Fellowship Training Program
The education curriculum for Hematology and Oncology Fellowship training is designed to meet the training requirements in both subspecialties with the goal of producing clinicians who are competent in the management of patients with hematologic and oncologic diseases. During their training, fellows will acquire knowledge and skills in: pathophysiology of hematologic/oncologic disease, clinical diagnosis, decision-making, treatment, procedures relevant to hematology and oncology, and the use of the health care system for cancer patients. Fellows will participate in research (clinical and/or basic) and other scholarly activities and will have the opportunity to pursue careers as clinician investigators.
This is a 3-year fellowship program. Clinical expertise in the care of patients with hematologic and oncologic diseases is gained through supervised rotations on key services including, inpatient Hematology/Oncology (Hem/Onc) wards, Consultation service, Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT), Palliative Care, Transfusion Medicine, Ambulatory Care, Radiation Oncology, and related electives. Fellows have a 36-month weekly half-day continuity clinic at the primary hospital, Froedtert Hospital (FMLH), and a weekly half-day clinic at the secondary hospital, Clement J. Zablocki Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), in which they care for patients specifically assigned to them under the supervision of an attending faculty member.
The first year of training consists primarily of monthly rotations on the key services: 3 months each on the inpatient hem/onc services at FMLH and VAMC, 2-3 months on the Consult Service, 1 month on Palliative Care, and 2 months on Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT). First year fellows are closely supervised and all chemotherapy orders written by them need to be countersigned by an attending physician.
In the second year, some of the above rotations are repeated but fellows now have 4-6 months of elective time for research and other electives. Second year fellows are given more responsibility to manage patients and supervise the internal medicine residents. They are also permitted to sign chemotherapy orders without a countersignature by their attending physicians. The electives exist to provide fellows with additional experience in Neurology-Oncology, Gynecological-Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Transfusion Medicine, Hematopathology, Palliative Care, Clinical Research design, Pediatric Oncology, and additional ambulatory disease-focused clinics.
In the third year, fellows are provided with approximately 8-9 months for electives and research and are expected to pursue scholarly activities as evidenced by the writing of research protocols, publications, and presentations at national meetings. The third year fellows are expected to function at a higher level of supervisory capacity with the internal medicine resident team and to take a leadership role in the management of patients during rotations on the Hem/Onc wards, BMT, and Consult Services. The third year fellows work with the Program Director in organizing conferences and meetings related to the fellowship program.
During their training, fellows are expected to participate in conferences, journal clubs, teaching, and research leading to publications and presentations at national meetings (see below).
Clinical Rotations (Inpatient and Ambulatory)
The clinical rotations are: Inpatient Hematology/Oncology service, Consult service, BMT, Palliative Care, Outpatient Clinics (two half-day clinics per week), and key electives (e.g. Radiation Oncology, Gynecological-Oncology, Hematopathology, Transfusion Medicine, Neurology-Oncology, Coagulation, and Pediatric Oncology).
During these rotations, patients will encounter and manage a mix of patients of both sexes with hematologic malignancies, solid tumors, and nonmalignant hematology. This includes (but not limited to) patients with malignancies of the thoracic, head and neck, brain, breast, gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, liver, kidney, prostate, testicular, bone, skin, and soft tissue; lymphoma, leukemia, myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes, anemias, cytopenias, hemoglobinopathies, and coagulopathies. Pathologic material (biopsies of bone marrow and other tissues and peripheral blood smears) is reviewed by the fellow with the attending physician and appropriate pathologist.
The Program Director monitors the mix of diseases seen in the continuity clinic to ensure that fellows see a wide spectrum of diseases.
Educational conferences are an important component of the curriculum. These conferences include:
Formal core curriculum didactic sessions. Held every two weeks to cover all topics in Hematology and Oncology. These are one-hour education sessions given by key faculty members.
Hematopathology case conference. These conferences are held every two weeks and consist of an in-depth presentation of a case in benign or malignant hematology by a Hematology/Oncology Fellow with a detailed review of the literature. The Hematopathology Fellow also shares in the presentation by reviewing the pathology (bone marrow biopsy, lymph node biopsy, and laboratory tests).
Research Conference. Held once a month. Fellows participate in the review and presentation of research protocols along with faculty members.
Tumor Boards. Tumor Boards for Breast Cancer, Thoracic Surgery, Head and Neck Cancer and General Tumor Board are held weekly at FMLH. Additional Tumor Boards are held at the VAMC. Fellows are required to attend at least one Tumor Board per week.
Hematology/Oncology Case conferences – Held twice a month and FMLH and once a month at VAMC.
Journal Club. Held once a month to review important published articles in Hematology and Oncology.
Hematology/Oncology Grand Rounds Conference. Held one -three times per month by invited speakers. Additional teleconferences are held during the week depending on availability.
Resident teaching. Once a month all Fellows give a one-hour lecture on Hematology/Oncology topics to Residents assigned to the Hematology and Oncology service.
Palliative Care conferences and workshops. These conferences provide education in palliative medicine, pain management, end-of-life care, and medical ethics.
Over a 3-year period, approximately one year is allotted for research and/or elective rotations
Clinical or basic research opportunities generally begin in the second year of training and extend through the third year. Fellows may pursue laboratory research by working with a mentor engaged in laboratory research in the Cancer Center (including the BMT program) or the Blood Research Institute. Fellows may pursue clinical research by working with mentors engaged in clinical research within the Division(s), the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research program, or the Palliative Care program. The amount and nature of protected time will depend on the type and nature of the research project
Fellows are provided with the opportunity to attend the annual meetings of the American Society of Hematology and/or the American Society for Clinical Oncology. Fellows may also attend other educational conferences in hematology and/or oncology held by other organizations.
All attending faculty are full-time faculty of the Medical College of Wisconsin. An attending physician supervises all rotations, including the clinic.
Contract & Benefits Information
MCWAH has placed all of the required information on the Benefits page of our website. Recommended text for website/email:
Please use the following link to access information about the terms, conditions and benefits of employment: http://www.mcw.edu/GME/BenefitsMainPage.htm
Fellowship Coordinator Information
Brooke Lessmiller - Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Coordinator
Department of Medicine - Educational Programs
Medical College of Wisconsin
9200 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53226
Phone: (414) 805-0516
Fax: (414) 805-0535