Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Training Program

For more than five decades, the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has worked to increase cure rates and improve the quality of survival through innovative research, outstanding clinical care, academic excellence and global leadership. It is the largest pediatric hematology, oncology and blood and marrow transplant program in the western United States and has been continuously ranked in the top 10 such programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report every year since the rankings were launched in 2008. CHLA has been affiliated with the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) since 1932 and the Center is the pediatric component of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated USC-Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

ACGME-accredited since 1985, the CHLA Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Training Program provides trainees with the necessary knowledge, skills, experience and mentorship to develop into independent physician-scientists or clinical/translational investigators who will lead the field forward. The CHLA Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Training Program is a three-year training program that focuses on clinical skills the first year followed by two years of intensive training in basic, translational or clinical research. There is the option for additional research training years for qualified individuals.

The training environment is one in which innovative research is conducted by teams of individuals with complementary expertise. Our Center serves as the headquarters for four clinical trials consortia: Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia & Lymphoma (TACL), Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Consortium (PBMTC), New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy (NANT), and The Head Start Consortium for Pediatric Brain Tumors (Co-Lead Institution). As a member of the CHLA Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Training Program, you would work closely with our faculty who are advancing the care of patients through bench-to-bedside research as part of these consortia.

Our Center also hosts four nationally renowned advanced training programs in pediatric hematology-oncology:

These provide additional opportunities for further career development and specialization for trainees in our Fellowship Training Program.

Why CHLA?

  • Expert program leadership and faculty
  • Comprehensive training
  • Dedicated mentorship
  • Unparalleled clinical exposure
  • Research excellence
  • Additional training opportunities

The CHLA Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Training Program is led by Alan S. Wayne, MD, who is also the Division Chief and Center Director. Training Program leadership includes Amanda Termuhlen, MD, Director of Education, and Yves DeClerck, MD, Fellowship Research Director. Our nationally and internationally renowned faculty shares the Program leadership’s commitment to the success of each of our trainees.

Our programmatic goal is to prepare you clinically and academically to be a leader in the field and to meet the challenges of rapid advances in science and changes in healthcare. Our program includes extensive clinical and research training under the supervision and mentorship of program faculty. Training begins with a two-week comprehensive orientation focusing on core subjects in pediatric hematology-oncology and practical instruction in clinical procedures and their interpretation. Fellows then participate in a core curriculum that is tailored over all three years of training. Our faculty members lead specialized teams in the following areas: Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology; Benign Hematology; Blood and Marrow Transplantation; Bone and Soft Tissue Sarcomas; Coagulation; Hemoglobinopathies; Leukemia and Lymphoma; Neuro-oncology; Neuroblastoma; Retinoblastoma; and Survivorship and Cancer Control. All fellows will work with each of these teams during training. There is a one-week orientation to laboratory techniques at the beginning of the second year to facilitate the transition into laboratory research. This orientation provides technical competency, statistical training and an introduction to laboratory personnel.

Dr. Wayne (Director of the Fellowship Training Program, Division Chief and Center Director), Dr. Termuhlen (Director of Medical Education and Director of Faculty Development) and Dr. DeClerck (Director of Research Education) will provide one-on-one mentoring throughout your fellowship and will assist you during the final stages of training to optimize your successful transition to an academic appointment. Meetings with prospective research mentors start in the fall of year one, a process that culminates in the selection of a primary mentor in the spring. This individual will supervise your research training and provide mentorship towards scientific independence.

Each trainee will have an individually assembled Scholarship Oversight Committee (SOC) to provide specific and structured review of research progress and scholarly activity throughout training. The SOC consists of internal and external clinical and research faculty who are dedicated to helping fellows achieve maximum success in research training and career development.

In addition to Program leadership and research mentors, each fellow will also select a faculty advisor for the three years of training. Faculty advisors provide additional advice and assistance in regard to career planning and professional development, as do other faculty members on an ad hoc basis.

As one of the largest pediatric hematology-oncology programs in the U.S. located in one of our nation’s most populous regions, trainees benefit from exposure to a vast and diverse patient population. Fellows participate in the diagnosis and management of the full spectrum of conditions in our subspecialty, from the common to the rare. CHLA is a tertiary and quaternary center for the most medically complex children adolescents and young adults. We are also a referral center for second opinions for routine and unusual cancers, blood disorders and their complications. Fellows have the opportunity to provide continuity of care for patients with a wide variety of hematologic and oncologic diagnoses throughout their training. Such broad clinical exposure under the supervision of faculty specialists with vast expertise leads our trainees to develop knowledge and comfort in the management of the most common and the rarest of cancer and blood disorders.

Our Center is dedicated to accelerating the pace of laboratory discoveries and to rapidly translating these to improvements in diagnosis, treatment and prevention at the bedside. The institutional environment provides abundant resources and a rich intellectual milieu for research training. We have prominent and highly productive basic, translational and clinical research programs in hematology, oncology and blood and marrow transplantation that serve as the training ground for our fellows. Fellows have opportunities to conduct laboratory research under the mentorship of faculty members located at The Saban Research Institute or at the USC-Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center on the Health Science Campus. There are robust laboratory research opportunities in multiple areas including cancer biology, cancer genetics and DNA repair, gene regulation and epigenetics, tumor microenvironment, immunology and immunotherapy, cell therapy, drug resistance, coagulation and pathophysiology of iron overload. There is also unsurpassed exposure and access to clinical cases, samples and trials, which serve to catalyze laboratory research efforts and provide unique translational opportunities for both physician-scientist and clinical-research trainees. Importantly, we train our fellows within the context of scientific teams that include laboratory and clinical investigators. Our faculty members develop and lead investigator-initiated trials as well as limited institution and cooperative group clinical trials in hematology, oncology, blood and marrow transplantation, cancer control and survivorship. The Center’s Clinical Trials Program manages more than 1,500 enrollments annually and we are leaders in pediatric research designed to improve cure rates and reduce side effects from therapies for cancer and blood diseases. These trials provide tremendous training opportunities for our fellows.

Trainees have the opportunity to take relevant courses and obtain additional degrees and certificates at USC during fellowship. This includes the USC Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholars Program for Clinical Residents and Fellows. Under this signature program, fellows receive tuition remission for courses useful for their professional development. Fellows dedicated to a career in clinical research may apply for The Masters of Science in Clinical, Biomedical, and Translational Investigations. This program offers an MS degree or a Certificate in Clinical Biomedical, and Translational Investigations and provides advanced training in clinical research methods to translate clinical, biomedical and technological discoveries into advances in population-based, clinical or basic science research.

The George Donnell Society is dedicated to training pediatric physician-scientists to perform innovative and high quality research. The Society includes pediatric residents, subspecialty fellows, graduate students, research post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty at CHLA.

Learn More about the Training Program

  • Year 1: Clinical Activities
  • Year 2 & 3: Research
  • Core Expectations

The first year consists of 2 weeks of orientation and 12 one month clinical rotations, ending mid-July of the second year.  During this year the fellow acquires training and experience in the following areas:

  1. Leukemia and Lymphoma
  2. Solid Tumors
  3. Blood and Marrow Transplantation
  4. Hematology and Coagulation
  5. Radiation Oncology (1 week)
  6. Hematology Lab / Stem Cell Processing Lab / Blood Bank (2 weeks)
  7. Ambulatory Care

First year fellows share at home night call with second and third-year fellows under the supervision of the attending faculty. There are three weeks of vacation in the first year.

Description of Clinical Services:

Leukemia-Lymphoma Service

Newly diagnosed and relapsed leukemia and lymphoma patients and those with complications are admitted to this service.  The fellow works with the supervising attending physician and a team of pediatric house staff and nurse practitioners to evaluate, diagnose, treat and educate patients. The fellow also performs all inpatient consultations for children with known or suspected hematologic malignancies. Fellows also participate in the weekly leukemia-lymphoma team meeting.

Solid Tumor Oncology Service

All solid tumor patients (including neuro-oncology) are admitted to this service. The duties of the fellow are the same as on the Leukemia-Lymphoma service. He/she works with the medical care team under the supervision of the attending, and is responsible for in-house consults on solid tumor patients.

Hematology-Coagulation Service 

Patients with hematologic conditions are admitted to this service. The duties of the fellow are the same as on the above services.  The fellow works with the hematology attending and pediatric resident team in the care of hematology admissions and performs all in-house hematology consultations under the supervision of the attending. Once a week the fellow attends the comprehensive hemophilia clinic. In addition, the fellow reviews new patient referrals to the hematology program and assists in triaging patients, seeing some of these in the Hematology New Referral Clinic under the supervision of attending hematologists.

Blood and Marrow Transplantation Service

This rotation on a 14-bed service provides the fellow with exposure to the clinical and laboratory aspects of allogeneic and autologous blood and marrow transplantation.  Fellows participate in the care of these complex patients and make rounds with transplantation faculty members. Fellows learn peripheral blood stem cell collection, bone marrow harvesting and stem cell infusion during this rotation.

Ambulatory Care/Continuity Clinic

Fellows participate in the outpatient clinics one half-day per week, providing care to their own patients under the supervision of attending faculty.  The Ambulatory Care rotation allows fellows to see a large number of patients referred for diagnostic evaluation of malignant and non-malignant hematological diseases. 

Radiation Oncology

Fellows spend a one-week rotation in Radiation Oncology, becoming familiar with the basic principles of radiation therapy.

Teaching Activities

Fellows are encouraged to actively participate in the teaching activities for medical students, pediatric house staff and nurses, and to present at designated conferences as detailed below.

80 percent of the second and third years of the fellowship are protected time for research training. During the third year, fellows may also opt to spend two weeks on service as a co-attending physician supervising fellows, residents and medical students under the direction of the service attending.

Research Activities

The CHLA Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Training Program offers many research opportunities at CHLA and in laboratories at the USC-Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.  The research mentor and primary focus area are determined during the first year. Fellows are expected to conduct their own project(s) and to actively participate in research seminars, lab meetings and other research activities of the Program.

Clinical Activities

Second and third year fellows participate in one half day of clinic per week, continuing to care for a selected group of patients accrued in the first year and picking up new patients in other specialty clinics.  Additionally, fellows participate in night and weekend calls from home.

Survivorship Ambulatory Experience

Fellows attend three half-day clinics in each of their second and third year of fellowship. They join a multidisciplinary team made up of a faculty member, nurse practitioners, and a social worker who staff the comprehensive survivorship clinic. Fellows complete a thorough chart review and late effects assessment of assigned patients. They then present their patients to the team and make recommendations for evaluation and follow-up based on relevant survivorship guidelines.

Teaching Activities

Fellows are expected to participate in and present their research at lab meetings and the Center’s Research Seminar.  Fellows also actively participate in Tumor Board, Journal Club, and Morbidity and Mortality conference as detailed below.

It is expected that by the end of the three-year training program that fellows will be familiar and comfortable with all diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of pediatric hematology-oncology, and will also understand the importance of social and behavioral support needed by patients and families.  Each fellow’s clinical competency is evaluated twice a year by a specific committee. It is also expected that the fellow will develop talent as a teacher. After two years of active research experience, the trainee should develop the skills necessary to conduct independent research. Specifically, it is expected that fellows will be first author of at least one publication in a peer reviewed journal, will give a minimum of one presentation at a national or international scientific meeting, and will submit at least one grant proposal during the three years of fellowship.

Educational Conferences

Hematology/Oncology/BMT Research Seminar:  This series covers clinical and research topics relevant to hematology, oncology, and blood and marrow transplantation. The speakers are invited from within or from outside institutions.  Trainees are expected to attend these lectures and to present their own research during the second or third year of training.

Tumor Board:  This weekly interdisciplinary colloquium discusses in detail one or more challenging clinical cases. Fellows are expected to attend as well as to present.

Journal Club:  This weekly Journal Club covers high quality recently published research articles relevant to hematology/oncology. Trainees are expected to routinely present such articles to their peers and faculty.

Fellows’ Lecture: This weekly meeting is organized by the fellows to review materials relevant to the American Board of Pediatric Subspecialty Board Exam in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology.

Hematology Conference:  During this weekly meeting, patients with hematologic disorders are discussed in depth by faculty and fellows. Fellows will be asked to present patients seen both in the inpatient and outpatient setting.

Pediatric Subspecialty Fellow Education Core Curriculum:  This year-long course introduces subspecialty fellows at CHLA to methods in research in addition to a broad range of topics including teaching, professionalism and ethics, leadership, team management, and the business of medicine.  

Saban Research Institute Seminar Series:  These seminars host well-established scientists from local, regional and national universities and research institutions. The invited speakers cover a wide range of biomedical research topics of importance to the research community at CHLA.  The speakers generally spend the entire day at CHLA and trainees have an opportunity to meet with the guest speaker.

Journal Club and Chalk Talk: These weekly events are organized by the Saban Research Institute for CHLA trainees and faculty.  Pre-doctoral and postdoctoral trainees (MDs, MD/PhDs and PhDs) present either a scientific paper or their ongoing research work.  Trainees in their first year of training are expected to present a Journal Club, whereas trainees in their second or third year present a Chalk Talk.

Distinguished Lecturer Series: This lecture series hosts highly selected speakers whose research is related to the research endeavors of specific research programs and initiatives of the Saban Research Institute. A specific time slot is reserved for the lecturer to “Meet the CHLA Trainees” where clinical and laboratory trainees discuss their own research with the distinguished guest.

Annual Poster Session:  This annual event features laboratory-based research, clinical research, and population-based research performed at CHLA.  The event offers a unique opportunity for trainees to learn about the broad spectrum of ongoing research at CHLA. Fellows are expected to present a poster in their second and/or third year of training.

Symposia and Mini-Symposia: Various symposia and other events are organized by research faculty and programs on a regular basis. Trainees are encouraged to attend these events.

Education Series:  Several lectures are presented at CHLA covering important educational aspects of research. These topics cover areas such as “How to write an NIH grant Application”, “How to prepare and present a research presentation”, “Ethics in Research”,” How to prepare your academic career”, and “Patents and Intellectual Property”. R\Trainees are strongly encouraged to attend these.

Presentation at a national meeting:  As part of their research training, fellows will be sponsored to attend a national scientific meeting relevant to his/her research and career interests.

How to Apply

Application start date: December 1, 2016
Application end date: February 15, 2017

Requirements:

  • Must have completed an ACGME accredited pediatric residency program or a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada accredited program
  • Satisfactory completion of the USMLE Step 1, 2 and 3
  • For international graduates, must have an ECFMG certificate
  • Have a CA medical or DO l license

The CHLA Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Training Program is a part of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Our program takes applications via the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).

If you are interested in applying for our fellowship program, you will need to apply through the ERAS application process.

Program Fast Facts

AGME Accredited:  Yes
Fellows per year:  4
Application Timeline: Applications will be accepted via ERAS beginning December 1, 2016 through February 15, 2017
Duration: 3 years
Postgraduate Training Required: Pediatric Residency
U.S. Citizenship: U.S. citizens, permanent residents, J1 and H1 visa applicants eligible to apply
Salary Minimums:
First year fellow: $63,344
Second year fellow: $65,018
Third year fellow: $67,225
Benefits Include:
Health and dental insurance, 15 days paid vacation annually, an educational allowance, reimbursement for DEA registration, California medical license and the American Board of Pediatrics Subspecialty In-Training Exam (SITE), and monthly meal cards during the first year.

Children's Hospital Los Angeles is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our Program follows the recruitment guidelines of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Pediatric Hematology-Oncology match.