Fellowship Opportunities

Division of Medical Oncology/Hematology
University of Louisville School of Medicine

Hem_Onc Fellows 2013_web

Goetz H. Kloecker, MD, MSPH
Director, Medical Oncology/Hematology Fellowship Program
Phone: 502- 562-4246

Erin Parker
Fellowship Coordinator
Phone Number: 502-852-4121
Fax Number: 502-852-0012
Email: elpark03@louisville.edu

Saira Malik
Program Manager
Phone Number: 502-852-2522
Fax Number: 502-852-0012
Email: somaili01@louisville.edu

Type of fellowship: Full-time combined hematology and medical oncology

Positions available: From July 1

Length of fellowship: 3 years

Number of positions offered annually: 3

Number of ACGME-accredited positions: 9

Starting annual stipend: $55,257.00  (PGY-4 Level)  as of 7/1/2014

Prerequisite for acceptance: Graduate of ACGME-accredited internal medicine training program.

A Unique Opportunity

The University of Louisville Medical Center has several features that present unique clinical opportunities for recipients of fellowships at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center. In addition to University Hospital, two private not-for-profit hospitals — Norton Hospital and Jewish Hospital — are located within two blocks of the Brown Cancer Center. These partner hospitals and their healthcare networks provide access to a large number of patients for clinical trial development. Currently, the combined bed count numbers more than 1,600 in the downtown medical center alone.

These hospitals also partner with the UofL School of Medicine in many clinical and research endeavors. One great example of such collaboration resulted in the first successful implantation of the Abiocor artificial heart, performed at Jewish Hospital  in 2001.

The program has been reorganized to create the best academic environment and expanded to include nine ACGME-accredited fellowship positions. Every year more than a dozen research studies are published or presented in national meetings or peer-reviewed journals by our fellows under the guidance and supervision of our faculty.

Training Positions

Three medical oncology and hematology fellows are accepted each year; there are a total of nine fellows in the program. Fellowship candidates must have completed an internal medicine residency in the United States with a record of excellence. Our program is highly competitive, and candidates with excellent performance and strong letters of recommendation are invited to interview. Applications are accepted July 1 through September 1, one year prior to starting the fellowship. Interviews with five to seven faculty members are held September through October of the year prior to starting the fellowship.

Clinical Training

The training program includes an extensive clinical experience. By the end of the fellowship, the fellow will have seen virtually every tumor type, oncological problem and benign and malignant hematological disorder. The program includes inpatient care and consultation; formal teaching rounds are held daily at each hospital. Fellows attend two continuity clinics weekly during all three years of the fellowship at the Brown Cancer Center and at the Louisville Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The following Multidisciplinary Clinics at the Brown Cancer Center reflect the combined strength of groundbreaking research, leading-edge technology, accomplished specialists and exceptional collaborative care.

  • Blood and Marrow Transplantation
  • Brain and Neuro Cancer
  • Breast Care
  • Gastrointestinal Cancer
  • Genito-Urinary Cancer
  • Gynecologic Oncology
  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Skin Cancer and Melanoma

The first 18 months of training generally consist of two- or three-month blocks on the clinical services at the University of Louisville Hospital, combined Norton and Jewish Hospitals, and the Louisville Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Bone marrow transplant experience is provided and required. The second 18-month training period is very flexible and geared toward the interests of the trainee. Additional clinical rotations at our core hospitals are available, as well as electives in blood banking, pheresis, pathology, radiation therapy, gynecological oncology, outpatient specialty clinics, and pediatric hematology and oncology. Fellows may and are encouraged to have 1-1/2 years of research time.

Numerous teaching conferences are held, including the Brown Cancer Center Tumor Board, Combined Modality Conference, Hematology Conference, Best Papers in Oncology and Hematology, Molecules against Cancer, Basic Research Conference, Journal Club, Norton’s Hospital Multidisciplinary Breast Conference, VAMC Tumor Board and other invited speakers lectures. Fellows attend and often lead some of the tumor boards and other conferences.

Research Training

Participation in research, clinical or basic science is expected from all the fellows. Opportunities are abundant. The Brown Cancer Center is dedicated to the development of research programs. These additions to the research of the Brown Cancer Center will assure the center’s role as a national leader in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

The James Graham Brown Cancer Center concentrates on Five Key Research Areas:

  • Molecular Targets – By identifying new drugs or other substances that block cancer by interfering with the tumor growth and progress.
  • Structural Biology – Designing new cancer therapies by defining the structures and functions of cancer-related protein and nucleic acid complexes.
  • Tumor Immunobiology – Harnessing the immune system’s power to develop new cancer therapies and vaccines.
  • Developmental Biology – Using the mechanics of stem cells to help discover new therapies, regulate treatment side effects and regenerate damaged tissue.
  • Cancer Prevention and Control – Developing more effective ways to reduce cancer morbidity and mortality, through research, education and preventive interventions.

Several existing research programs, including the Gene Therapy Program, are developing new approaches utilizing cloning techniques and identifying unique targets. The Chemokine/Growth Factor Program concentrates on the structure of cell surface receptors to design agents that may inhibit uncontrolled cell growth. The Stem Cell Biology Program will capitalize on existing strengths in Blood and Marrow Transplantation and the Institute for Cellular Therapeutics. Currently in the planning stages is a Structural Biology Program, which will utilize physical techniques such as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and X-ray crystallography to characterize the structure of molecules that play a role in the abnormal growth characteristics of cancer cells.

The Brown Cancer Center houses several shared facilities including state of-the-art flow cytometry and DNA sequencing instrumentation. Other shared facilities include the Molecular Modeling Core Facility and Vector Production Facility, as well as a new Microsequence Array facility that provides researchers with specific genetic information about their patients and will enable physicians to design specific gene therapies based on the patient’s unique genetic “fingerprint.” A new Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging facility allows researchers at the Brown Cancer Center to study the structures of proteins and nucleic acids that are targets for novel therapies.

A new Gene Knockout Research Facility will enable researchers to provide their own testing tools to decide if a particular line of research is worthy of pursuit. These state-of-the-art facilities and equipment are helping position the Brown Cancer Center as a leader in cancer research throughout the region.

Fellows may also participate in a number of clinical protocols and clinical projects that are being conducted in the section. Fellows are encouraged to design and write their own protocol, as well as to follow it to completion during their fellowship year.

Performance Evaluations

Faculty are expected to provide an objective written evaluation of your performance on each rotation. Similarly, we seek your evaluation of the clinical and didactic skills of the faculty with which you work. These evaluations area available for your review at any time. On a semiannual basis, the program director will review with individual fellows the progress of their training with the goal of identifying areas of relative weakness and planning curriculum adjustments to improve in these areas. All of us are “works in progress” and the goal of all evaluations are to improve our knowledge base and clinical skills.

Weekly Schedule

Attending Rounds: Times to be set by the attending of the month. Rounds on weekends are arranged by the Attending and covering fellow or resident.

Clinics: Outpatient clinics are located at the BCC and Veterans Hospital. Fellows are assigned to two, half-day clinics for three years. Residents are assigned to a half-day clinic at the BCC and are required to attend it for the duration of their rotation.

Conferences: Attendance at conferences is mandatory for all fellows and residents. Medicine residents are excused on Wednesday to attend the medicine lectures.

Day Time Title
Monday 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Multidisciplinary GI Tumor Board
Monday 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Alternates: New Patient Conference, Writing Club, Oncology Plus, Translational Rounds, Quarterly Fellowship Meetings
Tuesday 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Core Curriculum
Wednesday 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Multidisciplinary Lung Tumor Board
Wednesday 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. VA Tumor Board
Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Multidisciplinary Breast Tumor Board
Thursday 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Neuro Oncology Tumor Board
Thursday 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Multidisciplinary GU Tumor Board
Friday 8:30 a.m. -9:30 a.m. Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Tumor Board
Friday 12:00 p.m. -1:00 p.m. Brown Cancer Center Grand Rounds

Fellowship Training Program Selection Process

The selection process is designed to ensure that Teaching Fellows possess the commitment, talent, skills and necessary personal qualities that will allow them to contribute deeply to the program and at the same time grow professionally over the three-year Fellowship Program.

Selection Process

  • Applications will be reviewed via ERAS. If the application meets the initial process (see attached page for requirements) then the applicant is invited for an interview.
  • The interview consists of:
    • Program overview and a meeting with the program director
    • Interview with faculty members
    • Lunch and conference
    • Tour of the facilities and meeting with fellows
  • Once all interviews are completed the training program selection committee will decide which applicants are ranked and how they are ranked.
  • Each committee member provides a written evaluation of every candidate that he or she has interviewed.
  • The program coordinator will gather all the evaluations and forward to the selection committee for final ranking.
  • All awardees and non-awardees will be notified via ERAS match. All selected candidates must, in turn, confirm their willingness to participate and sign a formal letter prior to the beginning of the fellowship training year.

Fellowship Training Program Requirements

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

  • Completed three years of internal medicine in an ACGME accredited program.
  • Graduate from said school as an MD, DO or equivalent.
  • Application only accepted via ERAS.
  • Deadline for applications is September 1.
  • Completed USLME I and II prior to granting of interview or ECFMG certification for non-US graduates.
  • Presentation of at least 4 letters of recommendation (original).
  • The university only sponsors J-1 visas. H1-B and other visa are not sponsored.
  • Positions are not offered outside of the match.
  • In the interview, resident applicants are rated with respect to verbal ability, professional demeanor and interpersonal skills. Following this interview and review of all pertinent information, including medical school documents, test scores and letters of recommendation, a decision is made to rank or not rank an applicant.