Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Curriculum

Akron Children’s ACGME-approved pediatric hematology-oncology fellowship program accepts one graduate of an accredited pediatric residency training program each year.

Our program's 36-month curriculum and clinical rotation schedule is directed by faculty with expertise in the selected topics.

First Year Clinical Rotation Schedule
Outpatient clinic Inpatient service Hemato-pathology Radiation oncology Bone marrow transplant Blood bank coagulation Research exploration
8 weeks 29 weeks 2 weeks 2 weeks 4 weeks 2 weeks 2 weeks
16% 60% 4% 4% 8% 4% 4%
Akron Children's

Akron Children's

Akron Children's Akron General Cincinnati Children's Akron Children's Akron Children's/
Second Year Clinical Rotation Schedule
  Inpatient service Research Bio Statistical Epidemiology Course Palliative care
  4 weeks 38 weeks 3 weeks 4 weeks
  8% 78% 6% 8%
Site Akron Children's Chosen site Online Akron Children's
Third Year Clinical Rotation Schedule
  Inpatient service Research
  8 weeks 41 weeks
  16% 84%
Site Akron Children's Chosen site

Flexibility: The flexibility in the scheduled weeks for each rotation is dependent on the coordination with other hospital departments and outside facilities.

Elective: Each fellow has the option of choosing up to 4 weeks of an elective in either the second or third year.

Vacation: Each fellow is granted 3 weeks of vacation per year.

Year One

During the first year of subspecialty training, the focus is on clinical and basic science knowledge and pediatric hematology/oncology skills. As a member of a multidisciplinary team, you will have the opportunity to acquire communication skills, teaching tools and experience, self-learning practices, and teamwork/team-building skills, while practicing in a family-centered care environment.

Akron Children's Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders team includes: pediatric hematology/oncology physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, a psychologist, pharmacists, a case manager, physical therapists, dietitians, a child life therapist, a chaplain, a school liaison and school teacher, and multiple volunteers.

One month of the first year will be allocated for transplant education to enable exposure to a higher volume of transplant patients. Two weeks will also be spent in the Radiation Oncology department at Akron General Medical Center as well as two weeks in the Akron Children’s Hematopathology Lab. This experience will allow you to gain experience in radiation oncology as well as in the rationale, performance and interpretation of all aspects of hematology/oncology laboratory medicine.

In addition to strong clinical training, the fellowship will provide instruction in effective teaching specifically covering the following:

Our curriculum will include instruction in such topics as the economics of healthcare and current healthcare management issues such as:

Year Two

The second year is primarily dedicated to research. You will select a project, identify a mentor and become established in a lab or begin the design of a large-scale clinical or translational research project. All fellows will participate in 18 monthly conferences reviewing components of medical research such as clinical trial design, ethics of clinical trials, informed consent, basic statistical analysis, grant writing, data management and epidemiology.

Active research programs that are available include:

Basic Research

Steven Kuerbitz, MD: The focus of Dr. Kuerbitz’ research is characterization of the function of the neuronatin (NNAT) gene, which is a frequent target of aberrant transcriptional inactivation, in childhood malignancies including leukemia and osteosarcoma.

Gail Fraizer, PhD: The research focus of the Fraizer lab is to elucidate the role of the WT-1 protein in the transcriptional control of tumorigenesis pathways.

Angelo DeLucia, PhD: Dr. Delucia’s lab investigates mechanisms of and strategies to block viral (human papilloma virus) carcinogenesis.

William Lynch, PhD: Dr. Lynch is interested in cancer-associated mechanisms of neurotoxicity using, specifically, a murine leukemia virus model of neuropathology.

James Hardwick, PhD: Dr. Hardwick’s laboratory is interested in the regulation and role of cytochrome P450 (CYP4) proteins in carcinogenesis.

Clinical Research

Jeffrey Hord, MD: Dr. Hord’s research interests include supportive care of pediatric oncology patients and the treatment of bone marrow failure.

Stephanie Savelli, MD: Dr. Savelli’s research interests include the management of pediatric coagulopathy and thrombotic disorders and the late effects of cancer therapy in children.

Sarah Friebert, MD: Dr. Friebert’s research pertains to the palliative care of children.

Prasad Bodas, MD: Dr. Bodas’ interests include sickle cell disease and bone marrow transplant for hemoglobinopathies.

Please note: This is not an exclusive list and other programs may be explored based on the specific interest of the fellow.

Quality Improvement

Akron Children's Center of Operational Excellence (COE) is available to train and mentor a pediatric hematology/oncology fellow who wants to perform scholarly activity in the area of quality improvement. You will have the opportunity to participate in the Green Belt Program, where you will be responsible for the implementation, management, and completion of the Lean Six Sigma projects. The center also has an A3 program. This 8-week, problem-solving program provides analytical tools similar to those used in manufacturing, but adapted for hospital front-line staff members to improve their organizational process.

Development of an Educational Curriculum

If you're interested in learning how to develop an educational curriculum, Clint Snyder, PhD, professor of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at NEOMED, will mentor you.

The final part of the year will be a one month rotation on the palliative care service, which will include the palliative care approach to children with life-limiting illness; death and dying; psychosocial and spiritual assessment, bereavement and pain management.

Year Three

The third year will consist of research as well as time on the inpatient hematology/oncology service. You will focus on completing a research project that will lead to a first-author publication in a peer-reviewed journal. At this point in training, you will be expected to function at an attending level with minimal (but always available) direction from the hematology/oncology faculty.

All fellows participate in regular didactics. Interdisciplinary oncology conferences are conducted weekly. Bi-monthly lectures cover the core topics for board certification and are presented in an 18 month cycle. Monthly didactics include an interdisciplinary hematology conference and divisional journal club.

During all 3 years of training, attendance is monitored at all required conferences and encouraged at any optional activity that may be relevant to your area of research or clinical interest. You will also attend regular continuity clinics throughout the duration.

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