ASH Commissions 3-Year Longitudinal Study of U.S. Fellows
The American Society of Hematology (ASH), in partnership with the Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity at George Washington University (GW) in Washington, DC, has published the first report of a three-year longitudinal study of U.S. hematology/oncology fellows that began in 2018.
The October 31 publication in Blood Advances found that medical school plays an important role in shaping U.S. hematology/oncology fellows’ interest in pursuing careers in hematology, particularly when students are exposed to the field as part of core clerkships in internal medicine and pediatrics. The study also indicated that having a hematologist as a mentor during medical education and training is associated with an increased likelihood of fellows specializing in hematology when they complete their hematology/oncology fellowship.
Key findings from the study include:
- One out of three fellows from the classes of 2018-2020 indicated they were interested in hematology-only careers, with only 4% indicating an interest in focusing on nonmalignant hematology.
- 42% of fellows first considered a career in hematology-oncology before or during medical school, while 32% first considered these career types during residency.
- 36% of fellows reported having a hematology-oncology rotation as part of their core internal medicine or pediatrics clerkships in medical school.
- Fellows who co-authored papers or engaged in other research-related activities with mentors in hematology were significantly more likely to pursue careers in hematology than fellows who did not have those types of mentorship experiences.
- Fellows who planned to pursue careers focused in hematology were significantly more likely to have been encouraged to pursue a career in hematology during internal medicine residency training and to have had increased clinical exposure to hematology during fellowship.
“The changing landscape of hematology fellowship programs over time is a concern for ASH, as fellows may not be receiving adequate preparation and exposure to hematology patients with nonmalignant diseases, which are often complex and require specific expertise to manage,” said Alfred Lee, MD, PhD, senior author of the study and a hematologist at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. Dr. Lee leads the recruitment and retention working group at ASH, which was created to examine the workforce and spearhead the Society’s efforts to ensure a strong pipeline of talent in hematology, specifically nonmalignant hematology.
Based on these initial findings, ASH will hold two summits in 2020: one focused on strategies for increasing the number of single-track hematology fellowship programs, and another focused on strengthening mentorship in the field.
In addition, ASH and GW are in the process of collecting data for year two of the study, which includes surveying all of ASH’s U.S. residents and medical student members, and resurveying the fellowship class of 2020 (now in its second year of fellowship) and the fellowship graduating class of 2018 (now in the workforce) to understand how career preferences may change over time.
Read the full study at bloodadvances.org.
ASH Honors the Late Stanley L. Schrier With 2019 Exemplary Service Award
Stanley Schrier, MD, will be recognized with the 2019 Exemplary Service Award for his exceptional years of service and dedication to ASH and to the field of hematology. Dr. Schrier, who passed away in August, was 2004 ASH President and Professor Emeritus of Medicine in Hematology at Stanford School of Medicine in Stanford, California.
“Dr. Schrier was an exemplary colleague, mentor, collaborator, and physician whose impact transcends borders – from the United States and South America to Africa and Asia,” said ASH President Roy Silverstein, MD. “He served as a dedicated volunteer for ASH’s global programs, never missing an opportunity to collaborate and enthusiastically sharing his expertise with colleagues all over the world.”
As a founding member of the ASH-supported International Consortium on Acute Leukemia (ICAL) during his ASH presidency, Dr. Schrier helped create an international network that brings together clinical investigators from Europe, North America, and South America to improve the care of patients with acute leukemia through clinical and laboratory collaboration. He was also instrumental in establishing ASH’s partnership with Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO), an outreach program dedicated to bringing consultation and training to hospital personnel in Uganda, Tanzania, Peru, and Cambodia.
Research and leadership accolades aside, Dr. Schrier was known as an extraordinary mentor, having trained several world leaders in academic hematology. He received the prestigious ASH Mentor Award in 2013.
The Exemplary Service Award was established in 1998 to recognize an individual whose outstanding service, extending over a period of years, has significantly advanced the interests of the Society. Dr. Silverstein will present this award during the 61st ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition this December in Orlando, Florida.
Now Accepting Applications: ASH Congressional Fellowship Program
Through January 21, 2020, ASH is accepting applications for the Congressional Fellowship Program. This yearlong opportunity, available for one ASH member starting in September 2020, will place a hematologist on Capitol Hill to work in a Congressional office and help shape health care and hematology policy.
For requirements and more information, visit hematology.org/congressionalfellowship.