The UCSF program includes clinical and research experiences tailored to a fellow’s longstanding and emerging interests and to their career goals. The program provides all trainees with opportunities to develop mastery of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to become outstanding hematologists and/or oncologists.
Fellows who pursue a single board (hematology or medical oncology) or double board path rotate through 1 year or 18 months, respectively, of inpatient and outpatient experiences. Regardless of path, clinical training is evenly split among outpatient and inpatient rotations. In addition to discrete 2- or 4- week rotations, all fellows manage a continuity clinic with their own panel of patients at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital for 6 months and the San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center for 6 months.
Fellows who are in the research phase of their training maintain continuity clinics in disease groups and sites of their choosing. Fellows whose focus is lab-based or translational research pursue 1 half-day of continuity clinic per week. Fellows whose focus is clinical research pursue 2 to 4 half-days of continuity clinic per week depending on allowances by training grants or awards that support the fellow.
Clinical rotations include:
- Inpatient non-malignant hematology (Parnassus)
- Inpatient malignant hematology, stem cell transplantation, and cellular therapies (Parnassus)
- Inpatient oncology (Parnassus)
- Inpatient hematology/oncology (ZSFG and VA)
Outpatient immersion blocks include:
- Breast oncology
- Gastointestinal oncology
- Genitourinary oncology
- Gynecologic oncology (elective)
- Head and Neck oncology
- Hematologic malignancies (leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma)
- Hemophilia treatment center
- Developmental therapeutics (Phase 1)
- Sickle Cell disease and thalassemia
- Symptom management and palliative care
- Thoracic Oncology
Didactic conference: The goal of this curriculum is to cover foundational content including that which is tested on board examinations. The sessions are given by Faculty and have been converted to zoom for remote participation in response to the pandemic. Didactic conference is held every Monday morning.
Division conference: This conference is a weekly opportunity for the entire division to gather for a hybrid clinical case conference and journal club or special conference. Typically, three presenters (a combination of fellows and faculty) present for 30 minutes each on a clinical case or a recent article. On occasion, this conference is the forum for special topics such as Morbidity and Mortality, Research in Progress, and Faculty/Fellow Development. Division conference is held every Friday morning.
Research Fellows Conference: This curriculum is designed for fellows in the research phase of their training but inclusive to fellows who are in the clinical phase of their training. Each session couples discussion on a core topic of interest (eg. foundations of a successful abstract and specific aims page, ethics in research, time management, negotiating for your first job) with a “works in progress” where an individual fellow shares their research. This conference is attended by fellows and core faculty and is moderated by the Associate Program Directors for Research. Research fellows conference is held on the first Friday of the month after Division conference.
Curricular Half Days: Periodically, educational content is consolidated in a half-day session. These sessions are organized by our Chief Fellows and based on topics of interest to current fellows. Past, current, and future sessions include: Basic Science of Oncology, Clinical Research, Immunotherapy, Working with and in Industry, and Health Equity Rounds.
Tumor Boards: Every disease group and site runs its own tumor board. In addition, there are molecular tumor boards that are not disease group specific and held at Mission Bay and the VA (national). Fellows often present the cases and write up the note summaries. Tumor boards are held weekly across all sites.
Non-malignant Hematology Case Conference: This conference brings together faculty and fellows from adult hematology, pediatric hematology, laboratory medicine, and research for a conference that covers a case or recent journal article of interest. It is presented by faculty and held on the second Thursday of the month.
Bone Marrow Transplant Monthly Educational Conference: During this conference, faculty and other invited speakers, present on a topic of their choosing. The audience is broad and includes clinical and research fellows and faculty at UCSF and clinical faculty across the Bay Area at UCSF Health satellite clinics. This conference is held on the first Thursday of the month.
Lymphoma Research Meeting: This conference covers cases encountered at UCSF and local research updates. This conference is held on the first Friday of the month.
Regional Conferences: Throughout the year, our faculty are invited to speak at local conferences held on-site or within the Bay Area. Fellows are always invited. Examples include the annual “Multidisciplinary Management of Cancers” conference in the spring and “Hematologic Malignancies Update” in the fall.
Research Opportunities and Resources
Every fellow has at least 18 months (18 for double boarders, 24 months for single boarders) of protected and funded research time. Depending on the nature and status of their research endeavors, many fellows choose to extend the time as fellows and are supported through training grants, external awards, and/or their primary mentors. The breadth and depth of research opportunities and resources is a source of pride for our program. A few examples include:
Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center: The cancer center is brings together over 400 members across UCSF whose work spans cancer research in basic science, clinical research, epidemiology/cancer control, and patient care. The broad initiatives supported by the cancer center include the Cancer Immunotherapy Program (CIP), Center for BRCA Research, Global Cancer Program, Molecular Oncology Initiative, Older Adult Cancer Care, Program, Precision Imaging of Cancer and Therapy, and the San Francisco Cancer Initiative (SF CAN). At any given time, there are more than 250 cancer clinical trials open with approximately 14% of adult patients seen at UCSF enrolled. The Cancer Center’s portfolio includes trials for treatment (including Phase I/first in human), prevention, screening, and supportive care. Core facilities supported by the cancer center include biorepository and tissue biomarker technology facility, biostatistics, cancer imaging resources, clinical research support office, computational biology and informatics, laboratory for cell analysis, preclinical therapeutics, small molecule discovery, and tobacco biomarkers.
UCSF Graduate Division: The graduate division houses programs in basic, translational, and social/population sciences including the biomedical sciences (BMS) program (link to https://bms.ucsf.edu). The Graduate Division is one of the largest biomedical academic divisions in the country. Its programs are interdisciplinary in nature and bridge the four schools at UCSF, the School of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, and Pharmacy. In 2019, for the 13th year in a row, UCSF claimed the top spot among public institutions in funding from the NIH.
The Clinical & Translational Science Institute: The CTSI facilitates clinical and translational research to improve patient and community health by providing infrastructure, services and training to enable research to be conducted more efficiently, effectively and in new ways. For fellows, this includes a longitudinal K-grant writing workshop, a K scholars program which provides career development awards, the Fellows Advancement Skills Training in Clinical Research (FAST-CaR) to provide a tight-knit community and structured career development for fellows interested in clinical research, and Training in Clinical Research coursework.
Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy: The mission of the Parker Institute is to accelerate the development of breakthrough immune therapies to turn all cancers into curable disease. UCSF Parker Institute investigators continue building on the university’s deep scientific expertise to advance research in T-cell therapies, CRISPR technology, the biology of the immune microenvironment and precision treatments.
Our fellows have and continue to be supported on the training grants, specifically Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Cancer and Research Training in Geriatric Medicine, and awards from the AP Giannini Foundation, American Society of Hematology (Research Training Award for Fellows), American Society of Clinical Oncology (Conquer Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award), Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, and Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research, among others.