The second and third years of this fellowship program are devoted to research training aimed at developing independent academic investigators. Fellows receive individualized training and have the option to experience basic, translational, or clinical research as well as related fields of bioinformatics, bioethics, palliative care, and global health. With input from the division head and fellowship program director, the fellow selects a research mentor and scholarly research project. The available programs at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington represent a huge variety of research training opportunities. While our pediatric hematology/oncology faculty may serve as research mentors, our fellows may also choose to work with a multitude of other clinical and laboratory-based faculty at any institution. The majority of fellows choose mentors based at the Hutchinson Center. There are essentially no administrative barriers between the Center’s programmatic research areas, and the Center enjoys a tremendous spirit of collegiality and interaction between its investigators.
Research projects are selected and tailored to meet the needs of the individual fellows depending upon their interests, previous training, and experience. A formal clinical research track including the opportunity to obtain MPH or MS through the University of Washington is available for those fellows interested in outcomes, survivorship, palliative care or epidemiologic research.
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Second and third-year fellows attend continuity clinic a half-day per week. Third-year fellows have one month devoted to clinical duty on either the inpatient transplant or general hematology/oncology service. This is a month is intended to provide them with increased responsibility in patient care to enable better transition to faculty roles after completion of fellowship.
A formal didactic curriculum, evidence-based medicine seminars and an extensive series of clinical and research conferences further provide the fellow with comprehensive hematology and oncology training. Our weekly pediatric hematology and oncology meeting alternates didactic lecture series with clinical and research presentations. In addition, weekly General Oncology Tumor Board, weekly Neuro-Oncology Tumor Board, weekly Fred Hutchinson Grand Rounds, monthly benign hematology series and monthly HematoPathology Conference provide patient-based education on diagnosis and treatment of hematologic and oncologic disease processes. A monthly Standard Practice meeting is held to establish and/or review standard policies and procedures for treatment of malignancies and the delivery of supportive care. All seminars are teleconferences across all 3 sites to allow easy access for fellows and faculty. In addition there is an extensive series of teaching conferences in which fellows may participate during years 2 and 3 of training. These teaching conferences include discipline-oriented weekly conferences in transplantation immunology and molecular biology at the Hutchinson Center. A comprehensive seminars series that provides rudimentary training in clinical and translational research and bioethics is available for all fellows through the Department of Pediatrics Fellows College and the Institute of Translational Health Science.
Fellows take call from home all 3 years of fellowship, approximately five times per month during Year 1, 3-4 times per month during year 2 and 2 times per month during year 3. There is no in-house call during our fellowship training. Fellows are expected to return to the hospital for admission of patients with presumed new oncologic diagnosis. On-call fellows primary duty is to serve as medical consultants to families of our patients and to referring community physicians who seek consultation after 5 p.m. An inpatient hematology/oncology hospitalist service provides in-house management of transplant patients and direct supervision of pediatric residents from 5 p.m. through 8 a.m. daily.