‘The HemOnc Pulse Live’ in Chicago: Fellows Discuss Choosing a Career Path in Hematology Oncology

By Chadi Nabhan, MD, MBA, FACP - Last Updated: May 9, 2024

This podcast episode features a panel discussion on challenges and opportunities for hematology oncology fellows with Megan Melody, MD, a third-year fellow at Northwestern University; Alexandra Rojek, MD, a second-year fellow at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Care Center; Seda Tolu, MD, a third-year fellow at the Columbia University Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center; Zaker Schwabkey, MD, a third-year fellow at Moffit Cancer Center; Himachandana Atluri, MD, a third-year fellow at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; and Hannah Goulart, MD, a first-year fellow at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The fellows discussed how to choose a career path, what makes a good mentor, the best paths to education and training, and how to utilize social media to find career opportunities.

Dr. Goulart recommended exploring mentorship in the first year of fellowship. “You certainly have time in your first year to find your footing and learn oncology,” she said. “Get to know the people in the department you’re interested in, their career paths, and how they got to where they are.”

The fellows also offered advice for choosing an area of study as a hematologist-oncologist.

“Don’t focus so much on the diseases as what types of questions you want to answer,” said Dr. Rojek. “Based on my mentors, I think I was always destined to end up in lymphoma.”

While it’s important to have a niche, the fellows recommended staying open to other career paths under the hematology oncology umbrella. Landing a job after fellowship comes down to factors such as geographical location and timing.

“Have a backup plan ready when you’re executing your job hunt approach,” Dr. Tolu said.

The panel circled back to the topic of mentorship, and how it plays a large role in landing a job after fellowship.

“You need a mentor who can put in some good words,” Dr. Schwabkey said. “The other part is meeting people [who are] interested in the same disease and reaching out to see if it’s a good fit.”

Post Tags:HOPLive24-Fellows
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