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Carlyn Tan, MD, shown here talking with a patient, joined the staff in the Department of Hematology/Oncology at Fox Chase, after completing her fellowship in this program.Carlyn Tan, MD, shown here talking with a patient, joined the staff in the Department of Hematology/Oncology at Fox Chase, after completing her fellowship in this program.

The Department of Hematology/Oncology offers a three-year fellowship for internists who have completed an approved US residency program. The fellowship combines the resources of Fox Chase Cancer Center and Temple University Hospital.

Each year, up to six new trainees are accepted into the program. 

Years One and Two

The first two years focus on clinical training, with alternating 6-month rotations at Fox Chase and Temple University Hospital. During the 12 months spent at Temple University, fellows are exposed to all aspects of benign and malignant hematology, including a rotation through the bone marrow transplant service, learning from full-time faculty dedicated to the transplant program.

The 12 months total spent at Fox Chase focus exclusively on outpatient care. Each fellow has separate clinics where they take care of patients, specific to cancer type, with faculty oversight. Fellows follow their own patients in continuity clinics over the course of this clinical experience. Many of these disease-specific clinics are multimodality in conjunction with surgical and/or radiation oncology services. There is an emphasis on exposure to the design and conduct of clinical research protocols. Rotations in supportive oncology expose fellows to pain management and end-of-life issues, which are integral components of cancer care. Fellows also rotate through the family risk assessment and genetic counseling program.

The other 12 months of clinical training during the first two years occur at Temple University Hospital (6 during first year and 6 during second year). At this location, fellows have exposure to all aspects of hematology, both benign and malignant. Temple is a recognized leader in the field of coagulation research. A general oncology experience is also provided. Fellows also rotate through the bone marrow transplant service. This unit performs marrow, peripheral blood stem cell, auto- and allogeneic transplants, as well as matched unrelated donor and mismatched allogeneic transplants. Exposure to new technology, such as non-myeloablative allogeneic transplants, also is provided. There are full-time faculty members dedicated to the transplant program.

The first two years also allows for protected time for fellows to begin to engage in research; in fact, two months at Temple University are dedicated to research. In addition, second year fellows at Fox Chase have reduced clinical responsibility to have ample time for research, either in clinical investigation, outcomes research or a laboratory experience.

Program individualization begins in year two with focus on one of three primary training tracks (academic clinician; clinical investigator and translational researcher).

Year Three

The focus of the third year of the fellowship training is flexible to match the overall career goals of the trainee. Options include:

  • Clinical Investigator Track
  • Academic Clinician Track
  • Translational Laboratory Research Track

For fellows dedicated to a clinical investigator research career, fellows will typically have about 75 percent of their time protected for this endeavor while having 1-2 continuity clinics. Fellows interested in translational laboratory research will have one continuity clinic, with the remainder of time protected for laboratory research. For those fellows interested in a clinical career, the year will primarily consist of additional outpatient clinical experience. This flexibility enables fellows to make the most of this year of training to set the foundation for the beginning of their independent careers.

Year three is usually all at Fox Chase, with schedule defined by second-year productivity and career goals.

A training grant application (or “T32”) has been continuously funded at Fox Chase by the NCI for 40 years. This grant supports 10 Fox Chase postdoctoral fellows. Fellows with clinical or laboratory research may apply for this grant support for their third year, or to support a fourth year of training.

 

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