Oncology Training Program

Columbia University's Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center is a National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of three in NYC (Einstein, Columbia and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center). Comprehensive cancer centers are required to have laboratory, clinical and public health cancer research programs, as well as professional and lay education programs and all modalities of patient care.

A major component of Oncology training for medical oncology fellows is in the management of inpatient care, either in the Oncology unit of Milstein Hospital (MH6 Hudson North) or as consultants to other services. Fellows attend daily morning teaching rounds in the Milstein Hospital Building (MHB 6GN-435 or MHB GN5-411) and participate in inpatient care management and house staff education, including providing appropriate literature.

Inpatient consultations are required to be completed with appropriate fellow and attending notes in the patient’s chart within 24 hours of the consultation request. Fellows present patients to the Oncology Consultation Service attending on teaching rounds, which occur a minimum of twice per week.

In the outpatient Irving Pavilion ambulatory cancer center, fellows provide continuity of care to their own patients during the two or three years of their training and under the supervision of the attending staff. Through the oncology outpatient clinic in the Irving Pavilion, fellows assess new patients and provide continuing care.

Fellows must attend at least 60% of the required weekly conferences. At the Oncology Pathology Conference, fellows present new or problem cases they have seen in consultation or through the inpatient or outpatient services, and propose and defend a management plan based on their review of the primary clinical studies. This conference is intended to develop the fellows' skills in critical review of oncology studies and development of a rational treatment plan as well as their presentation skills.