Pediatric leukemia and lymphoma program educational activities

The leukemia and lymphoma program makes training, at all levels, a point of emphasis. The available training can be tailored to meet the needs of individual students, postdocs and clinical fellows.

Training opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral research fellows

All of the faculty in the program have available positions for graduate students, clinical fellows, and postdoctoral research fellows. Each lab offers a unique training environment, but the groups interact considerably. This creates opportunities to learn from faculty other than your primary mentor, and it offers exposure to a range of techniques and scientific questions. Trainees participate in joint work-in-progress meetings and Hematologic Development and Malignancies Program journal clubs. Students have opportunities to participate in clinically-oriented training programs such as the Markey pathway and the Siteman Cancer Center’s Cancer Biology Pathway. We value trainee success and aim to make this a special environment for graduate and postdoctoral training.

Training opportunities for resident physicians

As part of an active teaching hospital, our program works closely with resident physicians.  Residency prepares physicians to care for children by focusing on providing additional training in pediatrics.  During this training, resident physicians rotate through inpatient and outpatient experiences designed to equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to independently practice medicine.  Training is typically three years, though the duration may be longer for residents in specialized programs such as pediatric neurology.

Resident physicians are part of the clinical team on the inpatient wards, caring for our patients longitudinally during their hospital stays and providing care for patients overnight.  In this role, resident physicians act as the primary physician providing day-to-day care during the admission, with close supervision from the fellows and attending physicians.  These experiences provide a solid foundation of clinical knowledge that pediatricians need to learn during their training, as well as unique opportunities related to the field of pediatric hematology/oncology.  Resident physicians are integrated with the team into all aspects of clinical care, including reviewing blood smears, participating in procedures, leading family-centered rounds, and engaging in discussions regarding patient care.   In addition, resident physicians may choose to participate in other experiences to broaden their exposure to the field.  Resident physicians may elect to spend some of their required outpatient pediatrics training in our hematology and oncology clinics, which offer a different perspective from the inpatient ward experience.  They also may opt to develop structured electives, including rotations in our bone marrow transplant unit.

Training opportunities for pediatric hematology/oncology fellows

We have structured the clinical program to maximize fellow education opportunities. In addition to learning through the course of day-to-day patient care, fellows participate in weekly leukemia/lymphoma tumor boards. The tumor boards have dedicated time for education on general aspects of leukemia/lymphoma biology, specific aspects of treatment approaches, and patient-specific approaches to treatment. We also offer didactic lectures to introduce the basics of leukemia/lymphoma biology and patient care. The goal is for fellows to understand the disease biology as well as underlying principles of treatment. During the second and third years of training, fellows can pursue either clinical- or laboratory-focused research projects. All of the program faculty are interested in mentoring fellow research, including advanced skills such as manuscript and grant writing.