Hematology Oncology fellows
The Hematology and Oncology 2022 graduating fellows are pictured in the VUMC Courtyard with fellowship program faculty members.


The Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program combines clinical training, scholarly research, and didactic instruction through core curriculum and conferences.

There are two board certification paths for the fellowship program. Most program trainees enter the hematology/oncology combined path and make a three-year commitment resulting in American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) dual board certification in both Medical Oncology and Hematology. Some trainees may also elect to pursue single board certification in Medical Oncology, to allow additional time for lab-based research during training.

There are three dedicated fellowship tracks available within the program including: academic clinician, academic clinical investigator, and lab-based physician scientist tracks. 

Fellowship Program:

Hematology/Medical Oncology

This fellowship program is designed to provide training for a career in academic medical oncology or academic hematology. It is a flexible program leading to dual board certification for the majority of fellows. Program rotations include at least 18 months of clinical rotations over 36 months. This includes 12 months of rotations in oncology and malignant hematology with 6 months of nonmalignant hematology. The schedule also includes research time for scholarly activity, including opportunities for research involving clinical trials or bench research. The total minimal fellowship period is 36 months.  

Please note that applications are through the combined Vanderbilt Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program through ERAS. Additional special training opportunities are available leading to a Master's Degree in Clinical Investigation or for selected applicants. 

Medical Oncology

This path is designed to provide training preparatory for careers in academic medical oncology. It entails a minimum of 12 months of clinical work and 24 months of scholarly activity (clinical trials design and execution of bench research). Although fellows will be board eligible with 24 months of training, the program encourages a 36-month commitment to prepare fellows for an academic research career. 

Please note that applications are through the combined Vanderbilt Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program track through ERAS.

Research Opportunities:

Fellows will spend up to 18 months in scholarly research in the dual board eligible path. They will select their preferred track during their first year of fellowship. Fellows will also choose a mentor during their first year of fellowship. Fellows can work on clinical research or laboratory projects. Fellows may work with any faculty member at Vanderbilt who is involved in research related to Hematology/Oncology.  

For a synopsis that reflects some of our past research accomplishments as well as current efforts, see Major Research Areas.

Clinical Research

Prior to initiation of clinical research training, fellows will have successfully completed at least 12 months of patient-focused clinical training which provides the trainee with experience in the management of cancer, standard and investigational treatment, and informed consent.

During the research training period, the trainee will learn how to develop a focused clinical question and formulate the rationale and design of the clinical trial. Trainees work with the preceptors and mentors. Fellows have opportunities to participate in writing the clinical trial protocols, monitoring data with their preceptor, and presenting the results at both institutional and national conferences.

The division sponsors over 100 IRB-approved clinical trials at any one time. These include primarily phase I, II and III studies, a number of which are investigating new drugs and biological agents that were developed at Vanderbilt.

Laboratory Research

Medical Oncology/Hematology fellows choosing to pursue laboratory research training are integrated into the larger educational community including all laboratories within the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC).

The program offers an active calendar of lectures, seminars, and visits by distinguished scientists, promoting a vigorous scientific dialogue among the staff scientists and research trainees. The fellow participates as an active member in the mentor's laboratory and attends both laboratory and other applicable meetings. The mentor meets regularly with the trainee to provide supervision of ongoing work. 

Clinical Experience:

Before research training can begin, a trainee must develop fundamentals of comprehensive patient care. The program is designed to meet all subspecialty training requirements and to provide insight and perspective on the important problems and issues in cancer medicine. This is accomplished through a combination of inpatient and outpatient experiences.

This training program uses the facilities of four affiliated sites: Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), the Nashville Veteran's Administration (VA) Medical Center, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center at Cool Springs, and Meharry Medical Center.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) - a 553 bed inpatient facility with a designated Myelosuppressive Unit designed for Stem Cell Transplantation and Leukemia therapy and a designated Hematology-Oncology ward. Vanderbilt is an NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Nashville VA Medical Center (NVAMC) - a 475 bed V.A. hospital, adjacent to Vanderbilt Medical Center, is a general hospital and referral center serving a large portion of the Mid-South. Its medical staff hold full-time joint appointments in the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University and are active in patient care, research and teaching. An eight bed Stem Cell Transplantation unit is part of this facility. The NVAMC is one of three VA Medical Centers performing Stem Cell Transplantation.

Meharry Medical Center - A private academic health center which is one of the nation's leading providers of African-American doctorates in biomedical science.