Hematology / Oncology Fellowship

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Describe the first year of training.
A: The first year consists predominantly of clinical training. There will be 3-4 months of inpatient hematology/oncology service, 3 months on the Hematology Consultative service, 3 months on the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant service, one month devoted to aspects of radiation oncology, blood banking, hemostasis, and hematopathology and one month of elective time/vacation to investigate research opportunities at Riley Hospital

Q: What outpatient experience will I have as a first year fellow?
A: Each fellow has a weekly outpatient clinic, to follow their own patients longitudinally together with full-time faculty.

Q: What exposure will I have to Stem Cell Transplant?
A: Each fellow will spend 3 months during their first year on the SCT service. During that time the fellow will directly manage both inpatient, acute outpatient, and long-term follow-up SCT patients with the attending physician. In addition there will be exposure to clinical apheresis, the HLA typing laboratory and the SCT processing laboratory.

Q: What types of Stem Cell Transplant are performed at Riley?
A: The Stem Cell Transplantation Program at Riley was opened in 1994 and performs 30-40 transplants per year. Approximately two-thirds of these are allogeneic, and half of these are from unrelated donors, including both adult BM/PBSC and umbilical cord blood. Emphasis is placed on learning the range of indications for SCT, donor selection, methods of SCT, complications and outcomes.

Q: What teaching is provided in Hematology?
A: Clinical rotations and conferences are designed to ensure that by the completion of their program, fellows have had extensive exposure to patients, lectures, and didactic material covering all areas of hematologic disease. The Hematologic Consultation service exposes the trainee to new patients with blood diseases, coagulopathy, or thrombosis. There is a year-long, bi-weekly lecture series covering major topics in clinical hematology. In addition, the Section holds a bi-monthly conference dedicated to hematology, where interesting patients are discussed and recent literature is reviewed.

Q: What are my night call responsibilities? What level of back-up is provided?
A: There is always a full-time faculty member in the Hematology/Oncology on call. The faculty member takes primary calls when a fellow or nurse practitioner is not on service. Fellow night-call responsibility occurs during the inpatient hematology/oncology service rotation, approximately every 4 months.

Q: How will I select my research area of emphasis?
A: The selection of an area of emphasis within Hematology/Oncology is an important decision you will make during your first year of training. To help you with this decision, a designated faculty advisor and the fellowship program director will meet with you at regular intervals. The block of research time in the first year may be used for this purpose as well. Also, research seminars scheduled throughout the year will expose you to the available opportunities in basic and clinical research.

Q: Will I be required to work in a laboratory of a faculty member of hematology/oncology?
A: No. Faculty members in adjoining labs from Newborn Medicine, Clinical Pharmacology, Adult Hematology, and the University Cancer Center provide fantastic research opportunites in hematology, stem cell biology, and closely related areas in cancer medicine.

Q: I'm more interested in clinical research. Are there any opportunities for me at Riley Hospital for Children?
A: Yes. Indiana University is one of a small number of institutions with an NIH-funded K30 clinical research training grant. This provides dedicated coursework in clinical research methods and ethics and a mentored hands-on training on a clinical research project of your design. Fellows would join this program during the second and third years of their fellowship. Indicate your potential interest in this program at the time of application to receive more information.

Q: What is unique about the Hospital fellowship program?
A: Riley offers superb clinical training. It is a busy program, with comprehensive exposure to problems in hematology and oncology, as well as stem cell transplantation. Riley is a Phase I center of the Children's Oncology Group. To this are added opportunities for fellows to train in either basic or clinical research, and additional elective training in medical informatics and clinical pharmacology.