Clinical Training

The first 18 months of the fellowship are intensely clinical, made up of both inpatient consulting responsibilities at one of the 3 teaching hospitals (see below) as well as a half-day per week in an outpatient continuity clinic at the VA Medical Center. Three months of the first 18 are spent with the Bone Marrow Transplant Program, with two months on the inpatient service and one month in the outpatient clinic.  At least 3 months are spent in the outpatient oncology clinics at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. This experience is designed to expose Fellows to all of the organ–specific oncologic disciplines (e.g., lung, GI, GU, etc.) and introduce them to the setting where most of the clinical trial work is being done. Fellows will also rotate through the Hemophilia and Thrombosis Treatment Center, as well as pursue ACGME-mandated training in transfusion medicine, special coagulation, flow cytometry, gynecologic oncology, and hematopathology. A number of electives are available, including palliative care and radiation oncology.

View a typical rotation schedule (PDF) for a first-year fellow and a second-year fellow.

Consult Services

While on the consult services, the Fellow is the primary contact for all matters related to hematology and oncology. Patients are evaluated and diagnostic and treatment plans are developed. Attending rounds are held daily with the Fellow and one or more faculty to review and revise treatment plans, as needed, and to provide teaching around disease processes and management.

University Hospital - Hillcrest University Hospital - Hillcrest

The University Hospital at Hillcrest, close to downtown San Diego, serves a diverse population of patients. The hospital is a Level III trauma center and also has a high-risk obstetrics and neonatal care service.

At Hillcrest, patients present with a variety of hematologic or oncologic disorders, frequently in an advanced state. Many patients are seen who come north from Mexico and who may not have access to medical care prior to presentation.

Hillcrest is also home to the Owen Clinic, which provides advanced, multidisciplinary and coordinated care for HIV-positive patients and those with AIDS-related illnesses, including malignancies.

Hematologic complications of trauma or burns are not uncommon, as are complicated bleeding and clotting disorders.

Thornton Hospital - La Jolla Thornton Hospital in La Jolla

At John M. and Sally B. Thornton Hospital, located near the main UCSD campus in La Jolla, treatment of malignant diseases, including management of therapy-related complications and side effects, is emphasized.

Also located at Thornton Hospital is the Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) Program, which includes patients with hematologic malignancies (including leukemia and lymphoma) undergoing chemotherapy.

The Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center (CVC) added 45 new inpatient beds to Thornton and generates frequent consults for thrombotic disorders.

The UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center is within an easy 3-minute walk from Thornton.

VA Medical Center - La Jolla

VA San Diego Healthcare System hospital in La Jolla

The VA Medical Center is located adjacent to the main UCSD campus and is only 5 minutes by car or convenient campus bus connection to the Thornton Hospital and the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

The VA Medical Center is a 240-bed general medicine and surgery hospital with an advanced Spinal Cord Injury Center. The inpatient and outpatient services are busy, with the majority of patients being seen for oncologic problems.

At all sites, Fellows may have a Medicine resident and/or a medical student on the consult team. While on consult services, the Fellows are expected to attend relevant conferences such as Hematopathology Rounds and Tumor Boards.

See the Clinical Sites page for more information about our hospitals and clinics.

Outpatient Clinics

Moores UCSD Cancer Center

The outpatient clinical rotations are confined to the VA Medical Center and UCSD Moores Cancer Center.

The VA Medical Center Hematology-Oncology clinics are quite active. Here, the Fellows will see both new consults as well as follow their own group of patients.  Clinics are staffed by both Hematology and Oncology faculty.

At both the VA and the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, there is an Infusion Center for patients who need chemotherapy or other forms of treatment.

UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center houses the major oncology-related outpatient activities of UC San Diego. It also houses the Radiation Oncology service.

The Cancer Center is an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. During their second and third years, Fellows have the opportunity to attend special interest continuity clinics there.

Call Schedule

Fellows are ‘on call’ around the clock during the week, from Mondays through 5pm on Fridays. 

On the weekends, one Fellow takes call for all services, but a back-up Fellow is also on the schedule to be available should the need arise. The weekend Fellow is responsible for seeing any new consults that come into the system, while the attending faculty are responsible for rounding on established patients at the various hospitals.