Factors that Influence Successful Training and Faculty Career Development in Hematology/Oncology Patient-Oriented Clinical Research

University of Michigan, Division of Hematology/Oncology Department of Internal Medicine, Ann Arbor, 48109, USA.
Journal of Cancer Education (Impact Factor: 1.23). 02/2005; 20(2):72-8. DOI: 10.1207/s15430154jce2002_6
Source: PubMed


We wanted to identify what factors promote career development in patient-oriented clinical research (POCR).
We used a survey questionnaire covering areas relevant to the training of subspecialty fellows and the career development of POCR faculty.
Pursuit of an academic career after fellowship correlated with completion of a clinical project, availability of a clinical research training program, opportunity to earn academic credit, faculty mentorship, and obtaining independent career development funding. Successful faculty career development in POCR was closely correlated with excellent morale and adequate protected time for academic pursuits.
Specific academic environmental factors positively influence success in POCR hematology/oncology fellowship training and faculty career development.

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    ABSTRACT: Preparing hematology/oncology clinical investigators is a major challenge for the advancement of translational cancer research. The goal of this study was to evaluate the experience of fellowship programs in this area. We conducted a cross-sectional study using an electronic survey e-mailed to the listserv members of the hematology/oncology fellowship program directors (130 members). The survey included questions about the program type, size and duration, length of designated research time (mandatory or elective), fellows' participation in study development and/or conduction, and the different training opportunities offered. A total of 38 surveys were completed (one formally declined). The mean number of fellows per program was 8 (range, 3-14). Research training was mandatory in 17 programs (45 %), with a variable number of months spent (range, 2-12). The percentage of fellows who participated in a study design was 51%, collected and analyzed data was 50%, and presented at national meetings such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Association of Cancer Research, or the American Society of Hematology was 31%. Training programs offered training in research using didactic lectures in 72%, workshops in 75%, 1-to-1 mentoring in 81%, and other strategies in 14%. The percentage of graduating trainees in the last 3 years who pursued academic career was 24% versus private practice at 75%. Training hematology/oncology investigators was variable and inconsistent among the fellowship programs. The need of establishing curriculum and clear approach to such training is critically required.
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