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Mass General Brigham/Dana-Farber Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Harvard Medical School

The surgical oncology fellowship is a 24-month clinical oncology training program provided at Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

Clinical Training

The program employs an apprenticeship-style approach combined with an intensive multidisciplinary experience in the management of gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary, pancreas, breast, endocrine, cutaneous (melanoma) and soft tissue sarcoma malignancies. Additional experience in thoracic surgery, head and neck surgery, urologic oncology, gynecologic oncology and orthopedic oncology are available as electives. Fellows work directly with two to three faculty members at a time within a specific disease discipline. Dedicated time is allocated for the study of medical oncology, radiation oncology and surgical pathology. Additional nonsurgical electives in palliative care and clinical research design are available.

Core clinical rotations for the first-year fellow take place at both Brigham and Women’s Hospital (3 months) and Massachusetts General Hospital (6 months). Six months of research begins and extends into the second year. ACGME-required one-month elective rotations in medical oncology, radiation oncology and pathology are completed during the second year. An additional three months of core clinical rotations and two surgical elective months are completed during the second year.


The research portion of the fellowship program includes a minimum of six months of clinical, basic science or outcomes training under the direction of a senior research scientist at Harvard Medical School and its affiliate hospitals. The amount of time spent in this part of the fellowship will vary depending upon whether the trainee has already had formal research training. The timing of research electives is flexible to accommodate specific goals.

Mark Fairweather, MD

Mark Fairweather, MD

Program Director

See Entire Profile See Entire Profile

Mass General Brigham/Dana-Farber Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship Topics

Program Objectives
  • To train surgical oncologists who will become national leaders in cancer treatment and research.
  • To emphasize the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care.
  • To familiarize fellows with the full armamentarium of treatments currently available to combat individual malignancies, as well as all relevant investigational therapies.
  • To teach fellows how to conduct cancer research and design, lead new treatment protocols and facilitate the transfer of new discoveries from the laboratory into clinical practice.
  • To teach the critical importance of the role of the patient and family support during all phases of the treatment process.
  • To facilitate the understanding of the social and economic aspects of cancer treatment in an environment that emphasizes the highest levels of compassion and ethics.
  • To ensure that graduating fellows are well-equipped to successfully pass the written and oral board examinations in complex surgical oncology.
Quick Facts
  • Rotations at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital.
  • One fellow per year.
  • August 1 start date.
  • Eighteen months of clinical oncology training: Gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary, pancreas, breast, endocrine, cutaneous (melanoma) and soft tissue sarcoma malignancies
  • Twelve months of surgical oncology.
  • One month of medical oncology.
  • One month of radiation oncology.
  • One month of pathology.
  • Two months of surgical electives.
  • Six months of research training.
  • Apprenticeship approach.
  • Multidisciplinary training.
  • Application deadline is mid-January.

Brigham and Women's Hospital is a scientific, clinical and academic powerhouse with a long history of firsts. We foster a shared commitment to predict, prevent and treat the world's toughest cancers. Our collaborations are changing the future of oncological care worldwide.

Our culture in providing excellence in multidisciplinary patient care, teaching and research affords an exceptional environment for clinical training and participation in exciting advances in basic and clinical research.

Committed to teaching and mentoring the next generation of surgeons and leaders in medicine, our faculty is comprised of experienced oncologists, who impart a breadth of knowledge and expertise during clinic and the operating room. In addition, basic and clinical research mentors provide many research opportunities for fellows.

Program Director

Mark Fairweather, MD

Faculty at Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center

MGH Site Director

Genevieve Boland, MD, PhD

MGH Director of Professional Development

Sonia Cohen, MD, PhD

Faculty at MGH

  • James Cusack, MD
  • Keith Lillemoe, MD
  • Carrie Cunningham, MD, MPH
  • John Millen, MD
  • Antonia Stephen, MD
  • Kenneth Tanabe, MD
  • Motaz Qadan, MD, PhD
  • Richard Hodin, MD
  • Rajshri Gartland, MD, MPH
  • Roy Phitayakorn, MD
Teaching Facilities

Brigham and Women’s Hospital is located in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area in Boston, Massachusetts. It is Harvard Medical School's second largest teaching affiliate. Along with Massachusetts General Hospital, it is one of the two founding members of Mass General Brigham, the largest health care provider in Massachusetts. Brigham and Women's Hospital is an international leader in virtually every area of medicine and has been the site of pioneering breakthroughs that have improved lives around the world.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) provides care to children and adults with cancer, while advancing the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure, and prevention of cancer and related diseases. Dana-Farber cares for adults with cancer in specialized treatment centers focused on specific cancer types such as: lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma, cutaneous (melanoma) cancer, breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, genitourinary cancer, gynecologic cancer, head and neck cancer, hematology, melanoma, neuro-oncology, sarcoma and thoracic (lung) cancer.

As an affiliate of Harvard Medical School and a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, DFCI also provides training for new generations of physicians and scientists, designs programs that promote public health, particularly among high-risk and underserved populations, and disseminates innovative patient therapies and scientific discoveries to target communities across the United States and throughout the world.

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is located in the heart of Boston. MGH has five multidisciplinary care centers to offer patients comprehensive, state-of-the-art medical care. In addition, Mass General for Children provides a full range of pediatric health care services, from primary care, to treatments for complex and rare disorders.

For more information on our teaching facilities and other educational resources, please visit the Mass General Brigham Office of Graduate Medical Education.

Requirements and Deadline

We require the following documents to be available for download through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) for an application to be reviewed:

  • Curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Medical school transcript
  • Personal statement
  • Three to five letters of recommendation
  • USMLE transcript
  • ABS in-training exam scores (on application)

For more information about applications and supporting documentation, please visit the Society of Surgical Oncology website.  

Selection of Interview Candidates

Each application is reviewed in its entirety with a focus toward a combination of overall academic excellence, leadership ability, career development potential and personal character.

We interview approximately 20 candidates for the fellowship. Although we receive applications from many well-qualified candidates, it is not possible to interview all who apply. Those who are invited will be notified approximately one month prior to the date of the scheduled interview.

Interview Dates

The dates for the interview season are in the spring, between March and May, the year prior to starting the fellowship. All interviews are conducted on a single day.

Interview Format

Interviews are conducted at the Brigham/DFCI.

The interview day begins with a continental breakfast and an introduction by the program director. Following the introduction, each candidate will meet with faculty from the Brigham and MGH. Current fellows will be on hand throughout the day to visit informally with the candidates between interviews and to conduct hospital tours. The interview sessions conclude in the afternoon. A buffet lunch is provided.

Travel and Hotel Accommodations

For travel arrangements, applicants may anticipate completing all interview and tour activities by 4 pm. Please see our hotel accommodations page for more information.

Contact Information

Mark Fairweather, MD
Program Director

Brigham and Women's Hospital
Division of Surgical Oncology
75 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115

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