Surgical Oncology Fellowship
Medical Oncology/Surgical Fellowship and Fellowship Trainee Educational Goals
The Surgical Oncology Fellowship at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center at the University of South Florida is a two-year program, comprised of 18 months of required clinical rotations, and six months of elective experience in either clinical or research or both. Fellows may request an optional third year, dedicated to research. Thus, a fellow could elect, upon consultation with the Program Director and approval by the Steering Committee, to have a two-year fellowship that was a combination of 18 months of clinical experience plus six months of research; a two-year, fully clinical fellowship experience by choosing six months of elective clinical rotations and no research experience; a three-year, research-intensive fellowship experience by choosing 18 months of research experience after completing the required 18 months of clinical experience; or any combination of 18 required clinical months plus up to six months of elective clinical rotations plus a corresponding amount of research experience.
Fellows rotate through required surgical rotations in breast (2 months), cutaneous oncology (3 months), GI (6 months), gynecologic oncology (1 month), head and neck/plastic surgery (1 month), soft tissue and bone sarcoma (2 months), and thoracic surgery (1 month). Fellows participate in a wide variety of general oncologic and complex and re-operative procedures. Exposure to upper gastrointestinal tract surgeries, including esophageal, hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancer resections, is particularly strong. Minimally invasive surgery is employed in all areas of the body and all types of oncologic surgery. The fellows attend weekly interdisciplinary tumor conferences where interesting cases are discussed with other specialties – medical, surgical and radiation oncologists, pathologists, nutritionists, nurses, physical therapists, geneticists and others. There are required non-surgical rotations in surgical pathology (1 month) and outpatient radiation and medical oncology (1 month). The nonsurgical rotations, along with any clinical electives, are tracked to provide fellows with the opportunity to get a focused experience in a particular tumor type or organ site, if desired. All clinical rotations take place at the Moffitt Cancer Center; there are no required off-site rotations.
All Surgical Oncology fellows regularly attend monthly Multidisciplinary Fellows Education Conferences and monthly Surgical Oncology Journal Clubs. The Surgical Oncology Journal Club is designed to discuss articles of specific clinical relevance, with an eye toward understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the clinical trial design and biostatistical analysis of each article. Each month a different topic is discussed. The topics include Sarcoma, Melanoma, GI, Breast, and endocrine cancers, as well as subspecialties. One Journal Club is devoted to a session on biostatistics and interpretation of clinical trials.
All fellows are expected to participate in clinical research, to teach other fellows, residents, students (and attendings!), to present at national meetings and publish in scholarly journals, to lead Journal Club discussions, and to participate actively in weekly interdisciplinary tumor conferences. On call responsibilities are carried out in conjunction with junior surgical residents; in-house call is not required for fellows. Non-educational clinical responsibilities, such as vascular access device placement, are minimized by the extensive use of physicians assistants throughout the Moffitt Cancer Center.
Research interests are discussed with each fellow at the beginning of the fellowship and before the start of the second year. It is expected that fellows will participate in clinical research projects in the first year, as well as begin the background reading and planning that will allow the initiation of a productive research program in the second year. Opportunities exist for the fellows to work with surgical researchers in molecular biology and genetics as well as basic scientists investigating nearly every aspect of human cancer. The third year research opportunity is strongly encouraged, but neither mandatory nor guaranteed, and may be contingent upon the fellow arranging for financial support for his or her laboratory research by their mentor.
The graduating fellow will be well trained in the broad field of Surgical Oncology, and have the potential to become a leader in the multidisciplinary care of the cancer patient. The fellowship is designed for, but not restricted to, individuals intent upon a career in academic surgical oncology.
Moffitt Cancer Center is a participant in the Society of Surgical Oncology Matching Program. The program was last site-visited in February 2005 and was unanimously approved for five years of accreditation, and to expand to four trainees per year. Vernon K. Sondak, M.D., Director of Surgical Education at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, is Program Director for the Surgical Oncology Fellowship.
To take part in the Surgical Oncology fellowship match, please call the Society of Surgical Oncology for an application and information at 847-427-1400 or go to their website at www.surgonc.org. Applicants must be eligible for a Florida medical license, and be United States citizens or have appropriate visas qualifying them to legally reside in the United States for at least two years. Salary, fringe benefits and malpractice coverage are provided. The interviews are conducted in mid August and involve a day long orientation and interview process followed by an optional dinner with the current fellows.
Vernon K. Sondak, M.D.
Director of Surgical Education
Program Director for the Surgical Oncology Fellowship
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute
Surgical Oncology Education Coordinator
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
12902 Magnolia Drive
Tampa, FL 33612
Graduate Medical Education