Hematology Oncology Fellowship Program Curriculum

The Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland Hematology and Oncology Fellowship Program adheres to the criterion of the American Board of Pediatrics for board certification and the American Council of Graduate Medical Education for training in pediatric subspecialties. The program includes additional core training curriculum which we believe are essential to clinical practice.

Fellowship training includes:

  • Clinical Care (direct and consultative)
    • Oncology Tumor Board
    • Specialty Clinical Team Rounds
  • Didactic Core Curriculum
    • Hematology Oncology Educational Conference
    • Journal Club
    • Hematology Case Conference
    • Joint Educational Symposia with Regional Academic Programs
  • Continuing Care
    • Continuity Clinics (responsibility for the continuing care of patients with malignant disease and chronic hematologic diseases)
  • Comprehensive Clinics
    • Blood and Marrow Transplantation
    • General Hematology
    • Hemostasis & Thrombosis
    • Neuro-Oncology
    • Survivors of Childhood Cancer
    • Sickle Cell Disease
      • Pulmonary Hypertension
      • Hip/Joint
      • Stroke/Brain Injury
      • Transition and Adult clinics
    • Thalassemia
  • Research Opportunities (in clinical, translational and basic science)

First Year Fellows

The first year provides a broad clinical experience. The first month serves to orient fellows to the hospital faculty, patients, EMR and clinical protocols. Fellows then proceed directly into the core clinical curriculum.

First year fellows are also given the time and opportunity to develop their research hypothesis with a research mentor. This research will be the focus of the educational experience for the second and third years of the fellowship.

Orientation Lecture Series

First year fellows attend a daily lecture given by the clinical staff during the Outpatient Orientation month. Lectures cover basic topics in Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) and prepare the fellow for the first year and on-call duties. Faculty and fellows also discuss patient care dilemmas and evaluation of medical literature.

Clinical and Laboratory Rotations (Year 1)

Orientation/ Outpatient clinics/ Lecture series 4 weeks (1st month)
2 weeks
Inpatient Service: BMT, High Acuity Oncology 12 weeks
Inpatient Service: Hematology & Oncology, Inpatient Consultation 12 weeks
Radiation Oncology (Alta Bates Medical Center) 2 - 4 weeks
Pathology (solid tumor pathology, bone marrow, aspirate/biopsy, CSF cytology, flow cytometry) and Blood Banking 2 - 4 weeks
 Hematology Clinics  4 weeks
Vacation 4 weeks
Formulation of Research Hypothesis/ Hematology Clinics 4 - 6 weeks
Palliative Care - End of Life Rotation/Pain Service 2 - 4 weeks
Continuity Clinic (minimum 36 per year) 1/2 day per week

Call averages every 4th night and 4th weekend (maximum every 4th night/4th weekend; 1-2 holidays per year).

Second and Third Year Fellows

Clinical Curriculum and Research

Second year fellows complete an intensive core curriculum in the conduct of clinical research. During the second and third years of the program, each fellow creates and executes a research project under the guidance of a mentor. Fellows present their research progress on a regular basis to the Scholarship Oversight Committee (SOC) for critique and recommendations.

Research opportunities include:

  • Basic Science Projects
  • Clinical Projects
  • Translational Projects

Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) is the internationally renowned biomedical research institute of Children's Hospital and Research Center at Oakland ( CHORI is home to hundreds of renowned researchers including scientists such as:

  • Bruce Ames, PhD—a distinguished pioneer in the biochemistry and nutritional science, and winner of the U.S. Medal of Science.
  • Henry Erhlich, PhD—a pioneer in the development of DNA-based HLA typing.
  • Frans Kuypers, PhD—an expert in red blood cell membrane biology who helped establish the placenta as a high capacity source of live and functional hematopoietic stem cells.
  • Julie Saba, MD, PhD—a clinician-turned-scientist who studies the influence of sphingolipids on the development and progression of cancer.
  • Cassandra Calloway, PhD—Forensics, early diagnosis in genetic disorders.
  • Ellen Fung, PhD—Nutrition, bone health.

Fellows are encouraged to participate in research at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) which has eight Centers of Excellence, including the:

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • Center for Sickle Cell and Thalassemia
  • The Jordan Family Center for Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapies Research

The Center for Cancer Research brings together personnel in basic science laboratories and the clinical oncology program, fostering collaborative relationships designed to provide the highest standard in translational research and care. Clinicians provide basic investigators with information regarding the most critical challenges in diagnosis, prognosis and treatment in pediatric oncology, while basic scientists directly apply their research toward overcoming those challenges. Through such collaboration, the Center for Cancer Research strives to translate new information regarding the causes and treatment of adult cancers into the unique setting of pediatric malignancies.

The Center for Sickle Cell and Thalassemia is at the forefront of the national and international effort to address the needs of millions of children suffering from hemoglobinopathies. The Red Blood Cell Laboratory, under the direction of Frans Kuypers, PhD, and  Elliott Vichinsky, MD, provides comprehensive services in red cell biology and hemoglobin disorders, and combines the Hemoglobin Reference Laboratory at Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland and the Red Cell Research Laboratory at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI).

Both laboratories are internationally recognized as a clinical resource for the diagnosis of hemoglobin and red cell disorders. These laboratories are an integral part of Children's Hospital & Research Center at Oakland's Comprehensive Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Centers and the Research Center for Sickle Cell Disease and Thalassemia at CHORI.

The Jordan Family Center for Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapies Research, a dynamic research program focused on transplantation and stem cell biology, is led by CHORI Scientist and Endowed Chair, Mark Walters, MD. By applying groundbreaking discoveries from the laboratory to the clinic, the Jordan Family Center translates the great promise of stem cell transplantation into novel therapies, innovative treatments and life-sustaining cures.

Opportunities exist for research fellows to participate in any of the centers with senior scientists providing direct mentorship.

Clinical Responsibilities

Second & Third Years

  • Continuity Clinic - 1/2 day per week or 36 clinics per year
  • General Hematology Continuity Clinic - Monthly attendance
  • Multidisciplinary Clinics - 2 focused specialties, 6 week blocks of weekly clinics and team rounds: Sickle Cell Disease, Thalassemia, Hemophilia, Blood and Marrow Transplant
  • Survivors of Childhood Cancer clinics – 6 monthly clinics in the 3rd year
  • Inpatient Consultation Service – 6-8 weeks per year
  • Night and weekend call is every 4th to 6th night (maximum every 4th night) for the duration of the fellowship. Each fellow has 1-2 holiday calls per year.

Third Year

  • Third year fellows serve one month on the inpatient services at the end of the academic year. Senior fellows assume the role of a junior attending with full responsibility for the care of the Hematology, Oncology and BMT patients. Attending back-up and supervision is provided. This month reinforces the clinical experience and development of skills necessary to transition to independence in the clinical management of complex Hematology, Oncology and BMT patients.

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Fellowship Curriculum