The Hematologist

May-June 2012, Volume 9, Issue 3

Educational and Networking Opportunities for Trainees Abound at the ASH Annual Meeting

Gary Schiller, MD

Published on: May 01, 2012

Professor, Department of Medicine; Director, Hematological Malignancies/Stem Cell Transplantation Unit, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

The Society appreciates that trainees will determine the future of hematology and is therefore committed to fostering the early careers of Associate members by enhancing the training experience through programs that target both the MD and PhD trainees. Every year the Committee on Training Programs presents educational and social events at the annual meeting designed especially for physicians and researchers who are in training and for those involved both in administration and in training and educational curricula development. These events, supported by members of the Trainee Council, include Trainee Day, Career-Development Lunch sessions, Trainee Simultaneous Didactic sessions, and the Trainee Welcome Reception. The Committee is also responsible for outreach to trainees at various stages of their education and conducts workshops at the annual meeting for training program directors and hematology course directors.

A major component of our program during the annual meeting is Trainee Day, a concept initially proposed by the Trainee Council to address the process of career development. The program for Trainee Day consists of an ongoing four-year curriculum, and this year’s theme is “Asking a Research Question.” Trainee Day is held the Friday before the annual meeting and includes lunch. During lunch, there will be didactic presentations on “Defining the Hypothesis/Research Questions” by a basic science researcher and a clinical investigator. After these presentations, Trainee Day attendees break into small groups to discuss “Developing a Collaborative Research Team” for those interested in either basic science, clinical research, or translational research. A second small-group breakout session on “Identifying Post-Training Career Opportunities for MDs and PhDs” will look at career opportunities in academia, private practice, and the pharmaceutical industry. Additionally, there will be a special session for PhDs completing their postdoctoral training. Finally, the attendees will come together for two didactic sessions that will focus on “Identifying and Pursuing Funding for Your Research,” again separated based on interest in either basic science research or clinical research. Trainee Day is followed by the Trainee Welcome Reception where information on the ASH meeting and trainee resources will be made available. The reception also gives trainees an opportunity to socialize and network, both with contemporaries from other institutions and with senior Society members including program speakers and Trainee Council participants.

The Career-Development Lunch sessions allow for a more intimate opportunity to receive career counseling and guidance. At this event, tables are arranged so that a smaller number of trainees may ask questions of speakers whose experience covers the spectrum of careers ranging from adult hematology/clinical research to hospitalbased careers in apheresis, bone marrow transplantation, and hematopathology. Other topics of the program include careers in industry, government, laboratory and translational hematology, pediatric hematology-oncology, and private practice. A session will also be devoted specifically to careers for PhD scientists. Medical students and residents who are interested in hematology fellowships are encouraged to attend the Career-Development Lunch sessions, and their unique position on the career-development ladder will be recognized by grouping them at the same table so as to facilitate discussion of training opportunities.

Didactic sessions specifically designated for trainees will be presented on Sunday and Monday. On Sunday, for example, the Editor-in-Chief of Blood will present “Successful Manuscript Writing,” a lecture intended to provide both insights into elements of preparing a highquality manuscript and tips on how to avoid common errors that may result in rejection of a submission. The other didactic session on Sunday, “Building a Successful Clinical Research Program,” is designed to address issues such as appropriate training in rigorous and innovative trial design; regulatory, budgetary, and ethical issues of the clinical research enterprise; and building a research team. Two more didactic sessions will be offered on Monday, one titled “Building a Successful Research Lab,” and the other “Finding a Good Mentor/Being a Good ‘Mentee.’” The former will discuss what is required to run a successful research lab, how to develop collaborations, find space, and manage people. The latter will present the roles of both the mentor and the trainee and include advice on how to nurture a successful career-development relationship.

In addition to encouraging participation in the many learning opportunities the sessions described above provide, trainees are invited to visit the Trainee Lounge. The lounge provides a relaxing place for trainees to meet with colleagues, access the Internet, and recharge with complimentary refreshments. The lounge is open from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday and from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on Tuesday.

Registration for this year’s annual meeting in Atlanta, GA, opens for members only on July 18. Advance registration opens to all on August 8. Trainees, we hope you will take advantage of all of the supportive and developmental programs organized with you in mind, and we encourage program directors to alert their trainees to the opportunities for education and networking that abound at the ASH annual meeting.

The table below provides a comprehensive view of the activities mentioned above. Please contact the Training Department at if you have questions.

Day of Program
Number of Attendees
Target Audience
Trainee DayFriday 12:00 noon - 5:00 p.m. 250 Yes Lunch Medical Students, Residents, and Fellows wearing blue trainee meeting badges
Trainee Welcome Reception Friday 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. 300 No Hors d'oeuvres Medical Students, Residents, and Fellows wearing blue trainee meeting badges
Career-Development Lunch Program Saturday 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. 380 No Lunch Medical Students, Residents, and Fellows wearing blue trainee meeting badges
Junior Faculty Development Education Program Saturday TBD 200 No none Junior Faculty (Session open to all annual meeting attendees)
Trainee Simultaneous Didactic Sessions (Two sessions) Sunday 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. 350 per session No Lunch Medical Students, Residents, and Fellows wearing blue trainee meeting badges
Trainee Simultaneous Didactic Sessions (Two sessions) Monday 12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. 350 per session No Lunch Medical Students, Residents, and Fellows wearing blue trainee meeting badges

No additional fee is required for any of the events or sessions listed above.

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