Teaching conferences are an integral component of the educational activities of the division. Within the framework of the following conferences we present a comprehensive overview of important topics in hematology-oncology, which complete within an 18-month cycle.
1) Division Research Conference (Wednesday mornings) is the conference at which subspecialty faculty present their own research. This weekly conference comprises a part our annual curriculum series, in which we learn from local experts about topics in hematology and oncology.
2) Hematology and Oncology Fellows Curriculum Conference (Friday mornings) is the main forum for comprehensive curriculum review, often covered in consecutive sessions for maximal impact (e.g. 2-3 consecutive weeks of breast cancer, lymphoma, or leukemia topics). All fellow presentations (research, didactic, and journal clubs) are coordinated with a faculty mentor during the development and prior to presentation.
Disease-Focused Didactic Presentations: These connsist of a combination of internal and external faculty presentations, in their area of expertise, as well as fellow-directed presentations on selected topics in medical oncology, malignant and non-malignant hematology.
Fellow Research Presentations: Each second- and third-year fellow is required to give an annual presentation describing their own research or scholarly activity project.
Journal Clubs: Journal clubs are assigned to fellows as either landmark journal club or state-of-the-art journal club. Landmark are identified with the input of a faculty specialist, and should be seminal works that establish standard-of-care practices. These are not likely to be new or current articles. State-of-the-art journal club articles are more recent articles that appear likely to substantially impact our understanding of hematologic/oncologic disease, through mechanistic insights or through important avenues of contemporary clinical research.
Cancer Biology Series: Approximately once monthly, Fellows’ Conference is devoted to the basic science of cancer biology, which is covered over a two-year cycle. Sample topics include oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, gene expression profiling, molecular biology of leukemia, molecular biology of lung cancer, breast cancer, etc. Our textbook guide for this curriculum is "The Primer of the Molecular Biology of Cancer", ed. by DeVita VT, Lawrence, TS, and Rosenburg SA, supplemented.
Bone Marrow Biopsy and Aspiration Training: In an effort to standardize teaching and competency in this important procedure, Lisa Arfons, MD, Hillard Lazarus, MD, and Joe Bokar, MD, along with Susan Wish-Baratz, MD, from the Department of Anatomy, present a didactic session on the pertinent pelvic anatomy and the current, bone marrow aspiration and biopsy equipment that is available at each training site. We follow this session with an anatomy lab experience where the procedure is performed on cadavers in the medical school, under direct supervision and observation by the faculty. After placement of the Jamshedi needle in the cadaver iliac crest, the needle track is dissected by the fellow in order to illustrate the details of the anatomy (and the potential for injury to surrounding structures). Our fellows subsequently perform over five bone marrow biopsies and aspirations on patents under direct observation to confirm competency.
3. Hematology Conference is a weekly working conference during which the hematology consult fellows on service at UH and the VA bring interesting and complicated benign hematology cases for discussion with co-fellows, benign hematology faculty, and hematopathologists.
4. Fellows’ Case Conference. Additional conference slots are assigned to individual fellows for presentation of case-based topics in a disease-focused area, typically derived from interesting cases encountered in the course of clinical rotations and continuity clinics. These assignments alternate between solid tumor and malignant hematology topics. These presentations are developed in conjunction with a faculty mentor with expertise in the area of focus of the disease, so that all fellows have the opportunity to learn from subspecialty disease-team experts. These presentations are often prepared in conjunction with a review of the pertinent questions/chapter from either the ASCO-SEP or ASH-SAP.
5. Oncotalk. In the Fall of each academic year, first-year fellows participate in a three-day retreat devoted to developing interpersonal and communication skills based upon the NCI-developed OncoTalk program that includes both didactic and role-playing methods of instruction. Elizabeth Weinstein, MD, UH Seidman Cancer Center palliative care faculty resource, leads this program, which is held offsite at the Case Western Reserve University Squire Valleevue Farm. All fellows who have completed this retreat also participate in a confidential fellows-only OncoTalk Refresher series which occurs monthly and alternates with Fellows' Case Conference.