Yale Medical Oncology-Hematology Program
The Yale Medical Oncology-Hematology Fellowship Program is a 36-month training program that adheres to the ACGME and ABIM guidelines for combined training in Medical Oncology and Hematology. The fellowship program provides comprehensive clinical training in the diagnosis and management of neoplastic and benign hematologic disorders and a robust research experience to prepare fellows for a career in academic medicine. Fellows have the opportunity to train in multiple health care settings and to care for a diverse patient population with respect to gender and socio-economic backgrounds.
The goal of the Yale Medical Oncology-Hematology Fellowship Program is to train the next generation of academic hematologists and oncologists devoted to laboratory-based or patient-oriented investigation. Thus, the program is designed and structured to provide not only comprehensive clinical training but also a rigorous research experience to prepare fellows for careers as clinician investigators or clinician scientists in academic medicine.
Fellows will complete 18 months of full time clinical training dedicated to the acquisition of the medical knowledge, clinical skills, and competence to practice Medical Oncology and Hematology. All fellows are required to engage in 18 months of research (clinical, translational, or basic science) under the mentorship of Yale Cancer Center faculty. In addition, fellows will complete 36 months of a continuity clinic in six blocks of six months duration, ½ - 1 day per week, which include a general oncology clinic at the West Haven VA and at least five disease-specific clinics at Yale Medical Center.
In recognition of the increasing complexity of cancer therapy, particularly with respect to the interface between laboratory discovery and clinical care, the fellowship training has been organized to provide experience in the multidisciplinary care of patients, supplemented by an intensive program of didactic lectures, inter-disciplinary tumor boards, research seminars, and formal coursework. The outpatient clinics are structured according to specific diseases (e.g., breast cancer, lymphoma, lung cancer, benign hematologic disease, etc). Each disease-specific unit is supported by a weekly inter-disciplinary tumor board attended by specialized faculty members from other departments, where patients are discussed in depth with review of pathologic and radiological data. The disease-specific units facilitate the clinical and translation research programs at Yale and improve patient care by consolidating complex and inter-disciplinary management.
Clinical Training in Year One (12 months) and Year Two (6 months):
During the first year of training, fellows rotate through four clinical blocks as follows: (1) six months continuously in ambulatory clinics, where fellows care for a panel of patients over six months in different disease-specific units; (2) 1.5 months on Yale-New Haven Hospital's In-patient Hematology and Oncology Consult Services (3 weeks Oncology and 3 weeks Hematology), where fellows provide consultative services in the discipline of oncology or hematology to patients on the general wards and intensive care units at Yale-New Haven Hospital; (3) three months at the VA Connecticut Health Care System of West Haven, where fellows actively participate in the Hematology and Oncology out-patient clinics and consult on the in-patient service at the West Haven Veterans Administration Hospital; (4) 0.5 months on the Palliative Care Service; 0.5 months in the Gynecologic Oncology ambulatory clinics; 0.5 months on the Sickle Cell Anemia Service
During the second year, fellows rotate through four clinical blocks at Yale-New Haven Hospital, with a major focus on hematology: (1) 1.5 months on the Bone Marrow Transplantation unit; (2) two months on Yale-New Haven Hospital's In-patient Hematology and Oncology Consult Services (3 weeks Oncology and 5 weeks Hematology), where fellows provide consultative services in the discipline of oncology or hematology to patients on the general wards and intensive care units at Yale-New Haven Hospital; (3) 1.5 mo on the Adult Leukemia/Lymphoma Unit, where fellows participate in the acute care of patients with hematologic malignancies and complications of transplantation. (4) one month in Yale-New Haven Hospital's Transfusion and Laboratory Medicine Department, focused on blood banking, coagulation testing, flow cytometric analysis, and hematopathology.
Research Training in Year Two (6 months) and Year Three (12 months):
The second year (6 mo) and third year of training are devoted to research. All fellows are expected to engage in a hypothesis-driven research project in a clinical, translational, or basic science arena. During the research block, the fellow spends the majority of his/her time engaged in his or her research project, under the mentorship and supervision of a faculty advisor, while continuing a continuity outpatient clinic experience in disease-specific units at Yale.
2nd and 3rd year fellows are expected to present their research at least annually at the Research in Progress conference. In addition, it is expected that each fellow’s research activities will lead to at least one abstract presentation at a national meeting (e.g., ASCO, ASH, AACR) and at least one peer-reviewed publication. Concurrent course work offered through the University is recommended to augment the fellow’s research goals, and, specifically, fellows may enroll in one or more of the core courses offered through the Investigative Medicine Program (see below Research Opportunities and Programs). In addition, fellows who are pursuing a career in clinical investigation are expected to submit an application to the AACR/ASCO Workshop on Methods in Clinical Cancer Research (“Vail Workshop”) or the ASH Clinical Training Research Institute.
Research Opportunities and Programs:
There are diverse opportunities for clinical, translational, or basic research within the Sections of Medical Oncology and Hematology and throughout the Yale School of Medicine, including Yale Center for Molecular Discovery at the West Campus
. Importantly, fellows may pursue cancer-related or hematologic research in other departments or sections within the School of Medicine, and thus have access to a vast array of research opportunities in clinical, outcomes, translational, and basic arenas.
In addition, Yale Center for Clinical Investigation
, funded by NIH’s Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), provides a robust infrastructure to promote collaborative clinical and translational research of post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty. The YCCI provides an array of resources to support clinical and translational research efforts of post-graduate fellows, including biostatistics and study design, biomedical informatics, clinical research resources and translational and basic science core research facilities. YCCI supports several initiatives specifically focused on the educating and training of clinical fellows and junior faculty in inter-disciplinary research approaches and technologies, including the YCCI Junior Faculty Scholars Program
and the Investigative Medicine PhD Program
(IMP). The IMP is a unique clinically-based or laboratory-based research training program for clinical fellows that will lead to a PhD in Investigative Medicine at the completion of fellowship training. Hematology-Oncology fellows who are interested in rigorous research experience, including a comprehensive didactic curriculum, are encouraged to apply to the IMP.
Physician Scientist Research Pathway:
The Yale Internal Medicine Residency Program offers a research track (the ABIM Physician-Scientist Research Pathway) for internal medicine residents who are fully committed to a research-based career pathway. Applicants to this program will interview with both internal medicine faculty for residency and faculty in the specialty in which they are interested. If admitted to the program, they are guaranteed a position in the Yale Hematology Oncology fellowship. Participants in this track complete two years of internal medicine residency and five years of fellowship, during which they will focus on research for 3.5 years. At Yale, during the five years of fellowship, fellows have guaranteed salary support. Applicants are expected to have a PhD or have done significant basic, translational or clinical research. Although not a formal prerequisite, publication in peer-reviewed journals is expected for applicants to this program in hematology or oncology. For more information, see Residency Training Programs
Didactic Sessions, Conferences, Tumor Boards:
The clinical and research training of the Medical Oncology-Hematology Fellowship is enhanced by several weekly lectures, conferences, seminars, and interdisciplinary tumor boards which include the following:
Asterisk (*) indicates mandatory attendance by fellows. Fellows are expected to attend 70% of mandatory conferences.
- Medical Oncology-Hematology Core Curriculum Course * is a weekly lecture series providing a comprehensive review of all aspects of medical oncology and hematology including oncologic emergencies, pharmacology, palliative care, biostatistics and clinical trial design, cancer epidemiology, cancer genetics, and in-depth reviews of each specific neoplastic and benign hematologic disease. The disease-specific reviews include the relevant basic biology, pathogenesis, epidemiology, staging, use of imaging, prognostic variables, and treatment. This course runs over 18 months.
- Cancer Center Grand Rounds * is a weekly forum for Yale faculty and guest speakers to provide state-of-the-art updates on a broad array of cancer-related topics.
- Journal Club * is a twice monthly (September - June) presentation at which important articles relevant to hematology-oncology are critically reviewed and presented by the fellows, with input and mentoring from appropriate faculty members.
- Research in Progress meeting (RIP) * is a weekly conference (September - May) where faculty and fellows present their research.
- New Patient Conference * is a weekly conference presented in a “morning report” format, new patients seen by the first year fellows are presented to Dr. Lynch, Yale Cancer Center Director, for case-based discussion. Attending faculty members are active participants, contributing their expertise to the discussion. In addition, this conference is used as a forum to review complications of treatment and adverse outcomes in the format of a Morbidity and Mortality Conference, three-four times annually.
- Disease-specific Case Conference * is a weekly conference in which new patients from one disease-specific unit are presented to an attending physician with expertise in that disease area for a detailed case-based discussion of staging, biology, treatment, with emphasis on evidence-based management and review of the use of specific therapeutic agents.
- Hematology/Hematopathology Conference * is a weekly case-based conference in which benign and malignant hematology cases are discussed with the participation of the hematopathologists. An important aspect of this conference is review of peripheral blood smears, bone marrow aspirates and biopsies. Specialists from the Department of Laboratory Medicine, including the Blood Bank, are invited to participate to discuss specific cases.
- Tumor Boards are interdisciplinary meetings to present new patients, review pathology and radiographic studies, and discuss evidence-based management; tumor boards are held weekly for each multidisciplinary disease-specific unit.
Program Leadership and Administration:
Dr. Roy Herbst and Dr. Madhav Dhodapkar are the Chiefs of the Section of Medical Oncology and the Section of Hematology, respectively. Dr. Jill Lacy is the Director of the Medical Oncology-Hematology Fellowship Training Program. Dr. Nikolai Podoltsev is the Associate Program Director for Hematology and Dr. Michael Hurwitz is the Associate Program Director for Research. Dr. Michal Rose is the local on-site director of fellowship activities at the VA CT Healthcare System of West Haven, where she is also the Chief of the Section of Hematology-Oncology and Cancer Center Director. The Fellowship Administrator and Coordinator is Lucilina Gilkes.
The program accepts eight trainees per year for a minimum of three years of combined training in Hematology and Medical Oncology. All applications for the Training Program in Medical Oncology-Hematology will be electronically processed through the ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service
) website. Interviews are granted by invitation in September and October. Selection for the program is made through the NRMP (National Resident Matching Program
). The Sections of Medical Oncology and Hematology actively support Yale University policies and programs for affirmative action. The Fellowship Program is fully committed to recruitment and development of minority group members and women.
Submission to the Hematology/Medical Oncology fellowship program through ERAS begins in July. Please refer to the ERAS website for their opening date for filing application materials. If selected for interview, interviews will be held from mid-September to mid-October.
Required application materials for our program are as follows: Common Application Form (CAF), Statement of Personal Goals, minimum of three (3) letters of recommendation (at least one must be from either the Residency Program Director or Internal Medicine Department Chair), ECFMG certification (applicable to graduates of Foreign Medical schools), and a Color Photo, USMLE and Medical School transcripts.
Questions regarding the application process can be directed to Lucilina Gilkes at Lucilina.email@example.com