Medical College of Wisconsin 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 200 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 and resident
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.
Cancer Predisposition Clinic: This weekly clinic offers specialized training in the management of cancer predisposition diagnoses in patients both with a personal history of cancer as well as those who are generally healthy. Patients generally undergo genetic testing and screening to monitor for an increased risk of developing cancer. The team consists of an attending physician, physician assistant, two genetic counselors, and a nurse coordinator. The role of psychology is to assess social and emotional health needs, readiness to undergo genetic testing, anticipatory guidance related to medical screening, and emotional support for patients and families, many of whom have had a personal or family history of cancer and loss.
Fellows on the two-year track 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
Using Virtual Reality to Increase Physical Activity in Youth with Cancer: The objective of this study is to determine if virtual reality is a feasible and acceptable modality for youth to increase or maintain physical activity while receiving cancer-directed therapy. (PI: Hoag)
Communication Experiences of Limited English Proficiency Families in a Pediatric Oncology Setting: This study will be assessing the experience of caregivers of cancer patients with limited English proficiency, focusing on their perception of communication with the medical team in the weeks shortly following a new diagnosis. (Karst-CoI)
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)
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)
We provide many didactic opportunities to enhance the training received during fellowship.
- Psychology Fellows’ Lecture Series: A bimonthly didactic series focused on professional development in the field of psychology. Past topics have included: billing and documentation, navigating licensure, research in academic medicine, supervision styles, self-care, and professional identity.
- 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 oncologic cases are reviewed and discussed.
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, plus presentations or conferences they feel would benefit their education during the fellowship.
The fellow receives one hour of formal supervision per week. Faculty have an open-door policy and the fellow is encouraged to ask questions and seek support as often as needed. Supervision is focused on clinical care, scholarly work, and career development. The fellow works closely with and provides supervision to a psychology resident and graduate student extern. Fellows hone their teaching skills via speaking opportunities throughout the hospital and region.
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, participate in resident supervision
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, fellow supervision
Afternoon: See inpatients, study for EPPP
Our fellowship has trained 11 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.
Past Fellows and Current Institutions
Nina Linneman, PhD | Current fellow
Alyssa Gonzalez, PhD | MD Anderson Cancer Center
Theresa Kapke, PhD | Medical College of Wisconsin
Sherilynn Chan, PhD | Seattle Children's Hospital
Jeffrey Karst, PhD | Medical College of Wisconsin
Nicole Quillen, PhD | Children’s Hospital & Clinics of Minnesota
Jacqui Smith, PhD | Medical College of 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.
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 18, 2023. Interviews are expected to be held in late January and early February 2024. Anticipated start date is July 1, 2024.
Our Fellowship in Photos
Jenny Hoag, PhD
Fellowship Director, Pediatric Psycho-Oncology
8770 W. Connell Ave.
Wauwatosa, WI 53226