Program Overview

First Year

The first year of the Hematology/Oncology training program develops fellows’ skills and experience in the comprehensive care of cancer patients and in the diagnosis and management of hematologic diseases. Fellows rotate on nine different rotations during 14 three-to-four week blocks throughout the first year:

  • Hematologic Malignancy Service (7-8 weeks)
  • Bone Marrow Transplant (7-8 weeks)
  • Duke Hematology Consult Service (7-8 weeks)
  • Solid Tumor Service (7-8 weeks)
  • Durham VA Hematology-Oncology Consult Service (7-8 weeks)
  • Benign Hematology Outpatient Clinic (3-4 weeks)
  • Solid Tumor Outpatient Clinic (3-4 weeks)
  • Hematologic Malignancy Outpatient Clinic (3-4 weeks)
  • Radiation Oncology Outpatient Clinic (3-4 weeks) 

Throughout the year, each fellow also participates in a weekly half-day longitudinal clinic at the Durham VA Hematology-Oncology clinic. 

Because of the intensive clinical training that occurs during the first year, only limited time is available for research. Nevertheless, fellows should prepare themselves and make important decisions regarding research interests and career plans during this time. All first-year fellows should:

  • Develop a disease interest in which the trainee can become a clinical scholar.
  • Attend the Winter Hematology-Oncology Fellows Research Retreat.
  • Attend the Winter Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center Research Retreat.
  • Attend the Spring Research Skills Training Retreat.
  • Identify a research mentor.
  • Identify a research project.
  • Select a Basic, Translational or Clinical research track. 

Second Year

During their second year, fellows continue learning the scientific basis of hematology, hematopoiesis, and cancer pathogenesis, diagnosis and management. Fellows also begin their research projects, which they will finish the following year. In addition, second-year fellows are expected to:

Gain more exposure to Duke multidisciplinary clinics including:

  •   Breast Oncology Program Clinic
  •   Radiation Oncology Clinic
  •   Hereditary Cancer Clinic
  •   Gynecology Oncology Clinic
  •   Neuro-Oncology Clinic
  •   Gastrointestinal Oncology Clinic
  •   Cutaneous Oncology Clinic
  •   Hematologic Malignancies Clinic
  •   Prostate/Genitourinary Oncology Clinic
  •   Thoracic Oncology Clinic
  •   Sickle Cell Clinic
  •   Hemostasis and Thrombosis Clinic
  •   General Hematology Clinic

Develop competence in the management of uncommon and complex disorders in hematology and medical oncology. 

Research goals in the second fellowship year vary depending on the program and plans of the individual fellow. Some goals appropriate to all fellows are to: 

  • Plan and begin a research project.
  • Select additional research committee members.
  • Learn academic writing skills and prepare clinical case reviews for publication.
  • Present research updates to the Fellowship Program Research Committee (October and May).
  • 10-minute poster presentation at the Winter Research Retreat (January).
  • Prepare a case report and literature review manuscript for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. 

Third Year

During their third year, fellows generally continue their research program as well as their required longitudinal clinic. Those pursuing a clinically oriented research career also continue their weekly clinic in their area of interest. The goals of the third year arise from these activities and prepare the fellows for continuing their careers as junior faculty. To that end fellows work to: 

  • Further develop research skills.
  • Focus career plans and research goals.
  • Begin to write applications for career development awards.
  • Continue coursework in basic sciences, clinical research, biometry or other academic area supporting the individual’s career research goals.
  • Further understanding of molecular hematology, cancer biology and clinical management.
  • Obtain a faculty position at an academic medical center following completion of the fellowship.
  • Move toward independent clinical decision-making through care of patients in longitudinal clinics. 
  • Develop sufficient professional ability to practice hematology and medical oncology competently and independently. 
  • During years two and three, fellows meet the ABIM requirements for board certification in Hematology and Medical Oncology by spending 25% (equivalent to three months per year) of their time in clinical training. The specific training experiences are flexible depending on the needs and future career plans of individual trainees.


Second and third-year fellows may sign up for Duke Hospital Oncology inpatient nighttime coverage (7 pm – 7 am, $960/night). Other moonlighting opportunities are also available.