Pediatric Psychology Fellowship in Hematology Oncology Blood and Marrow Transplant
The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) is a private academic institution dedicated to scholarly and research excellence. Clinical work is conducted at the Children's Wisconsin, one of the nation's top pediatric hospitals, ranked in all 10 specialties by U.S News & World Report. The Hematology/Oncology/Blood and Marrow (BMT) service primarily operates within the MACC Fund Center, a 24-bed inpatient unit, day hospital, and outpatient clinic. Annually, the service provides care for approximately 180 newly diagnosed oncology patients, 400 patients with sickle cell disease, and 30 patients who undergo a BMT. The hospital routinely provides care to children from Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois.
As a fellow, you will:
- Conduct psychological assessments and psychotherapy for pediatric, adolescent, and young adult hematology, oncology, and BMT patients and their families
- Provide screening and brief intervention in the context of multidisciplinary clinics
- Conduct neurocognitive testing with survivors of pediatric cancer and pre-BMT patients
- Participate in clinical research and program development
- Receive hands-on training in supervising a psychology graduate student
About Our Fellowship
Our fellowship provides extensive supervised clinical experience with pediatric, adolescent, and young adult hematology, oncology, and BMT patients and their families, including: psychological assessment and psychotherapy, pre-BMT readiness evaluations, neurocognitive assessment for late effects of cancer treatment and to screen for neurocognitive functioning in the sickle cell population, and consultation/liaison with staff, schools, and community agencies. The fellow provides continuity of care to patients across inpatient and outpatient settings and collaborates closely within the broader multidisciplinary and psychosocial team.
The fellow participates in the following multidisciplinary clinics:
Comprehensive Leukemia Clinic: This monthly clinic allows children diagnosed with leukemia to be evaluated by specialists at key points in their treatment. Common issues addressed include parenting practices post-diagnosis, healthy sleep, and normative emotional reactions to cancer treatment.
Bridge to Next Steps: This 2-visit clinic with a medical provider and psychology occurs around the time of transition off active therapy with a goal to increase patient and family understanding of the plan of care as they enter survivorship. Psychological assessment focuses on socioemotional and academic/vocational functioning in survivorship, providing anticipatory guidance and recommendations for positive adjustment.
Next Steps Survivorship Clinic: This biweekly clinic offers specialized care to monitor and manage possible late effects of treatment for survivors who are at least two years from pediatric cancer treatment or BMT. The role of psychology is to assess for and provide education around neurocognitive functioning and social and emotional health.
Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Clinic: This clinic provides annual assessment of psychosocial functioning in patients with sickle cell disease in conjunction with hematologists and several other disciplines. Common issues addressed include pain management, medication adherence, and school performance. In addition, developmental and neurocognitive screeners are provided to assess for disease-related deficits in neurodevelopment.
Comprehensive Hemophilia Clinic: This clinic follows pediatric, adolescent, and young adult patients with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. The role of psychology is to broadly assess issues surrounding medication adherence, activity restrictions, social-emotional well-being, and transition of care. Collaborations include medical providers, social work, physical therapy, and genetic counseling.
Fellows are provided 20% protected time to assist in program development and coordination of research focused on the psychosocial functioning of children, adolescents, and young adults with cancer and other blood disorders. The fellow will also participate in other behavioral health research projects. There is opportunity to pursue an independent research project in the second year of fellowship.
Current Faculty Projects
Evaluation of a Transition to Survivorship Program: The goal of this study is to evaluate the acceptability and preliminary efficacy of a structured transition program, bridging active cancer treatment to survivorship care, to reduce distress and increase preparedness for pediatric and AYA survivors and caregivers. (PI: Bingen)
Quality of Life Measurement in Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer: Goal is to develop a health-related quality of life measure for AYAs with cancer. (PI: Bingen)
Medication Self-Management Behaviors in Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer: This pilot study’s aim is to describe the medication self-management behaviors of AYAs with cancer and examine barriers and facilitators to their optimal use of medications. (Site PI: Bingen)
Neuropsychological Outcomes in Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease: A longitudinal clinical research study exploring outcomes in patients with sickle cell disease, primarily through exploring results of a one-hour screening battery completed at four time points. (PI: Karst)
Assessment of a Health Literacy Tool following Neurocognitive Screening in Sickle Cell Disease: A study evaluating potential benefits of a credit-card sized “passport” providing results and recommendations following neurocognitive screening. (PI: Karst)
Assessment of Patient and Provider Distress in Pediatric Oncology: A study in development exploring variability in how providers detect patient and family distress, and the trajectories of distress experienced by families, in pediatric cancer patients. (PI: Karst)
Identifying Predictors of Poor Health-Related Quality-of Life among Pediatric Hematopoietic Stem Cell (HSC) Donors: A longitudinal, multi-site study to describe the health-related quality of life of pediatric HSC donors and compare it to non-donor siblings from the same family, siblings of children who undergo unrelated transplants, and healthy controls. (Site PI: Hoag)
Comparison of Virtual Reality to Guided Imagery for Pain and Anxiety Management in a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/BMT Setting: A comparative effectiveness study to evaluate the difference in pain and anxiety management between guided imagery and virtual reality when used during unsedated procedures. (PI: Hoag)
Using Recreational Therapy to Increase Physical Activity, Sleep, Quality of Life, and Social Connectedness in an Inpatient Pediatric Oncology and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Setting: The objective of this study is to evaluate the benefits of providing recreation therapy programming on an inpatient medical floor. (PI: Hoag)
We provide many didactic opportunities to enhance the training received during fellowship. These include:
Hematology/Oncology/BMT Medical Fellows' Lecture Series: A weekly didactic lecture series presented by faculty on hematology, oncology, and blood and marrow transplant core topics. The Pediatric Psychology fellow often participates in these lectures during the second year of fellowship.
Tumor Board: A multidisciplinary conference where relevant oncological cases are reviewed and discussed.
K-Club Rounds: Organized by the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, K-Club Rounds are held weekly and provide an inclusive forum for fellows and faculty to receive feedback on grants, manuscripts, and presentations.
Fellows are also strongly encouraged to attend the weekly Pediatric Grand Rounds and Children’s Research Institute Research Conference as well as the monthly Bioethics and Medical Humanities Grand Rounds and Kern Institute Grand Rounds, plus presentations or conferences they feel would benefit their education during the fellowship.
The fellow is also expected to work closely with and provide supervision to a psychology extern. Fellows also hone their teaching skills via speaking opportunities throughout the hospital.
Below is an example of a week of activity for the fellow.
Morning: See patients in clinic or Day Hospital, help with hemophilia clinic, attend didactic
Afternoon: Hemophilia clinic staffing, work on IRB proposal, see inpatients
Morning: Psychosocial rounds, see patients in clinic or Day Hospital
Afternoon: Research meeting, conduct late effects evaluation
Morning: Oncology rounds, see scheduled outpatients
Afternoon: Research meeting, see patients in Next Steps and Sickle Cell Clinic
Morning: Conduct sickle cell screener, sickle cell clinic staffing
Afternoon: Supervision for practicum student and fellow, engage in care conference, see inpatients
Morning: Grand rounds, see patients in clinic or Day Hospital
Afternoon: See inpatients, study for EPPP
Our two-year fellowship has trained 8 pediatric psychologists since its inception in 2002. Most of the graduates have gone on to jobs in hematology/oncology/BMT settings, although some graduates provide more generalized pediatric psychology care.
Theresa Kapke, PhD, is the current postdoctoral fellow. Theresa completed her psychology internship at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and graduated from Marquette University’s Clinical Psychology Program in 2018. Theresa’s clinical training has concentrated in pediatric health and general child/adolescent psychology, and her research has focused on psychosocial functioning for youth with chronic illness, mental health disparities for underserved populations, and improving family engagement in child mental health services. Theresa’s dissertation explored the role of parental cultural factors and perceptions in Latino family participation in treatment for childhood ADHD. Currently, her fellowship research project examines the effects of caregiver stress and resilience on healthcare utilization outcomes for pediatric patients with sickle cell disease.
Past Fellows and Current Institutions
Sherilynn Chan, PhD | Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Jeffrey Karst, PhD | Medical College of Wisconsin
Nicole Englebert, PhD | Children’s Hospital & Clinics of Minnesota
Jacqui Smith, PhD | Children’s Wisconsin
Heather Soyer, PsyD | Blank Children’s Hospital
Jenny Hoag, PhD | Medical College of Wisconsin
Suzanne Holm, PhD | Children’s Medical Center of Dallas
Kristin Bingen, PhD | Medical College of Wisconsin
“This fellowship has provided me with a unique opportunity to continue to develop my interests and skills in clinical work, research, and training/education within pediatric psychology. I have found the work to be incredibly meaningful and stimulating, and I appreciate the flexibility that the fellowship provides, as I have been able to shape the fellowship to fit my personal and professional interests, goals, and needs. I have so enjoyed the opportunity the work with such a robust team of medical and psychosocial providers. My supervisors have provided excellent mentoring and support while also allowing me the opportunity to work independently, which has been helpful as I prepare for the next stage of my career. I have enjoyed the variability that exists within the clinical work, including opportunities for assessment, therapy, and consultation with a diverse population of patients and families. My supervisors are the most amazing colleagues, and they foster a supportive and fun work environment.”
“The high level of autonomy provided to the Hem/Onc/BMT fellow, coupled with incredible supervision and guidance when needed, allowed me to feel comprehensively prepared for independent practice in a faculty position at the end of the fellowship. In particular, I valued that my mentorship came not just from psychologists but also medical providers, nurses, and other psychosocial team members. The team science approach also helped shape my early research program development and the experience of the supervising faculty helped me connect with other psychologists around the country.”
“I had a great experience on fellowship, which was flexibly tailored to my interests and goals. I gained valuable and specialized training within hem/onc/BMT, developing skills in assessment, therapy, consultation/liaison, research, and program development. I received excellent supervision and mentorship while being able to maintain a high degree of independence. The psychology team is phenomenal - experienced, dedicated, supportive, collegial - and helped make each day fun and enjoyable.”
“The postdoctoral psychology fellowship in Hematology, Oncology, and Bone Marrow Transplant at MCW offered specialty pediatric psychology training I had been seeking. The program provided ample opportunity for professional growth, and the supervisory support and mentoring helped shape my clinical and research skills. I value the lifelong professional connections I made with the supervisors and the specialized clinical opportunities the program offered.”
Salary is competitive and consistent with NIH fellowship guidelines. Fellows also receive a comprehensive benefits package through the Medical College of Wisconsin and $2,500 annually to cover professional development and conference attendance.
Applicants should have a PhD or PsyD from an APA-approved program in clinical or counseling psychology, although applicants who have not yet received their doctorate but are nearing dissertation defense will be considered. Internship must be APA-approved with emphasis on child clinical or pediatric psychology, and experience working with pediatric populations.
The application deadline is December 6, 2019. Interviews are expected to be held in late January and early February 2020. Anticipated start date is September 1, 2020.
- Complete an application on the Medical College of Wisconsin Career Website.
- Send a cover letter and copy of your CV to Dr. Jenny Hoag at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Provide 3 letters of recommendation emailed directly from your references to email@example.com.
Jennifer Hoag, PhD
Kristin Bingen, PhD
Jenny Hoag, PhD
Fellowship Director, Pediatric Psycho-Oncology
8770 W. Connell Ave.
Wauwatosa, WI 53226