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Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship



 
View from Denver's City Park

The goal of the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program is to train fellows in the scientific and clinical aspects of the discipline, preparing them for a career in academic medicine. 

Paramount throughout training is the emphasis on excellence of clinical care for children with hematologic or malignant disorders and those requiring bone marrow transplantation. Emphasis is on the development of fellows in the physician-scientist model, for which there are numerous role models among the faculty. 

During the fellowship, each fellow is expected to acquire clinical expertise and the procedural skills required for diagnosis and treatment of Hematology-Oncology patients. Of equal importance, each fellow is expected to select a research mentor, and under the guidance of that individual to develop research skills, specifically learning the methods of careful, controlled scientific inquiry. The fellowship is designed as a three-year training program, with a clinical emphasis during the first year and a research emphasis in the latter two years. The fellowship is accredited by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education.

 

First Year

The first year of fellowship training is primarily clinical.  It consists of twelve 4-week rotations in four different areas (3 rotations in each): Inpatient Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplantation, Inpatient Hematology/Consult Service, and Outpatient Clinic.  The year begins with a two-week Orientation to the subspecialty, and there is a two week “Winterlude” in February where fellows receive more in depth exposure to topics related to our subspecialty, such as blood banking, flow cytometry, solid tumor pathology, and hematopathology.  Following is a fuller description for each rotation.

 

Goals and Objectives

  • Acquisition of a fundamental knowledge base in Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and BMT
  • Development of clinical skills in Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and BMT
  • Development of skills in interpreting basic laboratory tests pertinent to Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and BMT
  • Development of skills in preparing clinical presentations, discussions of cases, and case reports
  • Development of skills in process improvement
  • Initiation of research interests
  •  

Inpatient Oncology (12 weeks

During this rotation, fellows:

  • Round daily with the inpatient multidisciplinary team and develop treatment plans for all patients under the guidance of the inpatient oncology service attending. 
  • Coordinate the diagnostic work-ups for all new patients and communicate diagnostic and treatment plans with patients and families. 
  • Develop a working knowledge of current treatment protocols for pediatric malignancies and become proficient at ordering and delivering chemotherapy safely.
  • Learn about ongoing research activities through the Children's Oncology Group (COG) and the Experimental Therapeutics Program and learn how to properly obtain patient/parental consent for participation on research protocols.  
  •  

Bone Marrow Transplantation (12 weeks)

During this rotation, fellows:

  • Participate in patient care before, during, and after allogeneic and autologous BMTs.
  • Round daily on the inpatient BMT service and develop treatment plans for all patients under the guidance of the inpatient BMT service attending. 
  • Spend time in the BMT outpatient clinic seeing patients who are coming to clinic for post-BMT follow-up. Fellows also participate in BMT consultations, learn about the indications for BMT and donor selection, and assist in peripheral blood stem cell and bone marrow harvests.

 

Hematology/Consult Service (12 weeks)

During this rotation, fellows:

  • See both common and rare hematologic disorders and learn about the approach to their management.
  • Round daily on the inpatient hematology service and develop treatment plans for all patients under the guidance of the inpatient hematology service attending. 
  • Receive instruction in clinical laboratory techniques, such as interpretation of peripheral blood smears and bone marrows, coagulation studies, phagocyte function testing, hemoglobin electrophoresis for hemoglobinopathies, etc..
  • Act as the consultant for all inpatient consultations made to the hematology and oncology services.

  •  

Outpatient Clinic (12 weeks)

Two of the outpatient clinic rotations (8 weeks) are spent in the Hematology clinic and one rotation (4 weeks) is spent in the Neuro-Oncology clinic. During this rotation, fellowsParticipate in the various Hematology clinics, seeing patients with a wide variety of hematologic disorders.  (Hematology Clinic weeks).

  • Participate in the diagnosis and management of patient with central nervous system tumors
  • (Neuro-Oncology Clinic weeks).
  • Spend one week at the Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center.
  • Gain exposure to various subspecialty clinics, including the Orthopedic Oncology clinic, HOPE clinic
  • (for childhood cancer survivors) and TACTIC clinic (for adult survivors of childhood cancer). 
  • Spend a ½ day per week in the Procedure Clinic, practicing their bone marrow aspirate/biopsy and lumbar puncture skills. 
  • Spend time with our radiation oncologist and with our cancer genetics counselor to gain additional exposure to these critical areas related to our subspecialty.

In addition to the above activities, fellows spend ½ day/week in their Oncology Continuity Clinic, where they see their own patients who are on treatment or have completed treatment for oncologic disorders as well as new patients being seen in consultation or patients coming to clinic for a sick visit.   Fellows may also choose to follow hematology, neuro-oncology, or BMT patients longitudinally during this time.

 

Vacation

21 calendar days of vacation (15 weekdays + 6 weekend days) plus 7 calendar days for meetings/education (5 weekdays + 2 weekend days) are provided.  Every attempt should be made to distribute vacation time equally among the different clinical services. 

 

Call                 

The first year fellows are on call on average one weeknight per week and one weekend per month.  Estimated weekend call for 1st year fellows is 12 weekends.

 

Moonlighting

Moonlighting is not permissible before April of the first year.  After April 1st, fellows may moonlight as long as they are able to stay within duty hour regulations.  Generally, that means that they cannot moonlight on Sunday through Thursday nights, since that would impact their ability work the following day.

 

Academic and Research Requirements       

During the first year, fellows will begin to explore research opportunities and plan their research project for the final two years of their fellowship.  This process begins at the Fall Research Conference (Aspen Retreat) in September, where fellows hear about ongoing research projects within the Section and discuss research ideas with members of the Section and visiting guests.  Following the Fall Research Conference, fellows will meet with the program director, the associate program directors, the director of the CCBD research program, and the Section Head to identify areas of research interest and potential mentors.  By midyear, the fellow will evaluate potential research projects and meet with prospective research mentors. Extra time will be provided during Winterlude to accomplish this task.  It is expected that a research mentor will be selected at the latest by April of the first year.  Once a mentor is chosen, the fellow will begin to work with their mentor to develop the background for their project and will form their Scholarship Oversight Committee (SOC). Each fellow will present a brief overview of their proposed project and the members of their SOC at the Spring Research Symposium, usually held in April.  

 

Year One – Research

Mandatory conferences for first-year fellows include:

  • Fellow Teaching Conference – every Tuesday at 7:45 AM in the 3rd Floor Administrative Pavilion Mesquite Conference Room.
  • Morphology Conference – every Monday (except the first Monday of the month) at 8:00 AM in the microscope room in the clinic.
  • Professor Rounds – every Friday at 8:00 AM in Pyramid Peak Conference Room.
  • Tumor Board – every other Tuesday at 12:30 PM in Mt. Harvard Conference Room.
  • Leukemia Conference – 1st Wednesday of the month at 8:00 AM in Pyramid Peak Conference Room.
  • Neuro-Oncology Conference – 2nd & 4th Wednesdays of the month at 7:30 AM in Pyramid Peak Conference Room.
  • Solid Tumor Relapse Conference – 3rd Wednesday of every odd month at 8:00 AM in Pyramid Peak Conference Room.
  • Hematology Consult Conference – 2nd Thursday of every month at noon. Location TBA.
  • M&M Conference – 3rd Wednesday of every even month at 8:00 AM in Pyramid Peak Conference Room.
  • Fellowship Seminar Series – Covering core curriculum topics. Eight Wednesday evenings in the fall and four Wednesday evenings in the spring, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM, specific dates and locations TBA.
  • First-Year Fellow Fall Retreat – date and location TBA.
  • Spring Research Symposium – Where upper level fellows formally present the progress of their research projects. Date and location TBA.
  • Journal Club – Held on an every other month basis. Times and locations TBA.

First-year fellows are strongly encouraged to attend when able:

  • BMT Conference* – every Monday at 1:00 PM in Pyramid Peak Conference Room.
  • Transfusion Medicine Conference – every Wednesday at 7:30 AM at Bonfils Blood Center Conference Room. Attendance is usually only during the lab month.
  • Coagulation Conference** – 1st Thursday at 12:30 PM at University Hospital or Children's Hospital Colorado. Location TBA.
  • Immuno-Hematology Conference** – 3rd Thursday at 12:30 PM. Location TBA.
  • Grand Rounds – September – May – every Friday at 12:30 PM in Mt. Oxford.
  • Physician awareness group – a new group for first-year Hem/Onc, PICU, NICU, and CICU fellows to explore physician/patient/family communication issues – meets monthly on Tuesdays at noon. Specific dates and locations TBA

* Mandatory while on BMT Service
** Mandatory while on Hematology Service

 

Second Year

During the second year, fellows begin work in earnest on their research projects, with 80% protected time for clinical or laboratory research.  For those pursuing the laboratory research pathway, emphasis is placed on learning appropriate research techniques and experimental design by bench-side instruction, with the option of formal coursework for additional instruction as needed.  Fellows may also pursue clinical research, with the option of pursuing a Master’s Degree in Clinical Science.  All fellows are closely guided in their research projects by their research mentor and their Scholarship Oversight Committee

 

Goals and Objectives

  • Development of an understanding of the investigative approach and of the skills necessary to conduct independent research under the guidance of a research mentor
  • Development of an in-depth understanding of the diseases and disorders treated by our subspecialty and a rational approach to treatment
  • Development of a deeper scientific knowledge in hematology/oncology/BMT
  • Development of independence in clinical abilities
  • Participation in a process improvement project
 

Clinics

Although research is the primary focus of this year, 2nd year fellows continue to have clinical responsibilities ½ day per week: 

  • For the first 6 months of the second year, fellows will continue their ½ day Oncology Continuity Clinic every week. During this time, they will also serve as "Doctor of the Day (DOD)" for walk-in sick oncology patients and new diagnoses during this clinic time. 
 

Starting in January of their second year:

  • Oncology Continuity Clinic with Doctor of the Day responsibilities will continue ½ day every other week
  • Fellows will select three other clinics to rotate through every six months, which they will attend every other week alternating with their Oncology Continuity Clinic.  One of the 6-month blocks must be any Hematology Clinic.  Others can be any non-General Oncology Clinic (could be Neuro-Onc, BMT, HOPE, TACTIC, Ortho-Onc, ETP, any other Hem, or custom - example of custom would be endocrine tumor clinic)Upper level fellows also attend the Hematology Consult Clinic approximately 4 times per year, to gain more experience in diagnosing and managing common outpatient hematologic disorders.
 

Inpatient

Second-year fellows are expected to cover the inpatient clinical service responsibilities for the first-year fellows when they are away on vacation (generally two of the three vacation weeks, depending on the number of fellows in each year) and during the first-year Winterlude. 

 

Call                                                                             

Estimated weekend call for second year fellows is 9 weekends over the course of the year (dependent on the total number of fellows – could be more or less).  Depending on the number of first-year fellows, upper-level fellows (along with faculty) may be asked to cover a defined number of weeknight calls as well. 

 

Moonlighting

Moonlighting on the inpatient hem/onc service and the BMT inpatient service is an available option.  Fellows must maintain compliance with duty hour restrictions, accounting for any moonlighting in the calculation of duty hours.

  • Meetings and Conferences   
  • Attendance to at least one national meeting per year is highly encouraged.
  • Any of the other meetings as time permits and as suits the fellow’s clinical and research interests.
 

Research        

Research is the primary focus of the second year, with an emphasis on project development and design, research interactions, presentations, abstracts, article submissions, and grant preparation.

Fellows will formally present the progress of their research project twice a year to the faculty and their Scholarship Oversight Committee. The Spring Research Symposium is held at Children’s Hospital Colorado over an afternoon and the Fall Research Conference is held in Aspen over a three-day period.

 

Available Courses     

Fellows without previous basic science research experience who will be entering the lab are strongly encouraged to take the cellular and molecular biology course (CLSC 7500: Practical application of molecular and cell biology techniques for the clinical investigator) offered at the University of Colorado Denver in July.  Cost for the course is covered by the fellowship program.

  • An introductory statistics course is offered to all second- and/or third-year fellows.  It takes place over 6 evening sessions.  This course is required unless the fellow is able to provide sufficient evidence that they have successfully completed coursework leading to competence in this area.  Cost for the course is covered by the fellowship program.
  • As part of their research training, fellows may opt to pursue a Master’s degree or Ph.D. in Clinical Science through the University of Colorado Denver. (see http://www.ucdenver.edu/research/CCTSI/education-training/clsc/masters-program/Pages/default.aspx for details of the programs).  Cost is covered by the fellowship program.

 

Third Year

During the third year, fellows will continue work on their research projects in order to generate a work product (first-author paper, favorably reviewed or accepted grant submission, thesis or dissertation, progress report for a complex project) that will meet the requirements for certification by the ABP upon completion of fellowship.  Additional clinical experience will be provided as during Year Two.  After successful completion of the training period, the participants will be prepared and eligible for certification in the Pediatric Sub-Board of Hematology-Oncology.         

 

Goals and Objectives    

  • Mastery of an understanding of the investigative approach and the skills necessary to conduct independent research under the guidance of a research mentor
  • In-depth scientific knowledge in hematology/oncology/BMT
  • An in-depth understanding of the diseases and disorders treated by our subspecialty and a rational approach to treatment
  • Independence in the clinical practice of pediatric hematology/oncology
  • Demonstration of a firm understanding of how to perform process improvement

 

Clinical

Although research is the primary focus of this year, 3rd year fellows continue to have clinical responsibilities ½ day per week: 

  • Oncology Continuity Clinic with Doctor of the Day responsibilities will continue ½ day every other week
  • Fellows will continue to rotate through other clinics every six months, which they will attend every other week on the weeks they don’t attend the Oncology Continuity Clinic.  As an alternative, fellows can schedule both half-day clinics on the same day every other week.  One 6-month block must be any Hematology Clinic.  Others can be any non-General Oncology Clinic (could be Neuro-Onc, BMT, HOPE, TACTIC, Ortho-Onc, ETP, any other Hem, or custom - example of custom would be endocrine tumor clinic)
  • Fellows will continue to attend the Hematology Consult Clinic approximately 4 times over the course of the year.

 

Inpatient

Third-year fellows are expected to cover some of the inpatient clinical service responsibilities for the first-year fellows when they are away on vacation (generally one of the three vacation weeks, depending on the number of fellows in each year) and during the first-year Orientation.  Some third-year fellows choose to due a week or two of “pretending” time to gain more clinical experience prior to graduation.

 

Call                       

Estimated weekend call for third-year fellows is 8 weekends over the course of the year. (dependent on the total number of fellows – could be more or less). 

Other Meetings and Conferences:  

  • Attendance to at least one national meeting per year is highly encouraged.
  • Any of the other meetings as time permits and as suits the fellow’s clinical and research interests.

  •  

Research            

Research is the primary focus of the third year, with an emphasis on project development and design, research interactions, presentations, abstracts, article submissions, and grant preparation.

Fellows will formally present the progress of their research project twice a year to the faculty and their Scholarship Oversight Committee. The Spring Research Symposium is held at Children’s Hospital Colorado over an afternoon and the Fall Research Conference is held in Aspen over a three-day period.

 

Available Courses          

  • An introductory statistics course is offered to all second- and/or third-year fellows.  It takes place over 6 evening sessions.  Time and location TBA.  This course is required unless the fellow is able to provide sufficient evidence that they have successfully completed coursework leading to competence in this area.  Cost for the course is covered by the fellowship program.
  • As part of their research training, fellows may opt to pursue a Master’s degree or Ph.D. in Clinical Science through the University of Colorado Denver.  (see http://www.ucdenver.edu/research/CCTSI/education-training/clsc/masters-program/Pages/default.aspx for details of the programs).  Cost is covered by the fellowship program.
  •  

 

Application Instructions

To apply for our fellowship program please visit the Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS).

If you require further information about our fellowship program, please contact our fellowship coordinator:

Jill Morin
Fellowship Coordinator

Hematology-Oncology
Children's Hospital Colorado
13123 East 16th Avenue, B115
Aurora, Colorado 80045
Tel: 720-777-1002
E-mail: Jill.Morin

 

Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellows

 

​First Year Fellows

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Nathan Asher Dahl, MD
Residency: Cincinnati Children's Hospital
Medical Center
Medical School: University of Nevada School
of Medicine
Research Interest:  TBD
 

 

 

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Jessica Ann Lake, MD MPH
Residency: Medical College of Wisconsin
Medical School: Pennsylvania State University
College of Medicine
Research Interest:  TBD
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Emily Beth Southard, MD
Residency: Yale-New Haven Hospital
Medical School: Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
Research Interest: TBD
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Claire Lillian Stokes, MD, MPH
Residency: University of Colorado School of Medicine
Medical School: University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Research Interest: TBD

​​​

Second Year Fellows

37431.jpg
Kelly Faulk, MD
Residency: University of Colorado
Children's Hospital Colorado
Medical school: University of Colorado
School of Medicine
Research Interest: Relapsed and refractory malignancies, experimental therapeutics
 
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Susan Kuldanek, MD
Residency: University of Colorado
Medical school: University of Minnesota
Research Interest: TBD
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Holly Pacenta, MD
Residency: Riley Hospital for Children
Medical school: University of Toledo
College of Medicine
Translational Oncology Research: Identification of new therapeutic targets in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and Down syndrome.
Quality improvement: Improve the screening of iron overload in hematology, oncology, and BMT patients.
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Jenna Sopfe, MD
Residency: University of Colorado
Medical school: Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Research Interest: Patient outcomes and supportive care, quality of life, and adolescent/young adult populations

Third Year Fellows

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Pavel Davizon-Castillo, MD
Residency: University of Texas Southwestern
Medical School: Escuela de Medicina
Ignacio A. Santos
Research Interests: TBD
Pavel.Davizon-Castillo
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Jessica Knight-Perry, MD
Residency: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Medical School: Case Western Reserve School of Medicine
Research Interests: TBD

 

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Daniel Moreira Ridsdale, MD
Residency: Cincinnati Children's Hospital
Medical School: Escuela de Medicina 
Ignacio A Santos
Research Interests:  Global oncology program development, medical education, and preclinical drug development.
Daniel.MoreiraRidsdale

 

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Amanda Winters, MD, PhD
Residency: Cincinnati Children's Hospital
Medical School: Tulane University School Of Medicine

Research Interests: Translational research in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). I am working in Dr. Craig Jordan's lab and we are looking at phenotype and genotype of residual leukemia populations after chemotherapy, along with development of more sensitive methods for detection of molecular residual disease. .