The Pediatric Hematology/Oncology training program at Vanderbilt is a three-year program.
Requirement: Applicants must have successfully completed an ACGME/RCPSC-certified residency program and are board-eligible or -certified in General Pediatrics.
Specific goals of the fellowship include:
- Providing comprehensive clinical training in the diagnostic evaluation and management of children with cancer and blood disorders.
- Creating an individualized scholarly niche in basic, translational, clinical, population or educational sciences to provide a platform for success as an academic physician.
- Developing teaching and mentoring skills.
- Cultivating professional skills and behaviors that will enhance success in future academic faculty employment.
The pediatric oncology program is part of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC), the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Tennessee providing clinical care and conducting research in childhood and adult-onset cancers. We are a full member of the Children's Oncology Group, an organization in which several of our faculty have leadership roles. We also are part of the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Consortium, National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration, Beat Childhood Cancer, Southern Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium, National Experimental Therapeutics Consortium, Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, Bone Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network and many others.
Outline of Fellowship Training
The first year of fellowship focuses on clinical training in pediatric hematology and oncology. Trainees have responsibility for both hospitalized and ambulatory patients.
First-year fellows receive intensive training on our inpatient and consult services where they work closely with our multidisciplinary team, led by an experienced attending pediatric hematologist/oncologist.
In addition, fellows spend time in the ambulatory setting, devoted to rotations in outpatient hematology and oncology clinics. They have dedicated elective time that can be used for additional training in hematopathology, surgical pathology, transfusion medicine, palliative care, radiation oncology and other options.
Each fellow also participates in a weekly half-day continuity clinic for the care of oncology and hematology patients for whom he or she assumes primary responsibility. The fellow is supported by one primary clinical mentor in addition to disease-based faculty experts in hematology and oncology.
Our regularly scheduled educational conferences are listed here.
As a consultant to the house staff and medical students, the fellow has an opportunity to develop skills in clinical teaching. To further this experience as an educator, the fellow participates with the faculty in various teaching conferences.
Exposure to clinical research is afforded through participation in the design, implementation and analysis of therapeutic, epidemiologic, biologic and supportive care studies.
We encourage every fellow to explore their future goals and interests as part of their development as an academic scholar. Individualized mentoring is provided to all fellows starting in July of their first year to assist them in identifying a scholarly niche, research mentor and project for their second and third year of fellowship. Monthly meetings are held with the fellowship program director to assist fellows as they identify their scholarly interests and identify a research mentor. Fellows may elect to pursue their research experience with any member of the Vanderbilt faculty, with approval from their fellowship program director and division chief. Departmental training grants exist within the School of Medicine that also facilitate support of research efforts. Many of our fellows apply and are awarded inter- and intradepartmental training grants (such as T32 and K12 training grants and career development awards).
Years 2 and 3
We pride ourselves in providing protected research time to our fellows. Clinical responsibilities are kept at a minimum and generally to those who are part of the designated schedule. The expectation is that other team members will provide clinical care for fellow patients during research time, except in rare circumstances. Midway through the second year, fellows will also declare a “track,” which will allow them to personalize their third year of training.
In the third year, each fellow will personalize training to best fit their clinical and research niches. They often tailor their clinical training to focus on a specific interest such as hematology, sickle cell disease, solid tumor oncology or stem cell transplant. Fellows who declare the research track will have additional protected time for their scholarly activities; fellows on the clinical track will have additional clinical training in their area of focus. The third-year fellowship will be decided upon extensive discussion with the fellowship program director.
Fellows continue to participate in their weekly half-day continuity clinic. Participation in specialty clinics can be arranged to individualize the fellows’ training to align with their future goals.
All regularly scheduled educational conferences continue during the second and third years of training and the fellow continues to develop skills in clinical teaching. Furthermore, some fellows who have a primary interest in clinical research may have an opportunity to enroll in Master of Public Health (MPH) or Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) programs, as well as responsibility in ongoing therapeutic trials.
All fellows complete a quality improvement (QI) project during their second and third years of fellowship. Each fellow will choose a project of their choice with appropriate mentorship.
Exposure to clinical trials research continues as it is incorporated in clinical care.
The major portion of the second and third years are devoted to the development and implementation of a scholarly project that will teach and develop research skills critical for future academic success.
Post-Fellowship Training (Years 4-6)
For those fellows who desire additional research career development, there are multiple training grants to which they may apply for an additional one to three years of training to serve as a bridge for extramural funding. Division faculty and primary research mentors assist fellows in the grant preparation.