Hematology-Oncology & Palliative Care

PREREQUISITE: Requires completion of medicine clerkship.

Frank Forte, M.D. , is Director of Medical Oncology and Hematology.

University Hospital's Hematology /Oncology Division offers a unique experience for medical residents. The hospital's state-of-the-art Nalitt Institute for Cancer and Blood-Related Diseases, opened in 1991, is New York State's first accredited free-standing ambulatory cancer center offering multidisciplinary care to patients with cancer and related blood diseases.

Residents perform inpatient hematology/oncology consultations directly supervised by the Institute's staff and participate in the interdisciplinary institution-wide tumor board. They are exposed to the hospital's radiation oncology service, including a stereotactic radiosurgery division. Medical residents perform and interpret peripheral blood smears.

Residents participate in daily bedside teaching rounds when rotating on the inpatient oncology unit. The resident assigned to the Hematology/Oncology rotation also spends several sessions in the ambulatory hematology/oncology service with the Division's teaching staff.

The Institute's hematology laboratory provides all basic studies. The lab features a clotting laboratory and a plasmapheresis unit for plasma exchange. Sophisticated studies necessary for complete hematologic evaluations are available in the general or research laboratories.

The Division carries out a number of clinical research projects and encourages medical resident participation. In addition, the hospital participates in national cancer study groups such as the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG).

A close affiliation with the Garden State Cancer Center enables the SIUH Oncology Division to be an active participant in basic and clinical research. A hematology/oncology fellowship is also available.

Residents rotating through hematology/oncology are also exposed to both the Palliative Care Division and to Hospice for end-of-life care. During the year, a basic course in palliative care is offered to all house staff.

The medical management of pain encountered in patients on the oncology service, as well as in the palliative care division and the hospice service, is emphasized on both didactic sessions and the consultation service.

A program to minimize the unnecessary use of blood and blood products is a part of the learning experience.