The Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Training Program is divided into three distinct years; year one is devoted to investigation in the Gynecologic Oncology Laboratory under the direction and supervision of Dr. Ross Berkowitz and Dr. Kevin Elias, Director, Gynecologic Oncology Laboratory. This is an exceptionally productive experience in which the fellow has an opportunity to substantially advance our understanding of the molecular biology of ovarian cancer. During this first year of investigation, the fellow has limited clinical responsibilities including: 1) only one weekend per month of clinical coverage of the gynecologic oncology inpatient service; 2) working in the clinics for medical and gynecologic oncology inpatient service; and; 3) half a day once a week colposcopy clinic for gynecologic oncology.
The second and third years are devoted to clinical care. The gynecologic oncology fellow spends eight months on the Gynecologic Oncology service and one month on Pain and Palliative Care in year two of the fellowship. During the third year the fellow has primary inpatient responsibilities for four months, the fellow also spends one month in Radiation Oncology, one month on Pain and Palliative Care, one month on Medical Oncology, and one month on Urology. In addition to this, the third-year fellow devotes three months to ambulatory care, and operating room coverage. Four weeks of vacation are guaranteed in each of the years of training. Fellows providing clinical care are supervised at all times by the faculty of Gynecologic Oncology, Medical Gynecologic Oncology or Radiation Oncology.
The fellow directly participates in the pre- and post-operative evaluation of patients with gynecologic malignancy. Full supervision on the clinical service is provided by the gynecologic oncology attending of the week with continuous supervision by faculty multiple times daily to provide necessary supervision to enrich the educational experience. In addition, the fellow has supervisory responsibility for one senior resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology, an intern in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and a physician assistant centered on inpatient service.
The gynecologic oncology fellow is required to demonstrate proficiency in a broad range of surgical procedures including radical hysterectomy, total laparoscopic hysterectomy with lymphadenectomy, cytoreductive surgery, radical vulvectomy for carcinoma of the vulva, and evaluation and management of patients with trophoblastic disease. These general and special requirements are outlined in the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology Special Requirements documents.
The first-year fellow must complete two post-graduate level courses; Introduction to Biostatistics and The Molecular Epidemiology of Cancer. In addition, there is a weekly didactic lecture series structured to broadly cover the field of Gynecologic Oncology. These lectures occur at a protected time where there are no other clinical duties.
Both the second and third year fellows actively manage patients on the Gynecologic Oncology service, the third year fellow has progressive growth in their responsibilities for in-patient and operative care while the management of all patients is supervised by full-time faculty members on a daily basis, the third year fellow functions more like a junior faculty member, the third year fellow is expected to perform the more complicated operative procedures with less intense supervision and scrutiny than the second year fellow. It is to be emphasized that at all operative procedures a full-time faculty member is present at the operating room table. The third-year fellow is also expected to have greater responsibilities for teaching the residents and medical students and in organizing the weekly didactic teaching conference, tumor board, and journal club.
The Gynecologic Oncology faculty meets formally on a quarterly basis to review the performance of the Gynecologic Oncology fellows. In the first year the formal evaluation centers on progressing the molecular biology laboratory. In the second and third years, the evaluations focus on the development of clinical skills of both inpatient and ambulatory care and the assessment of surgical skills. The fellows’ medical knowledge is assessed weekly by the on call attendings. Interpersonal, and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and teaching skills are assessed using rotation evaluations. These evaluations are completed by the faculty and twice yearly the Program Director meets with each of the three fellows to review these evaluations. At the completion of these meetings, the fellows are given a copy of the review; these then become a permanent component of the fellow’s record. At the completion of the academic year, there is a summary meeting with the Program Director in which areas requiring attention are again reviewed and improvements noted.
In addition to a formal evaluation of the fellows, each fellow evaluates each faculty member on an annual basis.
If you are interested in applying to the Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Training Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, please complete your application via ERAS at www.aamc.org/eras. The ERAS program number to apply to our program is 2252422001. The deadline for all application materials including the completed application, curriculum vitae, personal statement, official medical school transcript, USMLE scores, (CREOG scores will be accepted if you do not have USMLE scores), and three letters of recommendation is Monday, April 4, 2022. Invitations will go out on Monday, April 25, 2022 and our interview date is TBD.
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