Our goal is to continue providing the highest level of medical and humanistic education for fellows, conducted in a superior academic (clinical/research/teaching) gynecologic oncology program. The process of education and creativity is difficult, continuously evolving and fun; and so it is for our three-year gynecologic oncology fellowship. By exposure to the management of a wide variety of gynecologic malignancies, fellows have broad experience in modern diagnostic and therapeutic methods and gain the insight to intellectually approach caring for the entirety of the cancer patient. In the context of a multidisciplinary team serving inpatients and outpatients, the fellows of our three-year fellowship program learn to treat gynecologic cancers (and their complications) employing multiple options including surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
Fellows have central involvement in a working-model multidisciplinary team that provides clinical, research, and academic leadership in women's health care and gyn oncology. Fellows help lead our open-forum prospective Tumor Board (a multidisciplinary panel of physicians and allied health professionals from various Brown University hospitals which meets weekly to review every malignancy presenting to Women & Infants). The Tumor Board forum continuously challenges thinking through its discussions between the region's leading medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, genetic counselors, pathologists, and gynecologic oncologists. Weekly Tumor Board is also offered through our telemedicine network to allied institutions in New England.
Another goal of the fellowship is to afford its fellows a foundation for pursuing the investigative and scholarly aspects of oncology, in the anticipation of their academic career path. Our Program actively participates in both clinical and basic research in the effort to advance the knowledge and treatment of cancer, while maintaining cutting-edge relevance within the Program itself. Fellows have a dedicated experience in these efforts. The research year allows the fellow to gain in-depth knowledge and an appreciation of the broader requirements needed to sustain basic science research. More limited research time is also available to the fellows during the two clinical years, such that projects may be continued and completed while others are started.
As part of the Women's Oncology Program, fellows gain experience with multi-institutional research groups such as the:
- Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG-now also known as NRG)
- National Cancer Institute (NIH)
Further, fellows work within Brown University's extensive research network. Goals of the research experience are to afford patients the latest scientific insight and to encourage physician-researchers to pursue, and seek funding for, their special scientific interests. Facilitating a current understanding and a stimulus for future continued learning is at the heart of the fellowship program's ideals.
Finally, it is a fellowship goal to foster an exploration about humanism, values, values-based care, and creating a health care system in which we can all believe. Towards that end, fellows receive education about, and experience in, leadership that they become effective advocates for, and administrators of, those principles upon which quality medical care and education are based. This role (i.e. health care leader) becomes particularly relevant in ever constraining economic and political times which look to profoundly affect health care, teaching and research. The balance of ideals, relevance, and reality is a skill that will be required of the physician-leaders of the future. Thus, this is part of our fellow's educational experience.