Today’s surgical oncologists operate at the interface of leading-edge research and advanced surgical practice. City of Hope’s Surgical Oncology Fellowship program is designed to train the next generation of professionals while accommodating each fellow’s specific interests in cancer medicine. After completing our fellowship program, the majority of fellows continue their careers as academic surgical oncologists, working as faculty members in a university setting.
The City of Hope Surgical Oncology Fellowship program offers solid experience in all aspects of the profession. Run by the Department of Surgery and Division of General and Oncologic Surgery, it combines rigorous training in clinical surgical oncology with non-surgical oncologic modalities and research.
Fellows spend 18 months in clinical surgical oncology as the senior responsible fellow. One month each of medical oncology and radiation oncology training are included, with opportunities for elective clinical rotations. The fellowship can be extended to for a third year to accommodate longer-term research projects.
Research opportunities at City of Hope are extensive, both within the Department of Surgery and throughout our organization. More than 100 basic science principal investigators work on campus, providing a diversity of training options. Importantly, fellows have the chance to witness City of Hope’s translational research philosophy in action, promoting the rapid application of investigational results into better medicine at the bedside.
Surgical Oncology fellows gain practical insight into cancer’s clinical manifestations, as well as the experience needed to manage patients at all stages of the disease. Rotations include the General and Oncologic Surgery service, the Gynecologic Oncology service and Head and Neck service.
The General and Oncologic Surgery service covers breast, colorectal, melanoma, bone and soft tissue sarcoma, as well as gastrointestinal malignancies. Within the past year, each of the more than 3,700 operative procedures performed at City of Hope were teaching cases that included a fellow or resident. Fellows are strongly encouraged to gain experience with clinical trials: both in-house and national group protocols such as NSABP and SWOG support a dynamic clinical research environment.
The fellowship program provides constant opportunities for learning and interaction. Regular Department of Surgery conferences attended by all fellows include the Morbidity and Mortality Conference, Surgical Pathology Conference, Surgical Grand Rounds and Fellow Education Conference. Beyond these, many fellows rotating on specific services attend multidisciplinary conferences, including Breast, Liver, Colorectal, Pancreaticobiliary and Head and Neck Multidisciplinary Tumor Boards, the Institutional Tumor Biology Conference, Chest Conference, and Thyroid and Endocrinology Conference. The departments of Medical Oncology and Radiation Oncology organize weekly conferences that are attended by fellows rotating on those services. Fellows also have six-month rotations on the Research Animal Care Committee, Institutional Review Board and Bioethics Committee.
Research is at the core of City of Hope’s mission. Investigations by our fellows target promising cancer-related topics in cellular and molecular immunology, molecular carcinogenesis, multiple drug resistance, oncogenic expression and modulation, radio-immunotherapy, growth regulation, viral-induced carcinogenesis, tumor and vaccine immunology, and clinical outcomes research.
Each fellow is encouraged to explore and define his or her individual research interests and goals. After evaluation and approval, specific projects are carried out under the supervision of a City of Hope mentor. These projects are an excellent opportunity to gain practical experience in biostatistics, clinical protocol development and clinical research. To ensure the validity of investigations, the Division of Biostatistics provides didactic and interactive support including a graduate course in biostatistics, protocol preparation and design. Fellows also attend a comprehensive year-long course, “Methods in Clinical Research.”
Candidates must be eligible for a California Medical License. Trainee salary is provided, commensurate with local cost of living expenses. As members of the City of Hope Medical Foundation, benefits include health and dental insurance, as well as a pension plan.