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Hematology Oncology Fellowship Training Program Unique Opportunities

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Professionalism Series

This innovative series takes place every Friday afternoon and encompasses a broad range of topics. This year we had presentations on Wellness and Burnout, Treating the LGBTQ Patient, A series of lectures and workshops on being an educator, Clinical Research Skills (4 lectures), Negotiating Your Employment Contract, Your Financial Wellbeing, Harassment, Abuse and Discrimination in the Workplace, Caring for Patients with Addiction, Dealing with Grief (both yours and the patient’s), Delivering Bad News, Innate Bias, A Primer on Insurance and Cultural Competency.

Benign Hematology Curriculum

Developing expertise in benign hematology requires a separate curriculum from that used in malignant hematology and medical oncology.

  • Benign Hematology Mandatory Clinical Rotation - All first year fellows participate in this mandatory 4 week rotation. During this time they attend the outpatient clinics of an attending whose predominant practice is benign hematology and they serve as the junior fellow in the JMH Hematology Consult Service.  On this service they are responsible for benign hematology consults under the supervision of a third year fellow and an attending.  
  • Procedural competence performing bone marrows - The fellow is expected to develop procedural competence performing bone marrows during the Benign Hematology Rotation.  
  • Bone Marrow Processing - The fellow will follow one bone marrow sample from obtaining it through the entire process that leads to a diagnosis including staining, flow cytometry, ordering special stains and reading the specimen with the pathologist while on the Benign Hematology Rotation.  
  • Benign Hematology Conference - The fellow on the Benign Hematology rotation is responsible for coordinating and presenting cases at this conference/tumor board.
  • Quarterly Benign Hematology Symposium - This is a two hour joint effort between Hematopathology, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Blood Bank and adult Hematology/Oncology. These symposium include didactic lectures, a lab component and pathology review. Topics covered: WBCs, Bleeding Syndromes, Transfusion Medicine, etc
  • Hematopathology Rotation - during the first year the fellow is paired with a Pathology resident on the Hematopathology service and learns to work up cases, read a peripheral smear, read a bone marrow and become familiar with the work up hematologic abnormalities.
  • Monthly Peripheral Smear Review with Dr Vega and Pedi Heme/Onc - this one hour session using the microscope looks at interesting cases as well as reviews prespecified topics such as :MDS, macrocytic anemia, TTP, etc
  • How to Use a Microscope - a lecture given in Initial Core Curriculum
  • Benign Hematology Elective for Second Year Fellows - in this elective the fellow works with Dr Harrington and attends both Hemophilia Clinic and Sickle Cell clinic.
  • ASH Consultative Hematology Course at ASH - this one day session offered at ASH is paid for by the fellowship


Individually and as an organization we are committed to your health and wellbeing.  Each fellow is assigned an advisor and encouraged to pick a mentor.  In our Professionalism Series we have lectures on Wellness and Burnout as well as many other topics that promote self-knowledge and resiliency such as Dealing with Grief and  Establishing your own Financial Wellbeing. The initial orientation program includes information on duty hour rules, fatigue mitigation and sleep hygiene. Dr Heidi Allespach is a psychologist and the Director of Behavioral Medicine for the Residencies and Fellowships who is available for individual referral and consultations as is Dr Adrian Reynolds an academic enhancement specialist.  The Employee Work/Life Services is a free and confidential service that can assist with time management skills, stress management, substance abuse referrals, family counseling and legal services.

Quality Assurance

To maintain high quality health care it is necessary to constantly measure the effectiveness of care and methodically implement incremental change in order to maximize care. As a part of orientation the fellows complete modules on the structure and concepts underpinning QA. In the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship the fellows develop QA projects as a cooperative project by year.  The first year fellows pick a specific issue that impacts their care of patients and work in a cooperative fashion to improve that process. The second year fellows work with our clinical pharmacists on the hospital formulary.  They each identify a cancer drug that they think should be on the formulary.  They research the drug and present their reasoning to the P&T committee. Cost effectiveness is an integral part of this process.  The third year fellows pick an issue that impacts on transitions in care and work to improve processes. There are hospital wide initiatives that are open for the interested fellow and the fellows have completed many other QA projects in their efforts to improve patient care such as: creating standardized language for procedure notes, improving work flow in the continuity clinic and creating a guide to the initial work up of leukemia.

Research Opportunities

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

The Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is at the forefront of advanced new treatments and cutting edge technology. This allows our team of cancer experts to develop and pioneer highly innovative strategies to fight some of the most aggressive and deadly forms of cancer. There are more than 250 physicians and scientists dedicated to cancer care and research. Every day, our physicians and scientists within the cancer center’s 15 site disease groups and 3 multidisciplinary research programs, are discovering exciting new breakthroughs that are quickly transforming the way cancer patients are diagnosed and treated. Translating research breakthroughs into more effective treatments remains one of Sylvester’s highest priorities. Sylvester conducts more clinical research than any other institution in South Florida and has a wide range of trials, with 168 currently underway.

Scientists at Sylvester are grouped into four multidisciplinary research programs

The fellows are expected to develop research projects during their training. Projects are tailored to each fellow’s interests and can include anything from basic science research to design of a clinical trial or clinical outcomes research. During the first year the fellow will identify a mentor and with their guidance devise an appropriate research project that can be completed by the end of their fellowship. The fellow will meet on a regular basis with mentor and the fellowship director to determine progress on their project. Fellows are expected to present and/or publish the results of their work in a peer reviewed journal. Research electives may also be developed in conjunction with clinical or laboratory faculty research mentors. 

Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)

Created in 2012, the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) drives research translation into evidence-based clinical and community practices that improve the health of South Florida’s diverse population.

In a community comprised of 85 percent racial and ethnic minorities, the Miami CTSI makes significant contributions in minority health and health disparities and in training underrepresented minorities in clinical, translational, and community-engaged research.

The Miami CTSI educates, connects, and supports research teams by building the distinct science of clinical translational research, fostering collaboration, and managing the resources needed to sustain success in these areas.

Made up of the University of Miami, Jackson Memorial Health System, and Miami VA Healthcare System, we are jointly funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The Miami CTSI is member of the National Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Consortium, a prestigious group of 61 world-class academic research institutions that is transforming the way biomedical research is conducted across the country. 

The CTSA’s goal is to increase the efficiency and speed of moving scientific discoveries into treatments and interventions for better health.

This program provides a foundation for the development of future practitioners and leaders of translational science who are prepared to deal with the perceived bottlenecks that inhibit translational research: institutional culture and practice, scientific complexity of translational research design and methodology, and regulatory and ethical processes. 

The mission of this curriculum development program is to engage promising new and early stage investigators in the discipline of translational science, so that they make the pursuit of academic translational science their own professional goal.

In the past 10 years 46% of our graduates have entered academic practice.

You can find our graduates at:

  • Memorial Sloan Kettering
  • Yale University
  • Ohio State
  • UC-Irvine
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Miami
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Louisville
  • Karamanos Cancer Center
  • Dana Farber
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Moffit Cancer Center
  • Tulane University
  • Universidad Javeriana
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Johns Hopkins

George Nahas DO won an ASCO YIA in 2017
Wunki Park MD gave an oral presentation at ASCO in 2018


Grace Polanco
Fellowship Coordinator