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Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship

Program Philosophy

The clinical faculty at the Stephenson Cancer Center are dedicated to the development of well-rounded, independent, academic gynecologic oncologists.

During fellowship training, a large breadth of surgical experience is provided. The fellows will be provided with access to robotic and minimally invasive surgical techniques including both laparoscopic and robotic lymphadenectomy, ovarian and endometrial staging procedures, extrafascial and radical hysterectomy.  A large volume of open surgery is also provided during the two years of clinical training including advanced pelvic surgery, upper abdominal and peritoneal resections, colorectal and exenterative procedures. The management of complicated surgical and medical patients is provided through the daily care of service inpatients and routine exposure to the outpatient clinics.

As high-volume accruers to gynecologic oncology group and pharmaceutical clinical trials, the fellows are exposed to a wide variety of both standard cytotoxic chemotherapy as well as experimental and targeted agents. The fellows become familiar with standard dosing schedules, chemotherapy administration and management of acute and chronic toxicities related to drug therapy. Opportunities to participate in the care of patients on experimental, even first-in-human, clinical drug studies are also available through the developed phase I clinical trials program in which the gynecologic oncologists participate actively.

A large volume of research is also performed through the Stephenson Cancer Center. Research opportunities, ranging from bench-level cancer treatment/prevention to clinical pharmaceutical, prevention and quality of life studies, are available. An established well-trained research support staff is in place to facilitate individualized projects and data management.  During the research year of fellowship, all fellows attend graduate courses in basic epidemiology and statistics as well as clinical trial design further facilitating the development of individual clinical trials.

First and Third (clinical) years

The clinical years are spent caring for patients in the inpatient and outpatient setting

1.  Four clinical fellows are on service at all times during the year
2.  Clinical fellows are assigned to rotate for 3 months with a specific pair of attending physicians
3.  Two of these 3 month blocks (consecutively) are spent caring for the under-served women of Oklahoma in the OU 
     Women's Clinic.

Women's Clinic - Senior Fellow Acts as the Attending Physician for These Women

1.  Treatment planning
2.  Operative management
3.  Inpatient care
4.  Chemotherapy counseling and order writing
5.  Routine outpatient surveillance management
6.  Inpatient responsibilities

7.  Management of complicated post-operative and medically ill patients

8.  Management of intensive care patients
9.  Participation in oncology cases with progressive operative responsibility
10.  Outpatient responsibilities
     A.  Participation in the private attending clinics
          1.  Management of patients on chemotherapy
          2.  Management of post-operative patients
          3.  Management of patients undergoing disease surveillance
11.  Patient follow up and chemotherapy counseling.

During the clinical years the fellows are expected to continue participation in research

1.  Specific focus is placed on continued submission to gynecologic oncology specific meetings
     A.  Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) - March
     B.  Western Association of Gynecologic Oncology (WAGO) - June
     C.  Support for data analysis is provided
     D.  Oversight of the research projects and assistance with preparation of abstracts and
           presentations is provided by the attending physicians within theD section.

Second (non-clinical) year

Fellows are given 2 options

Participation in one-year of basic science (bench-level) research with an assigned PhD mentor -OR-

Pursuit of a master's degree in public health, epidemiology/statistics, or clinical trials where the fellow attends graduate classes and develops a thesis which can be continued through the clinical years. The thesis is defended before the graduate committee at the end of clinical fellowship.

All fellows are required to attend one graduate level course in each semester of the first clinical year.

Basic epidemiology and statistics (1st semester)   -OR-

Clinical trial development (2nd semester) - this course can be substituted for another appropriate graduate course.

Minimal clinical responsibilities are required during the second (non-clinical) year

During the the three years of fellowship the fellows are provided scheduled didactic education sessions

1.  Section Journal Club
     A.  Fellows critically review assigned journal articles over new or controversial topics in
           gynecologic oncology
     B.  Section faculty present to discuss critical viewpoints and offer guidance on these topics
     C.  Held quarterly

2.  Fellow's Didactic Sessions
     A.  Fellows review historic literature and current trials to learn basis for practices and
           therapies held as "STANDARDS" in the field
     B.   New trials and current trends in site-specific research are integrated as well
     C.   Held weekly - led by faculty attending of the week