Hematopathology Fellowship

Program Description
The Department of Pathology and Microbiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) offers a hematopathology fellowship that is a two-year program designed to train academically-oriented physicians in all aspects of hematology and hematopathology. Only trainees who are board eligible or certified in both anatomic and clinical pathology are accepted into the program. The fellowship is directed and coordinated by Dr. Kai Fu.  The program includes all current aspects of clinical and laboratory hematology, with emphasis on the development of a basic understanding of hematologic disorders and the appropriate application and utilization of laboratory procedures and methods in the diagnosis of these disorders. The program is coordinated with a busy hematology and oncology service, and includes active participation in regularly-scheduled clinical and laboratory teaching conferences. Our goal is to train fellows with excellent interpretive skills, and consultative and managerial abilities in laboratory hematology. Investigative research, either clinical or basic, is required during the fellowship. Fellows are expected to present their research at national meetings and publish original papers in peer-reviewed journals during the fellowship period.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and its affiliated hospital, Nebraska Medicine, comprise the Medical Center campus which is located in central Omaha, Nebraska. Over 300 new cases of hematologic malignancy, as well as numerous benign disorders, are reviewed for the regional Nebraska Leukemia/Lymphoma Study Group each year. Most of these cases are handled according to a special protocol for obtaining tissue for immunologic, molecular and cytogenetic studies at the various contributing institutions, and then the tissues are shipped to UNMC for evaluation and classification. A detailed computerized clinical database is collected and maintained on each case for research purposes and all reports and representative slides are kept on each case in the Study Group Registry. Over 1,100 new patients per year, and over 23,000 total patients, are enrolled in the Registry. Approximately, 2,700 biopsies of lymph nodes and other tissues with hematologic disorders are reviewed each year, with 54,000 total biopsies in the registry. An active bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation program at UNMC (150 cases per year) provides additional interesting material for study. Approximately 1,200 bone marrow specimens from UNMC are examined yearly, in addition to outside consultations (400 per year).

This program is Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited.

The training program is structured to give the fellows clearly-defined and graduated responsibilities and delegated authority. Written goals and objectives for the educational program are defined and utilized. As the fellows progress through the educational program, they are given increased responsibility for the consultation services. In the second year, fellows are allowed to sign out flow cytometry, molecular hematology, bone marrows, and lymph nodes on their own commensurate with their demonstrated expertise, using the staff for consultation on difficult cases when needed. There is ample opportunity for the fellows to develop the necessary knowledge and skills in all aspects of laboratory hematology. During the various rotations, emphasis is placed on understanding the pathogenesis of hematologic diseases, the use of specific criteria for diagnosis, the use of laboratory data for prognostic and therapeutic decision making, as well as clinicopathologic correlations. An integrated approach to the diagnosis of disease is emphasized throughout the program, including the bringing together of clinical information and all the pertinent laboratory data to arrive at a correct diagnosis. The two-year fellowship program consists of a one-year program of structured learning, followed by a second year consisting of additional specialization, including electives and research opportunities, and clinical responsibility. Flexibility in choosing rotations is allowed to encourage the development of special interests and expertise.

The hematology laboratory rotation provides understanding and expertise in the theory, methodology, application and clinical interpretation of "wet" hematology and coagulation tests. Fellows review all abnormal blood smears and fluid cytopreparations, and interpret tests such as coagulation panels. The fellows act as a liaison between the laboratory and the clinical staff, and investigate interesting or abnormal laboratory findings. The fellow may also participate on internal medicine consultative teams that evaluate and manage hospital hematologic and coagulation problems, attend clinical hematology conferences, and participate in selected hematology clinics (ie. Hemophilia Clinic).

Didactic/discussion group sessions and assigned reading materials on the various aspects of laboratory administration and management are provided, and fellows are involved in the day-to-day managerial and quality assurance aspects of the laboratory. The fellows attend laboratory management meetings, and review quality control and quality assurance data, as well as incident reports. The hematology and coagulation laboratories are excellent facilities with modern instruments for the study of hematologic disorders, and are approved by the College of American Pathologists (CAP). Ongoing research in hematology test development and clinical application occurs in the laboratory, with emphasis on coagulation. The medical center is a tertiary care referral center for patients with hematologic and oncologic disorders, and provides a large volume and rich variety of material for specialist trainees.

The hematopathology rotations consist of primary responsibility for the evaluation and interpretation of tissue and cytologic specimens from bone marrow (aspirate smears, particle sections, core biopsies, etc.), lymph nodes, spleens, and other tissues involved by hematologic disorders. The fellow is expected to be proficient in the procurement of bone marrow specimens. The fellow is expected to make a preliminary diagnosis and differential diagnosis for each case evaluated. These rotations provide an understanding of the theory, methodology, clinical application, and interpretation of special techniques such as histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, cytogenetics, flow cytometry, and gene rearrangements and other molecular analyses. Fellows learn the art of clinical consultation and communication with referring pathologists and clinicians. The opportunities for investigative research are abundant in the program. The Nebraska Leukemia/Lymphoma Study Group Registry and the transplantation program at UNMC provide a wealth of material and data for both translational and basic research.

Positions available
We are now accepting applications for the Academic year beginning July 1, 2017 for a two year fellowship position.  Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled.

Only trainees who are board eligible or certified in both anatomic and clinical pathology (AP/CP) are accepted into the program.

Applicants need to submit a complete application package to Kimberly Curry. The package includes a Fellowship Application Form, a curriculum vitae, a personal statement, United States Medical Licensing Examination results (parts 1, 2, and 3), and three letters of recommendation. The personal statement should include a brief overview of the applicant's interests, related prior experiences, and long-term career goals. The three letters of recommendation should include one letter from the applicant's current program director, and two from other physicians who know the applicant well, preferably one hematopathologist. International medical graduates must also submit a copy of their valid Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certificate and be eligible for a J-1 visa, if necessary.

Only complete applications are reviewed for possible interview.

Compensation and benefits
A full-time salary with excellent benefits will be provided. Salary and benefits will be commensurate with level of postgraduate training.

Hematopathology Section Faculty
Catalina Amador, M.D.
Allison Cushman-Vokoun, M.D., Ph.D.
Kai Fu, M.D., Ph.D.
Timothy Greiner, M.D.
Scott Koepsell, M.D., Ph.D.
Hina Naushad, M.D.
Sam Pirruccello, M.D.
Jane Yuan, M.D., Ph.D.

Program Director
Kai Fu M.D., Ph.D.
Director of Hematopathology Fellowship
Department of Pathology and Microbiology
University of Nebraska Medical Center
983135 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-3135
Phone: 402-559-7726

Please direct inquiries to:
Kimberly Curry                  
Educations Coordinator
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Department of Pathology and Microbiology
983135 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE  68198-3135
Phone: 402-559-7212