Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program

Overview

The Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Training Program at UC San Diego is a fully integrated program including hematology, oncology, and bone marrow transplantation. It is 3 years in duration and is designed to prepare Fellows for careers in the academic field of their choice. Fellows will be prepared to sit for their subspecialty board examinations in both Hematology and Medical Oncology.

Fellows will receive 18 months of clinical training, with 18 months reserved for research. Research experiences vary based upon the interest of the Fellow, but pathways have included clinical research, laboratory research, outcomes research, and palliative care research. Potential opportunities include working with our Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy, or collaborating with otherNCI-Designated Cancer Centers located in San Diego.  There is an emphasis on early-phase clinical trials as well as translational research, and research mentorship begins during the first year of training.

Clinical Training

The first 18 months of the fellowship are intensely clinical, made up of both inpatient consulting responsibilities at one of the 3 teaching hospitals (see below) as well as a half-day per week in an outpatient continuity clinic at the VA Medical Center. Three months of the first 18 are spent with the Bone Marrow Transplant Program, with two months on the inpatient service and one month in the outpatient clinic.  At least 3 months are spent in the outpatient oncology clinics at Moores Cancer Center. This experience is designed to expose Fellows to all of the organ–specific oncologic disciplines (e.g., lung, GI, GU, etc.) and introduce them to the setting where most of the clinical trial work is being done. Fellows will also rotate through the Hemophilia and Thrombosis Treatment Center, as well as pursue ACGME-mandated training in transfusion medicine, special coagulation, flow cytometry, gynecologic oncology, and hematopathology. A number of electives are available, including palliative care and radiation oncology.

View a typical rotation schedule (PDF) for a first-year fellow and a second-year fellow.

Consult Services

While on the consult services, the Fellow is the primary contact for all matters related to hematology and oncology. Patients are evaluated and diagnostic and treatment plans are developed. Attending rounds are held daily with the Fellow and one or more faculty to review and revise treatment plans, as needed, and to provide teaching around disease processes and management.

San Diego Medical Center – Hillcrest

UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest, close to downtown San Diego, serves a diverse population of patients. The hospital is a Level III trauma center and has an obstetrics service.

At Hillcrest, patients present with a variety of hematologic or oncologic disorders, frequently in an advanced state. Many patients are seen who come north from Mexico and who may not have access to medical care prior to presentation.

Hillcrest is also home to the Owen Clinic, which provides advanced, multidisciplinary and coordinated care for HIV-positive patients and those with AIDS-related illnesses, including malignancies.

Hematologic complications of trauma or burns are not uncommon, as are complicated bleeding and clotting disorders.

Jacobs Medical Center (including Thornton Pavilion), La Jolla

At Jacobs Medical Center, located near the main UC San Diego campus in La Jolla, treatment of malignant diseases, including management of therapy-related complications and side effects, is emphasized.

Also located at Jacobs Medical Center is the Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) Program, which includes patients with hematologic malignancies (including leukemia and lymphoma) undergoing chemotherapy. 

The Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center (CVC) added 45 new inpatient beds to the La Jolla campus and generates frequent consults for thrombotic disorders. 

Moores Cancer Center, with outpatient clinics and research labs, is within an easy 3-minute walk from Thornton.

VA Medical Center – La Jolla

The VA Medical Center is located adjacent to the main UCSD campus and is only 5 minutes by car or convenient campus bus connection to the Thornton Pavilion and the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

The VA Medical Center is a 240-bed general medicine and surgery hospital with an advanced Spinal Cord Injury Center. The inpatient and outpatient services are busy, with the majority of patients being seen for oncologic problems.

At all sites, Fellows may have a Medicine resident and/or a medical student on the consult team. While on consult services, the Fellows are expected to attend relevant conferences such as Hematopathology Rounds and Tumor Boards.

See the Clinical Sites page for more information about our hospitals and clinics.

Outpatient Clinics

The outpatient clinical rotations are confined to the VA Medical Center and   Moores Cancer Center.

The VA Medical Center Hematology-Oncology clinics are quite active. Here, the Fellows will see both new consults as well as follow their own group of patients.  Clinics are staffed by both Hematology and Oncology faculty.

At both the VA and Moores Cancer Center, there is an Infusion Center for patients who need chemotherapy or other forms of treatment.

Moores Cancer Center houses the major oncology-related outpatient activities of UC San Diego. It also houses theRadiation Oncology service.

Moores Cancer Center is an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. During their second and third years, Fellows have the opportunity to attend special interest continuity clinics there.

Call Schedule

Fellows are ‘on call’ around the clock during the week, from Mondays through 5pm on Fridays. 

On the weekends, one Fellow takes call for all services, but a back-up Fellow is also on the schedule to be available should the need arise. The weekend Fellow is responsible for seeing any new consults that come into the system, while the attending faculty are responsible for rounding on established patients at the various hospitals.

Research Training

During the 18 months of clinical training, fellows are expected to develop a personal plan for research training, in consultation with program leadership. At UCSD, there is a remarkable array of research training opportunities open to the fellows, from beginning clinical research to basic science aspects of hematology or oncology. Our fellows have a broad range of research experiences to draw from.

Visit our Research page for a key to the current Hematology-Oncology and BMT faculty research projects.

Basic research training is encouraged and mentors can be found not only within the UCSD School of Medicine but also at neighboring research institutions such as The Scripps Research Institute, the Burnham Institute for Cancer Research,and the Salk Institute.

Based at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, there are training opportunities available in new cancer drug development, supported by the Cancer Therapeutics Training Award, led by Dr. Stephen B. Howell, director of the Cancer Pharmacology Program at the Cancer Center. This provides in-depth training in all aspects of cancer drug development.

In-depth training in clinical research – from trial design to execution – is available through the Clinical Research Enhancement through Supplemental Training (CREST) program of the School of Medicine. CREST is a two-year program that provides comprehensive multidisciplinary clinical research training for future leaders in clinical investigation. The program features an integrated design for state-of-the-art training and a broad-based curriculum encompassing major areas of clinical research. Interested Fellows typically take the abbreviated course over the period of a year; however, a Masters of Advanced Studies in Clinical Research can be awarded upon completion of the full curriculum.

Finally, many opportunities exist to carry out clinical trials–related research as part of teams led by experienced faculty. Examples of early phase studies include the initial trials with JAK-2 mutation inhibitors in the treatment of post-polycythemia myelofibrosis.

During their research training months, fellows will be expected to maintain a one-half day/week continuity clinic. This can take the form of a general Hematology-Oncology Clinic at the VA Medical Center, or a series of subspecialty clinics at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

Didactic Curriculum

The basic curriculum spans no less than 20 months, enabling the faculty to cover, in considerable depth, virtually all topics important to hematology and oncology.

During the summer months, a ‘What You Need to Know” series is given, reviewing critical clinical issues in Hematology and Oncology. These lectures are repeated annually and updated, both for topics and content, based on feedback from the Fellows.

The formal curriculum offerings take place on Friday mornings, beginning at 7:00 am. There is an in-depth didactic presentation by one of the faculty on a relevant topic. Following that, there is a one-hour presentation and review of a hematology and an oncology topic by one of the Fellows. These presentations are based on actual cases that the Fellow has encountered. This typically engenders substantial discussion and input from all faculty present.

Finally, during each month, there will be a basic or clinical research presentation by one of the faculty or a visiting scientist, or a journal club presentation by one of the Fellows, in conjunction with a faculty mentor.

How to Apply

Typically, four new fellows are accepted into the Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program. Acceptance into the program is based on a complete evaluation of the applicant’s education, clinical performance, documented interest in research, and a strong potential for success in academic medicine.

The application and selection processes conform to ACGME guidelines. However, due to the large number of applicants and the restrictions placed on trainees by the NIH Research Training Grants available to us, we cannot consider applicants who are not citizens or Permanent Residents of the United States.

To apply, please contact the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). We require the following supporting documents to be submitted with your ERAS application:

  • Application
  • Personal Statement
  • Current CV
  • Three letters of recommendation (including one from your current Program Director)
  • Medical School transcripts, USMLE transcripts, and Dean’s letter

We are no longer accepting paper applications.  You may contact ERAS if you have any questions about the application process:

ERAS Fellowships Documents Office
PO Box 13687
Philadelphia, PA 19101-1307
215-966-3940

Web: http://www.erasfellowshipdocuments.org
Email: support@erasfellowshipdocuments.org

The University of California, San Diego, participates in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) for this fellowship. Please contact the NRMP for information on how to sign up for their services:

National Resident Matching Program
2501 M Street, NW, Suite 1
Washington DC 20037-1307
202-828-0676

http://www.nrmp.org

Terms and Conditions of Appointment for Trainees in Graduate Medical Education Training Programs

Fellowship trainees who are matched to the UC San Diego Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Training Program will be asked to sign the “UC San Diego Medical Center Terms and Conditions of Appointment”, along with other letters and forms:

Please visit the UCSDMC OGME website to find information about the House Officer Policy and Procedure (HOPPD) and GME Academic Policies, Procedures and Guidelines:

  • Institutional eligibility, selection and nondiscrimination criteria
  • Hours and working conditions policy
  • Supervision policy
  • Policies regarding Evaluation, Promotion, Corrective Action, and Dismissal
  • The specifics of the house officer group health, life, dental, vision and disability programs

Contact

Sanford J. Shattil, MD – Program Director
email: sshattil@ucsd.edu

Susan Stafford – Program Coordinator
phone: 858-657-5281
fax: 858-657-5348
email: sustafford@ucsd.edu

DOM Calendar: 

https://medschool.ucsd.edu/som/medicine/about/Pages/Calendar.aspx

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