Pediatric Hematology Oncology Fellowship Program Details | Hackensack University Medical Center

Curriculum

Year 1

The first year of fellowship is primarily devoted to clinical training. Fellows will develop the clinical and procedural skills to evaluate, diagnose and treat children, adolescents and young adults with a variety of blood disorders and malignancies. Fellows are assigned one day a week in their outpatient continuity clinic where they are encouraged to develop and maintain long-term professional relationships with the patients (and their families) they follow on a regular basis, to be involved in the day-to-day care of patients, and to be a part of the decision-making team. The fellows spend six, 4-week blocks on the inpatient hematology/oncology or Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) services where they will be responsible for the care of admitted patients under the supervision of an attending physician. They will also spend six, 4-week blocks in the outpatient clinic/infusion center as well as on specialty rotations including hematopathology, blood bank, coagulation, cytogenetics, neurosurgery, and radiation oncology.

During the second half of year one, the fellow will meet with the program director to identify a research project and research mentor to begin a research project during the second year. A Scholarly Oversight Committee (SOC) is established for each fellow after finalization of the research project. The fellow, research mentor, program director, and SOC meet every six months or more often, as needed, to review the progress of the fellow in their research project.

Year 2

The second year is primarily devoted to the development of a laboratory or clinical research project. Fellows will have the opportunity to work in one of the basic science or translational research laboratories at the Center for Discovery and Innovation at the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University. Alternatively, they may also choose to create their own clinical research project under the mentorship of the clinical faculty at Hackensack Meridian Health, working in a variety of subspecialty areas. Fellows will continue to have weekly continuity clinic as well as weekend and overnight call and attendance at divisional conferences. During the second year, they will become more independent in the care of their patients.

Year 3

During the third year, the fellow spends the majority of their time completing their research project, culminating in a scholarly product such as a grant proposal or publication. The fellow also continues with their once a week outpatient continuity clinic, call, and attends important divisional conferences. By the end of the third year, fellows should have completed their board eligibility requirements. Fellows will also spend this year seeking out and applying for job opportunities and developing their careers with the support of the program’s faculty.

Clinical Rotations

All clinical training consists of rotations at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital (JMSCH) with inpatient rotations being done at our Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/Stem Cell transplant unit consisting of 16 beds and a Pediatric Critical Care Unit consisting of 15 beds.

Fellow will be exposed to a variety of clinical diagnoses and therapies which include:

  • Stem cell transplant
  • Cellular therapies including CAR-T
  • Gene therapy
  • Early phase chemotherapy trials

Fellows will round on approximately 15 inpatients with a primary diagnosis of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology or Stem Cell Transplantation. Additionally, fellows will also be responsible for 1-3 consults in JMSCH.

For outpatient rotations, the Reuten Clinic for Hematology and Oncology has a dedicated chemotherapy/infusion area staffed by chemotherapy certified nurses and an area where pediatric anesthesiologists perform sedation for patients requiring procedures. We also have a pediatric photopheresis program. The fellows can participate in the care of the 20-30 patients seen in the Reuten Clinic and infusion area daily. Fellows will be responsible for a total of 10-20 primary patients during continuity clinic.

Fellows will be able to do the following outpatient rotations:

  • Neurooncology/Neurosurgery
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Blood bank/Coagulation
  • Hematopathology/Cytogenetics/Immunogenetics
  • Pediatric Pain and Palliative Care
  • Survivorship

Fellows gain most of their clinical training in the first year of training.

Educational Conferences

Conference Frequency
Pediatric Oncology Tumor Board Weekly
Pediatric Neuro-oncology Tumor Board Monthly
Pediatric Molecular Tumor Board Monthly
Pediatric Hematology Board Monthly
Multidisciplinary Patient Care Conference Weekly
Journal Club Monthly
Bioethics Conference Quarterly
Protocol Review Quarterly
Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI) Lecture Series* Weekly
Quality Conference /Morbidity & Mortality Quarterly
Core Curriculum Lecture Series Weekly
Pediatric Hematology /Oncology Board Review Monthly
Research Course Series Quarterly
Fellows Meeting Monthly
Pediatric Grand Rounds Weekly

Research and Innovation

Throughout their three years of training, fellows are provided with exposure to a broad range of research opportunities that can be tailored to their personal professional goals, including clinical, translational, or basic science research. Fellows are provided with the mentorship, resources, and seminars to develop skills necessary to achieve these goals and to prepare them for their chosen careers.

Laboratory Research: Fellows who choose to have a basic science or translational research project have the opportunity to work in a number of research laboratories at the Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI) at the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University.

Mentors for the fellows include full-time, principal investigators of laboratories as well as Hackensack Meridian Health clinical faculty who have ongoing research projects at the CDI. Fellows choosing this pathway will have the opportunity to be active members of their chosen laboratory, attending journal clubs and laboratory meetings, and pursuing independent research projects under the supervision of their mentors.

Clinical Research: Fellows choosing to pursue a clinical research project will have the opportunity to work under the supervision of clinical faculty at Hackensack Meridian Health. They will learn the process of clinical trial development from inception to implementation and data analysis. In addition, all fellows will have exposure to the many open study protocols throughout the division. These include protocols sponsored through consortiums such as the Children’s Oncology Group and Beat Childhood Cancer, as well as industry-sponsored and investigator driven clinical trials.

Center for Discovery and Innovation

The Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI) resides in 58,000 GSF of newly renovated space with core facilities including high-end imaging, mass spectrometry, gene editing, cell sorting, flow cytometry, tissue banks and biocontainment. The high-tech auditorium, Board Room and video conferencing center serve as venues for speakers to present their research to CDI scientists, professors and medical students. An additional ~60,000 GSF of lab space is available for fellows to be active members of their chosen laboratory, attend journal clubs and laboratory meetings, and pursue independent research projects under the supervision of their mentors.

CDI Research

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