Medical Oncology Training Program


The Hematology/Oncology Clinical Training Program features diversified patient care experiences in the dynamic CUMC environment that supports the development of clinical expertise, and that fosters career development with particular emphasis on scholarship. Fellows are embedded into focused inpatient services in solid tumor oncology, leukemia and blood and marrow transplant for four-week rotations. The facilities include a dedicated inpatient unit in the Milstein Pavilion, and a new state-of-the-art 18 bed transplant unit in the Harkness Pavilion. Fellows will also rotate for eight divided weeks at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in the Bronx, NY, and through consultative inpatient services in solid tumor oncology and nonmalignant hematology at the Columbia campus of New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Expertise in clinical care is also achieved by integration in disease-specific outpatient clinics where fellows work closely with leaders in their respective fields. The outpatient experience includes multidisciplinary rotations in pain and palliative care, gynecologic malignancy and neuro-oncology. Research opportunities encompass the breadth of Columbia University and includes the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Columbia University campus at Morningside Heights. There is a long tradition of mentorship with the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology that is supported by internationally recognized investigators at the Columbia University Medical Center and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of three in NYC.


The Fellowship Program in Hematology/Medical Oncology combines broad-based clinical training with opportunities to work with world-class investigators in a collegial environment. Fellows may select options leading to either single or dual board eligibility with either 12 or 18 months, respectively, of direct patient care activity, and an equivalent duration of research training in laboratory, clinical translational or public health research. A masters degree in public health or in clinical research can be earned concurrently. Fellowship training is for three (3) years: 18 months clinical and 18 months research.


In addition to individual patient-based learning that is integral to the inpatient services and outpatient clinics, the Hematology/Medical Oncology Program organizes separate core courses in Hematology (including Malignant Hematology) and Medical Oncology conducted by the faculty specifically for the fellows and aimed at the knowledge base necessary for every subspecialist (i.e., at the level of a "board review"). Fellows also participate in a series of mini-courses that include blood and marrow morphology, cancer biology, quality improvement/quality assessment, pharmacology and epidemiology and outcomes research. Fellows gain valuable presentation skills as featured speakers in Solid Tumor Oncology and Hematology Case Conferences, as well as skill in critical review of the medical literature and development of a rational treatment plan.


Fellows work closely with the Program Leadership to identify a research mentor and project by the end of the first year of fellowship. In the second and third year of fellowship, fellows have 18 months of protected time to develop the project into what forms the foundation of an investigative career. Fellows pursuing training in the Medical Research pathway are welcome to continue the subspecialty portion of training at CUMC. Fellows choose among an extremely wide range of research activities within the Division, the Cancer Center, the Medical Center and the University at large.

Conquer Cancer Foundation: 2018 Young Investigator Awards

We are pleased to announce the following Hematology Oncology Fellows received Conquer Cancer Foundation: 2018 YIA Awards:

Dr. David Aggen (mentor: Dr. Charles Drake) "Targeting Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells in Renal Cell Cancer with Combination lL-1 Beta and PD-1 Blockade"

Dr. Daniel O'Neil (mentor: Dr. Alfred Neugut) "Quality of Breast Cancer Care in Five Public Hospitals in South Africa and Effects on Survival"

Dr. Shawn Sarkaria (mentors: Dr. Gary Schwartz, Dr. Lei Ding) "Targeting PDGFRa-Expressing Stromal Cells in Primary Myelofibrosis"

Dr. Ruth White (mentor: Dr. Timothy Wang) "Cholinergic Regulation of the Neural Microenvironment in Pancreatic Cancer"

Dr. Jessica Yang (mentor: Dr. Richard Carvajal) "Efficacy of Bromodomain and Extra-Terminal (BET) Protein Inhibition in Advanced Uveal Melanoma"