Becoming an oncologist, or a doctor who studies and treats cancerous tumors, requires years of education and experience. One of the best ways to gain this experience is through a fellowship. After graduating from medical school, an oncologist must train in specialty and sub-specialty areas, such as pediatric, gynecological, radiation or surgical oncology. Fellowships provide both research and practical experience. A prestigious fellowship can pave the way for future leadership positions in the field.
National Cancer Institute
According to an October 2010 article in the Oncology Fellow Advisor online journal, one of the best oncology fellowships is through the National Cancer Institute's Center for Cancer Research. The National Service Research Award for Senior Fellows ranges from six months to two years and offers an annual stipend of $52,068, 60 percent of tuition and fees, and up to $7,850 for related expenses, such as health insurance, equipment, research costs and travel. To qualify, applicants must be U.S. citizens, nationals or permanent residents and have at least seven years of relevant research or professorship experience. Recipients can work anywhere in the world, but must dedicate at least 40 hours per week to the training program, according to fellowship guidelines.
American Society of Clinical Oncology
The American Society of Clinical Oncology, or ASCO, offers prestigious fellowships that often lead to leadership positions, according to the Oncology Fellow Advisor. ASCO’s Cancer Foundation offers the the Union for International Cancer Control’s International Cancer Technology Transfer Fellowship. The fellowship allows participants to “exchange knowledge and enhance skills in basic, clinical, behavioral and epidemiological areas of cancer research, and cancer control and prevention,” according to the organization’s website. Fellows receive experience in areas such as clinical management, diagnoses and therapeutic methods. Fellowships last for one year and include a $45,000 stipend. Applicants must be in the early stages of their careers and possess an MD or PhD degree.
Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School, ranked number one among U.S. research medical schools by “US News & World Report,” offers a neuro-oncology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. Two or three fellows are accepted annually for a two- to three-year program of clinical and research training, according to the program’s website. Fellows spend a year performing clinical rotations before completing clinical- or laboratory-based research during the remainder of the fellowship.
Stanford School of Medicine
The Stanford School of Medicine, ranked among the top research medical schools in the country for 2010, offers fellowships through the Stanford University Hematology and Oncology Fellowship Program. These highly competitive fellowships last three years and offer an “intensive training period in clinical care and research,” according to the school’s website. Applicants must hold a medical degree and be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Fellows can choose an oncology focus or a combined oncology/hematology program.
- Oncology Fellow Advisor: The Best and Brightest Fellow Leadership Opportunities
- National Cancer Institute: NIH National Service Research Award for Senior Fellows
- US News and World Report: Research Rankings Best Medical Schools 2010
- Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard School of Medicine: Neuro-Oncology Fellowship
- oncology image by Andrey Kiselev from Fotolia.com