The three-year curriculum for the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship is organized to promote the development of highly skilled academic physicians through excellent research opportunities and clinical experience.
In the first year, fellows rotate through outpatient and inpatient clinical rotations. A formal Career Development Program is embedded into the first year, with time to meet with mentors and initiate research projects. The second and third years include at least 12 months of dedicated research time and the remaining required and elective clinical rotations.
During the program, fellows have the opportunity to present their research findings at national and international conferences as well as attend competitive workshops. These activities are supported by the program, including clinical coverage, time off, financial support for travel, and professional poster or slide preparation.
In addition, an optional advanced fellowship year through the Advanced Hematology/Oncology Fellowship is an opportunity for further career development and can facilitate more research or clinical expertise or both, to help compete for independent funding opportunities and successful transition to junior faculty. It is funded by our program without need for principal investigator or grant support. There are also disease-specific advanced fellowships that can be completed in this year.
In addition to research and clinical experiences, there is the opportunity to take master's-level classes through the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS).
The Career Development Program is a personalized, tailored program to assist fellows in making mentorship connections and developing a career trajectory to meet each fellow's educational needs. Many staff hematologists and oncologists serve as mentors, and their various backgrounds offer a rich diversity of research and clinical expertise.
Fellows attend a series of core educational conferences and also provide education by preparing and presenting interesting patient conferences, pathological conferences, journal clubs, and teaching to internal medicine residents and medical students. Fellows are invited to lectures by visiting faculty and special guests.
Mayo Clinic is a longstanding comprehensive cancer center of world renown. It is consistently ranked as one of the top three cancer centers in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
We offer a wide range of research opportunities in many areas of hematology and oncology, including:
- Gene and viral therapies
- Cell-based therapies
- Experimental therapeutics (phases I and II)
- Genomics and proteomics
- Extensive basic and translational research
Mayo Clinic conducts hundreds of clinical trials for patients with both rare and common cancers, including a robust phase I program and heavily translational phase II trials. Along with phase III trial participation, there is frequent involvement in the conception and conduct of these trials at a national leadership level by Mayo staff physicians, as well as development and performance of translational studies within these trials. Mayo Clinic serves as the lead statistical center for the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology cooperative group.
In addition, many basic and translational science investigators are based in the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, the Department of Oncology, the Division of Hematology, and the Transplant Center. Team science with an eye to translation is an emphasis at Mayo Clinic, as evidenced by the multiple disease-specific National Cancer Institute-funded Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grants held by Mayo Clinic.
Mayo Clinic's Center for Individualized Medicine offers infrastructure and funding for innovative research ideas. The Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for Science of Health Care Delivery is focused on testing theories, models and methods to improve patient care. Other research strengths at Mayo include epidemiology, cancer control and health care delivery.
Grant opportunities for fellows are available internally through programs within the clinical divisions, Center for Individualized Medicine, Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, career development awards through SPORE grants and other mechanisms. Many fellows also successfully compete for external career development grants, such as K awards.
Mayo Clinic supports the academic and career development needs of fellows. The fellows' research mentors closely supervise protocol development, conduct of the study, data analysis and manuscript preparation. The majority of Mayo fellows present their work at national and international meetings and publish multiple papers. The fellowship supports these activities with time off, funded travel and professional poster preparation.
There is expertise, opportunity, mentorship and a road map for research success at Mayo Clinic, regardless of career interest. Upon graduation, our fellows successfully compete for faculty positions at Mayo Clinic and other leading academic centers.
Career development and mentorship
Early in the first year of fellowship, fellows meet the two faculty advisers in the Hematology/Oncology Career Development Program. Each fellow creates a Career Development Plan and fellows are introduced to potential mentors, based on clinical and research interests. Throughout the fellowship, the faculty advisers and mentors provide comprehensive educational advice and personal support.
Through the Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS), fellows have the opportunity for formal academic training, including workshops on how to write a paper and prepare a grant proposal. There is the opportunity to take courses that lead to a certificate or master's degree in clinical research, fully funded by the fellowship.
The Hematology/Oncology Fellowship provides opportunities to gain expertise in hematology and oncology, which includes mastering the clinical practice of benign hematology, hematologic and solid tumor malignancies, and blood and marrow transplantation.
On the hematology and oncology inpatient services, the fellows are expected to serve in a junior faculty-type role, directly supervising and guiding medical residents on the team, together with the staff physician. These resident physicians are responsible for most direct patient care, such as note writing, orders and dismissal summaries, which frees the fellows' time for supervision, chemotherapy ordering and teaching.
Fellows also participate in hematology and oncology consultations on hospitalized patients. These experiences help fellows learn pragmatic and scholarly approaches to a wide array of inpatient diagnostic and therapeutic hematologic and oncologic issues. Fellow assignments include inpatient and outpatient bone marrow transplant (BMT) services.
During the outpatient rotations, fellows rotate through the subspecialty clinics, working directly with expert staff physicians.
Hematology outpatient clinic
In the outpatient hematology clinic, there is considerable autonomy in evaluation of new patients and providing longitudinal care. Fellows are involved in the care of patients with various hematologic malignancies and nonmalignant hematologic disorders, such as lymphoma, anemia, myeloproliferative diseases, chronic leukemias and benign hematologic diseases. Rotations in transfusion medicine, hematopathology and coagulation provide well-rounded training.
Oncology outpatient clinics
In the outpatient oncology setting, fellows serve as the primary oncologist for patients with all types of solid tumors. Fellows treat patients with malignancies in disease-specific clinics while working directly with an expert supervising staff oncologist.
Our continuity clinic is unique. Each fellow acquires a panel of patients from the clinical rotations to develop a diverse set of continuity patients, across all tumor groups and benign hematology. The fellow is truly the Mayo Clinic physician for his or her continuity clinic patients, with staff physician guidance to ensure delivery of expert multidisciplinary care and enrollment into available clinical trials. This continuity experience is invaluable due to the ability to develop longitudinal relationships and manage patients throughout their illness.
Elective rotations are available in the third or the optional advanced fellowship year. These may include focused clinical training, research time, outpatient hematology/oncology at Mayo Clinic's campus in Arizona or Florida, and Mayo International Health Program rotations.
Clinical conferences, Simulation Center sessions, journal clubs, formal coursework in the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS), and one-on-one instruction are integral parts of the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship. Fellows work one-to-one with staff physicians during all aspects of their training.
A variety of conferences are held each week in the divisions of Hematology and Medical Oncology. In addition, there are tumor boards, programs hosted by visiting faculty, conferences sponsored by other departments (Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Surgery, Radiation Oncology, Internal Medicine), Humanities in Medicine conferences, and monthly oncology dinner meetings.
The weekly conference schedule is:
- Hematology Clinical Pathologic Conference
- Transplant Grand Rounds
- Hematology Core Curriculum Lecture
- Oncology Division Continuing Medical Education Conference
- Oncology Core Curriculum Lecture
- Internal Medicine Grand Rounds
- Hematology Research Conference
- Hematology Division Continuing Medical Education Conference
- Clotter's Rounds Conference
- Hematopathology Clinical Conference
- Tumor Biology Conference
- Oncology Interesting Patient Conference
- Oncology Research Conference
- Hematology Journal Club
- Board Review
There is no mandatory in-house call. The hematology/oncology fellow is the backup for overnight coverage of the hospital services. Mayo Clinic is fully compliant with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) duty-hour requirements.
Our fellows have the opportunity to teach Mayo Medical School students, visiting students from other schools, and internal medicine residents through bedside instruction and formal didactic lectures.
Moonlighting, both internal and external, is permitted for licensed fellows in good standing with the program. Moonlighting activities may be scheduled during outpatient, laboratory or research rotations. Moonlighting should not interfere with required learning and must not violate the ACGME's duty-hour rules or visa regulations.
To ensure our fellows gain proficiency, their performance is monitored carefully throughout the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship. Fellows are formally evaluated by their supervising faculty member after each clinical rotation, and then meet with the program director to review these evaluations. In addition, fellows regularly evaluate the faculty and rotations to ensure that their educational needs are being met.