The UNC-Chapel Hill Hematology/Oncology Fellowship program trains internists for either academic or scholarly clinical careers in the fields of Hematology and/or Oncology by providing a broad-spectrum of intensive clinical experience combined with mentor-guided research.
The Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program is a three-year program both clinical and research training. The clinical training (not required for PhD doctoral fellows) qualifies fellows for board certification in both hematology and oncology. The first year for most MD fellows consists of clinical studies, divided before consult service, the inpatient service, bone marrow transplantation, and electives. The second and third years are more flexible and are tailored to the specific needs of the individual fellows, involving approximately three months of patient-directed training each year with the remainder of the time devoted to academic research.
All fellows will attend two clinics per week. During the first year, the fellows will have 2 clinics per week that cover either malignant hematology or benign hematology and oncology. Second and third year fellows are encouraged to select specific faculty with similar or complementary interests. Second and third year fellows spend most of their time on clinical or laboratory research under the guidance of faculty mentors.
The program also provides single board certification in either hematology or oncology. Our goal however, is dual certification with an emphasis on research training to all fellows. At the end of training, graduates will be well qualified to pursue academic careers and independent biomedical research.
Application for the program should be made in the second year of the applicant’s house staff training. Applications should be submitted before the end of December, to ERAS ( Electronic Residency Application Service) 1 ½ to 2 years before matriculation is desired. We participate in the Medical Specialty Matching Program (MSMP). Occasionally, unexpected openings sometimes occur after match so that, qualified applicants interested in our program could contact the department even past appropriate deadlines.
The first year of fellowship consists of clinical rotations. All the clinical rotations described below are one month in length and rotated twice. In the two months that are left the fellows rotate through a variety of electives and take their vacation time.
- This is a month long rotation on the medical oncology service which is headed by a second or third year resident. The team consists of residents, medical students, and pharmacists. The fellow on the service helps direct any oncology issues that are occurring. In addition, the fellows takes care of consults that occur throughout the hospital related to patients with cancer or suspected cancers. The fellow is responsible for teaching attending rounds once a week to resident and students on the inpatient wards. At the end of this rotation it is expected that the fellow will have a better appreciation of inpatient oncology, hospice and palliative care, and further extend their abilities as a teacher of junior doctors.
- The inpatient malignant hematology service is headed by a second or third year resident and composed as a team of residents, medical students, and pharmacologists. The fellow on this service assists this team in handling patients with malignant hematology cases, such as acute leukemias, and lymphomas. The fellow assists with numerous procedures that are needed on a busy inpatient service such as bone marrow biopsies, and intrathecal chemotherapy. The fellow is in charge of one teaching session per week which is attended by the residents and medical students on the inpatient wards. At the end of the rotation is expected that the fellow will have a better appreciation for malignant hematology, particularly leukemia and have advanced their skills in procedures. It is likely that the fellow will also have improved as a teacher of junior physicians.
- The bone marrow transplant service is primarily an inpatient rotation with the attending on the bone marrow transplant service. The fellow is responsible for the day to day management of the patients on the bone marrow inpatient service. There is an online learning program that the fellow can complete with the attending or pursue on their own. At the end of the rotation it is expected that the fellow will have a better appreciation of indications for bone marrow transplantation, acute and chronic toxicities, and survival data.
- The consult service is a busy challenging month long rotation. The fellow on this service carries the pager which brings in calls from other institutions, patients, and from doctors throughout the state. UNC hospitals is a large referral base. Some of the most complex hematology admissions are brought in through the consult service such as thrombotic thrombocytopenia purpura, hemophilia, other bleeding and clotting disorders, and malignancies that are then referred to other areas of the hospital. In addition to triaging and leading in these consults the fellow is responsible for helping prepare a conference at the end of each week. This hematology conference is attended by many people in the hospital including many of the current and former faculty. At the end of the rotation it is expected that the fellow will be much more proficient at dealing with very complex hematologic issues.
- The first year has two continuity clinics, one of the clinics in the first year is on malignant hematology, the other clinic consists of a variety of malignant disease and benign hematology. In the second and third years, fellows may maintain a multidisciplinary clinic as well as focus on a disease area.
- The outpatient rotation is a month long rotation in which the fellow rotates through a variety of clinics that deal with hematologic and malignant diseases. Our clinics include hemophilia, clotting disorders, sickle cell disease, thoracic oncology, breast oncology, neuro oncology, melanoma, gastrointestinal oncology, genito-urinary oncology, head and neck oncology, and benign hematology. The rotation is held twice in the first year. In addition, the fellow is in charge of a case presentation at the end of their month which is given to the faculty and fellows in the program. At the end of the rotation the fellow will have a much better understanding of the variety of outpatient benign and malignant diseases which will help the fellow narrow his/her academic choice for the following years.
There are several elective rotations available for first, second, and third year fellows. They include gynecologic oncology, radiation oncology, palliative care, transfusion medicine, neuro-oncology, and hematopathology. The details of these are available in our fellowship handbook.
Visit the Hematology/Oncology site for more information on Conferences.
The Division of Hematology/Oncology will begin accepting applications on the ERAS Fellowship Application website beginning July 1, 2012. The ERAS, Electronic Residency Application Service, is a service which transmits fellowship applications, recommendation letters, Dean’s Letters, transcripts, and other supporting credentials from medical schools to fellowship program directors using the internet. To use ERAS, click on the link below.