opportunities to participate in first rate basic and applied science related to Hematology and Oncology.
The Hematology and Oncology Fellowship Program at Boston University School of Medicine is an ACGME accredited program currently recruiting 3 to 5 Fellows per year with a total number of 12-15 fellows in the program, for careers in Academic and Clinical Practice. The program offers a very diverse and rich clinical experience through its two major hospitals, the Boston Medical Center and the Boston Veterans Administration Medical Center. Fellows obtain extensive first-hand experience in management of all types of cancer and blood disorders and benefit from a large, dedicated and accessible teaching faculty. Fellows applying to the standard Hematology Oncology program through the Match system can opt for further research training including an additional (fourth year) devoted primarily to research once enrolled in the Fellowship. The Geriatric Hematology Oncology Track is applied for separately in the Match and applicants can apply to both Tracks, ranking them according to their preference.
Our Hematology and Oncology Fellowship Mission is to
- Provide well rounded clinical training in Hematology and Oncology with emphasis on developing ability to independently manage all stages of illness including initial diagnostic work up, intensive anti-cancer treatment, and palliative care;
- Development of high level of professionalism and compassionate approach to patients of varied economic and social backgrounds;
- Development of future academic leaders with areas of expertise dependent on goals of individual fellows and specific areas of strength in our institution including: Stem Cell Transplantation, Basic and Translational Research in Biology of Solid Tumors (e.g., breast and head and neck cancer, genetic basis of cancer) and Blood disorders (e.g., plasma cell dyscrasias, lymphomas, and hemoglobinopathies) and Immunology, clinical research and trial development in Hematology and Oncology, and research in epidemiology and treatment of cancer in the elderly, in underserved populations and veterans;
- Development of excellent communication and teaching skills.
- Contribute to increasing diversity in the Hematology Oncology workforce.
- We are continuously trying to identify areas for improvement in our program and are dedicated to empowering Fellows to participate in shaping and improving our program. Therefore, an additional over-riding mission of the program is to ensure a sense of happiness and well-being among our Fellows.
The Standard Hematology and Oncology track involves three years of training, of which approximately 18 months are devoted to clinical rotations and clinical electives. Fellows often opt to take additional clinical electives (e.g. Palliative Care, Radiation Medicine, Blood Bank, Hematopathology or Stem cell transplantation). All Fellows do at least one month in allogeneic transplant training through a collaboration with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and some Fellows opt to do more than a month (generally if they decide to go into hematopoietic transplantation as a career). The remainder of the program the fellow has an option of either doing clinical or basic research depending on their chosen career path and interests. Fellows are expected to identify a research area and research mentor by the middle of the second year and the hope is that all Fellows will accomplish significant research, worthy of presentation at national or international meetings and publication. Fellows are encouraged to take course work and/or complete a Master Degree in Public Health if they are interested in pursuing a career in clinical research.
The Hematology Research Track involves a total of 4 years with more than two years dedicated to basic, translational or clinical research related to Hematology. The clinical training is otherwise equivalent to that of Hematology and Oncology Fellows and fully prepares the Fellow for clinical practice. The goal of the research track is to provide sufficient time and educational support to achieve the ability to function as an independent investigator by the end of the training. Research Fellows can combine their training with graduate course work leading to a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology.
The Geriatric Hematology/Oncology track is one of the first and best developed training programs of its kind in the country. Fellows receive training and board eligibility in all three disciplines. This program includes four years of training with the first year more focused on Geriatrics and the last three years focused more on Hematology Oncology. The program has produced leaders in this important, emerging field. Please visit the Geriatrics Department website for further information. Note that Geriatric Hematology/Oncology Fellows are fully integrated in both the Geriatrics and Hematology Oncology sections of Boston University and have often been selected as Chief Fellows for the general Hematology Oncology training program.