Fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Fellow and patient hem-onc

The fellowship program of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (including Blood and Marrow Transplantation) at the University of Minnesota is aimed at the trainee whose goal is a career in academic medicine.

Fellows receive training in an accredited program focused on developing medical knowledge, clinical skills and judgment, self-assessment, proficiency in communication, professional attitudes and behavior, competence performing medical procedures, research skills, teaching proficiency, humanistic qualities, and a commitment to scholarship.  Applicants must have completed an ACGME accredited residency program by the fellowship start date.

Clinical Experience

During the three-year training program, time is distributed to ensure that fellows develop both clinical and research expertise. The program provides approximately 12 months in the first year and 1-2 months in the 2nd and 3rd yr exclusively for clinical work, complimented by 20 months of protected time for hypothesis-driven research during years 2 and 3.

Year 1 of the fellowship is designed to develop clinical skills through direct inpatient and outpatient care. In addition, fellows supervise and teach pediatric residents and medical students in the care of hospitalized pediatric hematology/oncology and blood and marrow transplant patients. During the first year, fellows will be assigned as the primary physician of 10-20 newly diagnosed patients whom they will follow for the three years of the fellowship.

In addition, trainees provide consultations to the emergency department and other pediatric and surgical specialties, thereby gaining familiarity with the hematologic and oncologic manifestations of a broad spectrum of pediatric illnesses. First-year fellows will complete rotations in Hematopathology, Blood Banking, Neuro-Oncology, Radiation Oncology and Coagulation.

The University of Minnesota Divisions of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplantation have several clinical programs from which our fellows gain experience. The Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Fanconi Anemia and Leukemia Programs each offer unique opportunities for our fellows to gain expertise in these areas.  

Research Training

Years 2-3 of the fellowship are devoted primarily to hypothesis-driven research projects. The program offers two distinct research tracks, focusing on either (1) laboratory research or (2) clinical research. Fellows interested in academic careers in clinical research may obtain Master’s of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) degrees from the University of Minnesota. Based on the fellows long-term academic career objectives and interests, selection of the research track and specific research projects are made by the fellow in conjunction with their faculty advisors and future research mentors, prior to the end of the first year of fellowship.

During the 2nd year of fellowship, fellows will take part in a weekly half-day hematology continuity clinic to further develop their training and expertise in benign hematology with outpatient management of hemoglobinopathies, bleeding/clotting disorders and general hematology. Fellows will have the opportunity to continue this weekly clinic during their 3rd year of training if they so choose.

Year 4 - Under specific circumstances, the option of a fourth year of fellowship is possible. In those situations where a fourth year is approved, the full effort of the fellow is devoted to research.

Fellow Education and Scientific Committees

Fellows participate in a wide range of conferences throughout their training. The weekly fellow’s conference covers the general topics in the fields of pediatric hematology, oncology, and stem cell transplantation. In addition, a series of core lectures are presented to the fellows early in their first year of training, covering acute and emergent problems in hematology, oncology, and stem cell transplant along with how to give a “New Diagnosis” talk to the patient and their families.

Throughout the three-year training program, fellows participate in weekly Tumor Conferences which include presentations of new cases, discussions of plans for patient management and follow up, and reviews of the literature. They also take part in a twice monthly Hematopathology Conference where peripheral smears, bone marrow aspirates/biopsies and flow cytometry are reviewed on both malignant and benign hematology patients. Other weekly conferences include Neuro-Oncology Conference, Bone and Soft Tissue Sarcoma Conference, Bone Marrow Transplant Research Conference, Hematology/Oncology Journal Club (monthly), Pediatric Morbidity & Mortality Conference and the Department of Pediatrics Grand Rounds. Fellows may also attend ongoing seminar series through the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota.

All fellows complete a core departmental fellowship curriculum that includes statistical analysis and study design, bioethics, and the development of skills in scientific writing and presentation.

Fellows are encouraged to attend one scientific meeting each year with funding provided. Funding for travel to additional meetings may be available for fellows who are invited to present their research.

In summary, fellows who complete their training at the University of Minnesota in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology will attain a high level of competence in both the clinical and research aspects of the field. They will not only have developed a strong foundation in the management of the common Hematologic and Oncologic diagnoses but will have gained particular proficiency in Hematopathology/ Flow Cytometry along with Blood and Marrow Transplantation, where the University of Minnesota is a world leader in the field.

As evidence of the success and productivity of our fellows, follow this link for a collection of recent paper publications, poster abstracts and oral presentations and both internal/external grant funding that our fellows have received.