Career Tracks

Career opportunities in hematology and oncology are exceptionally diverse. To help prepare each individual fellow for this variety, we have developed four broad career tracks: Master Clinician Pathway; Clinical Investigator Pathway; Clinical Educator Pathway; and Physician Scientist Pathway. Each track, selected by each fellow in the first year, offers differentiated curriculum, shaped with a mentor’s guidance to meet individual educational and career goals.

Master Clinician Pathway

Clinical Specialist Pathway

Clinical Educator Pathway

Physician Scientist Pathway

Advanced Hematology Pathway

Master Clinician Pathway

This track will prepare the fellow for leadership in a community hematology and oncology practice. This pathway provides the fellow with increased opportunities for clinical training. In addition, fellows will complete a policy project in collaboration with cancer center administration and various other quality improvement projects. 

Clinical Specialist Pathway

The goal of the Clinical Specialist track is to prepare the fellow for a career in academia with a focus on clinical investigation.  This curriculum track will prepare oncology fellows for an academic career as a subspecialist without the need for additional subspecialty training post medical oncology fellowship.

The 6 areas of focus for this track are:

  • Melanoma and Sarcoma
  • Lymphoma
  • Neuroendocrine tumors
  • GU Oncology
  • Phase 1 and Experimental Therapeutics
  • Immunotherapy

Oncology fellows in this track will have increased clinical exposure in their areas of specialization. This would include:

  • Two weekly subspecialty clinics in their area of focus during their third year
  • Presentation and participation in multidisciplinary tumor boards within their subspecialty on a weekly basis
  • Fellows may elect to rotate in additional specialty clinics to further develop expertise.  For example, fellows in the neuroendocrine tumor pathway would rotate through neuro-endocrinology clinic and nuclear medicine; fellows in the melanoma/sarcoma clinic may rotate within dermatology and/or melanoma surgery clinic; fellows specializing in lymphoma would have additional rotations in hematopathology; fellows in immunotherapy would rotate through multiple outpatient clinics that have a focus on immunotherapy (for example, melanoma clinic and GU oncology)

During this 3-year program, Fellows will be required to conduct a research project and basic, translational or clinical research in their areas of specialization with Holden Cancer Center Investigators.

Fellow will have the opportunity to participate in the ICTS Certificate Program or selected coursework in clinical investigation.

Fellows will be encouraged to apply for peer-reviewed funding (including ASCO YIA) and apply to society-based clinical investigator workshops (ASH, ASCO, LLS, LRF).  Fellows will also attend and will be encouraged to present at national meetings focused on their area of subspecialization.

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Clinical Educator Pathway

This track prepares the fellow for an academic career in medical education, with formal training and a certificate offered through our Office of Consultation and Research in Medical Education. In addition to formal study, fellows in this pathway will develop an educational portfolio and work with a faculty member to develop a new curriculum project.

Physician Scientist Pathway

This track prepares the fellow for an academic career focused on basic and/or translational laboratory research. This pathway integrates fellowship training to prepare for board certification with research training. Research mentors may be a member of the division, but can be investigators in other divisions of Internal Medicine or other departments of the University of Iowa (for example, the Interdisciplinary Immunology Program, Pharmacology, or Biochemistry), depending on the fellow’s research interests

Advanced Hematology Pathway

The goal of this curriculum is to prepare the fellow for an academic career in either benign or malignant hematology. The University of Iowa is well poised to offer training in both benign and malignant hematology.  The University of Iowa Hematology T32 training grant is an NIH funded training program in hematology that has been very successful in training young scientist and physician scientist for academic careers for over 40 years at the University of Iowa.  Fellows in the Advanced Hematology track would participate in the T32 curriculum which includes core lectures in clinical hematology and workshops in hematology research methods along with training in grant writing.  Fellows would have a mentoring committee and develop individual development plans.  The foundation of training in this track is centered on an individual mentored research project, marked by a period of intensive, sustained research under the guidance of an established, dedicated mentor. 

Our Bone Marrow Transplant service is well-established and performs auto and allo-transplants. In 2019 our Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy program moved to a new unit with additional beds. We also have a burgeoning CAR-T cell therapy program which provides cutting edge therapy to patients with blood disorders. We have a very active inpatient and outpatient Leukemia service as well as being a center for the treatment of lymphoma and myeloma.

Three separate training tracks are available for the fellow pursuing a career in hematology:

Hematopoietic Stem Cell Therapy and Cellular Therapy Track

Fellows wishing to specialize in hematopoietic stem cell therapy and cellular therapy will have additional rotations in the Hematopoietic Progenitor Cell Laboratory and HLA typing laboratory in addition to an intensive clinical training experience that would meet the eligibility requirements for FACT accreditation (Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy). Upon completion of the program, the fellow would immediately be eligible to attend in a transplant program without an additional 1-year fellowship.

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Malignant Hematology Track:

Fellows may specialize in leukemia/malignant hematology (non-transplant). Fellows in this track will have extensive inpatient and outpatient training in the treatment of leukemia and other malignant hematology disorders. Upon completion of this track the fellow would be able to attend on a malignant hematology service without an additional 1-year fellowship.

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Benign Hematology Track

Fellows wishing to specialize in benign hematology will have additional inpatient and outpatient hematology consult experiences as well as a focused research project (basic/translational laboratory research or clinical research) through the T32 training grant program. Fellows will have extensive outpatient hematology experiences, including the high-risk obstetrics clinic, sickle cell disorder clinic, anemia clinic, and the comprehensive hemophilia clinic.  Our institution is also a Center of Excellence for Bloodless Surgery. Fellows will have the option of additional training in hematopathology, the coagulation laboratory and transfusion medicine.