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Single-board hematology fellowship track: a 10-year institutional experience

ARTICLE: Single-board hematology fellowship track: a 10-year institutional experience

AUTHORS: Rakhi P. Naik, Kristen Marrone, Samuel Merrill, Ross Donehower and Robert Brodsky

JOURNAL: Blood. 2018 Jan 25;131(4):462-464. doi: 10.1182/blood-2017-11-816207. Epub 2017 Dec 11.


In the United States, internal medicine subspecialty training is dictated primarily by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), which sets standards for clinical and education program requirements for recognized fellowships. For adult hematology and oncology training, the ACGME recognizes 3 distinct programs: hematology, oncology, and combined hematology/oncology. In the adult disciplines, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) also offers separate board examinations for hematology and medical oncology. However, despite the option to offer single-board training, the vast majority of fellowship programs in the United States (132 participating programs) are constructed as combined double-board programs for hematology/medical oncology, with only 2 institutions currently listing a hematology-only program on the Electronic Residence Application Service (ERAS).1 It has been hypothesized that this combined structure contributes significantly to the shortage of trainees who ultimately practice academic hematology and, particularly, benign hematology.2

In 2005, the Johns Hopkins Hematology/Medical Oncology Fellowship Program introduced a single-board hematology track to promote career development in malignant and benign hematology. We now review the structure of our unique fellowship program. We also examine the 10-year outcome of this program structure from 2005 to 2014, as measured by retention in academic and clinical hematology.

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Kelsey Bennett