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Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Fellowship
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Mission statement

The goal of our fellowship program is to provide our trainees the clinical and scholarly skills needed to develop into a successful academic pediatric hematologist/oncologist.

Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Fellowship

Length of training

The Pediatric Hematology/Oncology training program at Vanderbilt is a three-year program. 

Requirement: Applicants must have successfully completed an ACGME/RCPSC-certified residency program and are board-eligible or -certified in General Pediatrics. 

Specific goals of the fellowship include:

  • Providing comprehensive clinical training in the diagnostic evaluation and management of children with cancer and blood disorders. 
  • Creating an individualized scholarly niche in basic, translational, clinical, population or educational sciences to provide a platform for success as an academic physician.
  • Developing teaching and mentoring skills.
  • Cultivating professional skills and behaviors that will enhance success in future academic faculty employment.

The pediatric oncology program is part of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC), the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Tennessee providing clinical care and conducting research in childhood and adult-onset cancers. We are a full member of the Children's Oncology Group, an organization in which several of our faculty have leadership roles. We also are part of the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Consortium, National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration, Beat Childhood Cancer, Southern Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium, National Experimental Therapeutics Consortium, Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, Bone Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network and many others.

Hematology Oncology Fellows Journal Club

Clinical and Research Resources

The focus of pediatric clinical care and education takes place in the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. This freestanding children’s hospital is physically connected to the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center by a bridge, allowing for facile interaction and collaboration. Children’s Hospital has 271 patient beds, more than 830,000 square feet of clinical space and state-of-the-art informatics, technical support and equipment. There are 42 pediatric intensive care beds, 96 neonatal intensive care beds, 16 operating and procedure rooms, a 42 room emergency department, and over 10,000 square feet of radiology imaging and reading room spaces. 

For pediatric hematology/oncology, there are 19 dedicated beds in our myelosuppression unit, a dedicated lead-lined therapy room for therapeutic MIBG and radioiodine administration. Also contained within the children’s hospital are 11 floors of outpatient facilities and physician office space for pediatric medical and surgical subspecialties. This includes our 6,300-square-foot outpatient hematology/oncology clinic with 12 patient rooms and 14 infusion chairs. Our hematology/oncology inpatient and outpatient facilities supports approximately 1100 inpatient admissions and 15,000 outpatient visits per year. A separate clinic for our pediatric and adult cancer survivors encompasses another 3,850 square feet of space with seven patient rooms. Currently, Children’s Hospital is undergoing a major renovation that will add four floors and more than 160,000 additional square feet of space, providing additional resources to serve our patients.

Our Division of Hematology/Oncology includes a multidisciplinary team of board-certified hematology/oncology attending physicians, inpatient and outpatient nurse practitioners, inpatient and outpatient nurses and case managers, dedicated pharmacists, social workers, nutritionists, child life therapists, music therapists, art therapists and teachers. We see more than 240 new oncology patients each year, have a population of more than 250 families with sickle cell disease and more than 200 patients with bleeding disorders. We care for patients with all oncologic and hematologic disorders. We have specialized multi-specialty programs in Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology (AYAO), Cancer Survivorship, Hemophilia and Thrombophilia, Immunohematology, Neuro-Oncology, Stem Cell Transplant, Retinoblastoma, Sarcoma, and Sickle Cell DiseaseAll of our faculty participate in training our fellows.

Our catchment area brings patients from a multi-state Southeast region comprising 61 counties across three states, including 46 in Middle Tennessee, 10 in Western Kentucky and five in Northern Alabama.

Research isconducted throughout the Vanderbilt campus, where the Department of Pediatrics has 104,115 square feet with multiple locations on the School of Medicine’s campus. VICC controls more than 124,000 square feet of research and administration space and influences more than 186,000 square feet of research space. All the colleges in VanderbiltUniversityaregeographically containedwithina330-acrefootprintwithshortwalksbetweenallbuildings.Research is facilitated by eight well-developed research programs within VICC and its shared resources, as well as a federally-qualified Comprehensive Hemophilia Treatment Center and the Meharry-Vanderbilt Sickle Cell Center of Excellence. 

The Department of Pediatrics has more than 300 full-time faculty participating in teaching, clinical care and research. Almost half of the Department of Pediatrics faculty hold federally funded grants and many serve on NIH study sections and advisory panels. The Department of Pediatrics ranks fifth in the nation in NIH funding in its category. The VICC has nearly 300 members and ranks seventh in the nation in NIH funding in its category.

Outline of Fellowship Training

Year 1

Clinical

The first year of fellowship focuses on clinical training in pediatric hematology and oncology. Trainees have responsibility for both hospitalized and ambulatory patients. 

First-year fellows spend approximately six months on inpatient and consult services where they receive intensive training within our multidisciplinary team, led by an experienced attending pediatric hematologist/oncologist. 

The other six months are spent in the ambulatory setting, devoted to rotations in outpatient hematology and oncology clinics, in addition to elective time that can be used for additional training in hematopathology, surgical pathology, transfusion medicine, palliative care, radiation oncology and other options. 

Each fellow also participates in a weekly half-day continuity clinic for the care of oncology and hematology patients for whom he or she assumes primary responsibility. The fellow is supported by one primary clinical mentor in addition to disease-based faculty experts in hematology and oncology.

Education

There are regularly scheduled educational conferences that include:

Department of Pediatrics

  • Research conference (weekly)
  • Grand Rounds (weekly)
  • Resident and fellow conferences (weekly) 

Division of Hematology/Oncology

  • Tumor boards 
  • General (weekly)
  • Sarcoma (weekly)
  • Neuro-oncology (twice monthly)
  • Benign hematology conference (weekly)
  • Fellows educational conferences (biweekly)
  • Journal clubs (monthly)
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Stem Cell Transplant
  • Patient management conferences (weekly)

As a consultant to the house staff and medical students, the fellow has an opportunity to develop skills in clinical teaching. To further this experience as an educator, the fellow participates with the faculty in various teaching conferences. 

Research

Exposure to clinical research is afforded through participation in the design, implementation and analysis of therapeutic, epidemiologic, biologic and supportive care studies.

We encourage every fellow to explore their future goals and interests as part of their development as an academic scholar. Individualized mentoring is provided to all fellows starting in July of their first year to assist them in identifying a scholarly niche, research mentor and project for their second and third year of fellowship. Monthly meetings are held with the fellowship program director to assist fellows as they identify their scholarly interests and identify a research mentor. Fellows may elect to pursue their research experience with any member of the Vanderbilt faculty, with approval from their fellowship program director and division chief. Departmental training grants exist within the School of Medicine that also facilitate support of research efforts. Many of our fellows apply and are awarded inter- and intradepartmental training grants (such as T32 and K12 training grants and career development awards).

Years Two and Three

We pride ourselves in providing protected research time to our fellows. Clinical responsibilities are kept at a minimum and generally to those who are part of the designated schedule. The expectation is that other team members will provide clinical care for fellow patients during research time, except in rare circumstances. Midway through the second year, fellows will also declare a “track,” which will allow them to personalize their third year of training. 

In the third year, each fellow will personalize training to best fit their clinical and research niches. They often tailor their clinical training to focus on a specific interest such as hematology, sickle cell disease, solid tumor oncology or stem cell transplant. Fellows who declare the research track will have additional protected time for their scholarly activities; fellows on the clinical track will have additional clinical training in their area of focus. The third-year fellowship will be decided upon extensive discussion with the fellowship program director.

Clinical

Fellows continue to participate in their weekly half-day continuity clinic. Participation in specialty clinics can be arranged to individualize the fellows’ training to align with their future goals.

Education

All regularly scheduled educational conferences continue during the second and third years of training and the fellow continues to develop skills in clinical teaching. Furthermore, some fellows who have a primary interest in clinical research may have an opportunity to enroll in Master of Public Health (MPH) or Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI)programs, as well as responsibility in ongoing therapeutic trials. 

Quality Improvement

All fellows complete a quality improvement (QI) project during their second and third years of fellowship. Each fellow will choose a project of their choice with appropriate mentorship.

Research

Exposure to clinical trials research continues as it is incorporated in clinical care.

The major portion of the second and third years are devoted to the development and implementation of a scholarly project that will teach and develop research skills critical for future academic success. 

Current fellowship projects can be found here.

Post-Fellowship Training (Years 4-6)

For those fellows who desire additional research career development, there are multiple training grants to which they may apply for an additional one to three years of training to serve as a bridge for extramural funding. Division faculty and primary research mentors assist fellows in the grant preparation. 

Additional Details

Our training program is accredited by the ACGME and participates in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). 

As our training program in pediatric hematology and oncology is supported in part by training grants from the National Institutes of Health, we must restrict applicants to those who are either U.S. citizens or non-citizens admitted for permanent residence. 

The stipend for fellows is based on institutional guidelines. Benefits include healthcare coverage, malpractice and disability insurance coverage, Social Security payments, contributions to a retirement plan and allowances for meeting travel in their second and third years.  

For more information, visit the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Office of Graduate Medical Education Web site

Apply online at Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS).

For more information, contact our Fellowship Director:

Scott Borinstein M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program
Vanderbilt University
390 PRB, 2220 Pierce Ave.
Nashville, TN 37232-6310
Phone: (615) 936-1762
Fax: (615) 936-1767
Email: scott.c.borinstein@vanderbilt.edu



 
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