Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program
The training of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology fellows is coordinated through the division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation in the Department of Pediatrics. The overall objectives of the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program are to ensure that the trainees will be competent in all clinical aspects of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and acquire the academic skills to continue in a tertiary Pediatric Hematology/Oncology environment.
Primary goals include:
- development of a thorough understanding of the pathophysiology of disorders related to Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/Blood and Marrow Transplantation
- development of the skills necessary in the diagnosis, treatment and management of these disorders
Additional goals of this training program include attaining competencies in medical knowledge, professionalism, patient care, practiced based learning, interpersonal and communication skills, and system based practices.
The Fellowship Training Program in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology is a highly selective, rigorous and state-of-the-art 3-year program designed to prepare pediatricians for an academic and clinical career in pediatric hematology/oncology. As a result, our fellows are very well prepared for the entire spectrum of professional positions available for board certified pediatric hematologist/oncologist physician specialists.
Clinical development areas
The fellowship training program has been developed in order for trainees to attain clinical skills in all areas of pediatric hematology/oncology. This includes sickle cell disease, hemophilia, acute and chronic hematological problems, coagulopathies, thrombocytopenias, platelet disorders (both acquired and inherited), hemoglobinopathies including thalassemias, disorders of red cell membrane metabolism, immune and non-immune hemolytic anemias, nutritional anemias, and quantitative and qualitative abnormalities of white blood cells.
Additionally, the trainee will become acquainted with and attain skills in the management and diagnosis of specific hematological disorders of the newborn including congenital and acquired immunodeficiencies and bone marrow failure syndromes, and develop expertise in the use of blood products and transfusion medicine.
Lastly, the trainee will become competent in all aspects of the diagnosis and management of pediatric oncology patients. This includes, but is not limited to, the development of skills related to the diagnosis of leukemias, including acute lymphoblastic and acute and chronic myeloid leukemias, solid tumors, soft tissue tumors, central nervous system tumors and lymphomas (Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin).
Additional educational objectives of the program include developing an experience in other aspects of a pediatric hematology/oncology program, including the management of acute and chronic pain, long term transfusion therapy, acute and chronic complications of blood disorders, management of graft versus host disease, sepsis in immunocompromised patients, enteral and parenteral nutrition, multidisciplinary psychosocial diagnosis and treatment, management of nausea and vomiting, the epidemiology and etiology of childhood cancer, genetic testing and counseling, survivorship and late effects, and the development of a database collection system to monitor responses in clinical and basic research studies.
The training program also has a structured experience in stem cell transplantation including acquiring the skills in determining the clinical indications for stem cell transplantation, donor selection and processing, stem cell collection and infusion, choosing and administering conditioning regimens, and management of stem cell transplantation complications.
Unique program features
New York Medical College, which has been training physicians since 1860, is one of the largest medical schools in the United States. The main campus moved to Westchester from New York City more than 15 years ago, and this move has sparked an extraordinary growth in both the research and patient care roles of the medical school. The Department of Pediatrics has likewise grown at a fantastic rate, with all subspecialists very well represented. There are huge opportunities for each fellow to interact with basic scientists and clinical scientists in all fields of medicine.
The Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center (MFCH) is a major teaching hospital of New York Medical College. It serves as the only major referral center for the seven counties in the lower Hudson Valley, and has the highest “case-mix index,” which is a measure of acuity, in the state. Our helicopters bring in children daily from a very expansive geographic region. The focus is on tertiary and critical care. We are always at or above 100 percent census, with transports of critically ill children occurring daily. In 2004, the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center opened, and continues to expand in size and scope of programs offered. MFCH is dedicated to family-centered care and is a truly beautiful facility. All patients have private rooms and parents are encouraged to stay 24 hours a day.
There are numerous clinical and educational resources available to the fellow during training. Clinical resources include exposure to approximately 20 inpatients on a daily basis with primary diagnoses of Pediatric Hematology or Oncology or Stem Cell Transplantation. Additionally, each day the fellow participates in 1-3 consults within the inpatient hospital. The outpatient program has an ambulatory clinic and infusion center with an average daily visit of 20 patients in total for the fellows to participate in their care.
The Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/Stem Cell Transplant division has an eight-physician faculty with a very wide range of clinical and research interests. Additionally, fellows will be provided with a list of several faculty outside the division who will serve as mentors for the fellows’ research. This assures each trainee the opportunity to be exposed to all facets of our field. Our faculty is currently involved in dozens of research projects, including cell and molecular biology, clinical trials and epidemiological research. Fellows may choose any of the faculty as mentors in research.
Current research titles include:
- Combination Immunotherapy Against Neuroblastoma with Novel CAR in Expanded PBNK Cells and Bispecific NK Engagers”
- “Engineering Dendretic Cell Based Vaccines as Targeted Immunotherapy Against Ewing Sarcoma”
- “Targeting AML with Genetically Modified Anti-CD123 NK Cells”
Educational resources include a fellow’s library with availability of common pediatric, pediatric hematology, oncology, and stem cell textbooks. Additionally, New York Medical College has an outstanding Health Sciences Library consisting of 20,000 square feet, room for 225 seats, two computer labs, four multipurpose conference rooms and a 20-person classroom. The library has access to 16,543 journal titles and participates in NNLM and OCLC. The fellow also has their own PC and internet access to all search engines to obtain educational material. Lastly, all related policies and procedures and research protocols are available on the hospital intranet site.
The Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences at New York Medical College offers a unique opportunity for trainees in this program to obtain a doctorate’s degree in one of six basic medical sciences programs – biochemistry and molecular biology, cell biology, microbiology and immunology, experimental pathology, pharmacology or physiology.
The School of Health Sciences and Practice (School of Public Health) of New York Medical College is another vital resource for our training program. In addition to strong statistical and epidemiological support, the faculty of the Institute for Public Health and our division faculty collaborate closely in our newly developed Children’s Environmental Health Center of the Hudson Valley. Trainees are strongly urged to consider obtaining either a master’s degree or doctorate’s degree in public health while they are completing their fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology.