While every person's career path clearly requires an individualized plan for true success, based on insight from hematology leadership and fellows, the ASH Trainee Council has created a generalized framework to help guide those in the residency portion of their training for a career in hematology.
Intern Year: Starting off right
- Identify a mentor. With help from senior residents and fellows, identify the hematologists/oncologists at your institution with outstanding reputations and a track record of working with and mentoring residents.
- Maximize exposure with mentor and identify projects. Once mentors have been identified, attempt to rotate through their clinics and schedule your inpatient months to maximize exposure. During your intern year or early in your second year, attempt to identify projects with your mentor that could be finished prior to the completion of your residency. Make sure that you set realistic goals and do not compromise your mastery of general internal medicine.
Second Year: Keys to success
- Continue to work on research projects. Try to write a clinical trial, case report, or review article. These projects can be completed in a reasonable amount of time and will make your CV stand out.
- Begin thinking about letters of recommendation. Identify individuals who you would like to ask for recommendation letters when applying for fellowships, and try to work with these people during your second year in clinic or on the wards. Inform clinicians as you initiate your rotations that you have an interest in the field and would hope for strong letters of recommendation in the future.
- Begin updating your CV to include any projects you are working on.
- Consider joining ASH and frequently visit www.hematology.org; read TraineE-news, and articles of interest in Blood. Membership may help your CV, but more importantly you will learn more about recent insights and innovations in hematology that will prompt discussion in interviews.
- Ask for letters of recommendation. In the spring and summer, ask your mentors and other faculty with whom you have worked well for letters of recommendation in preparation for applications in the late summer/early fall. Provide notice to letter writers as far in advance as possible to avoid incomplete applications.
- Start thinking about where you would like to apply for your fellowship. You may consider the following criteria when making your decision:
- Institutional expertise in an area of interest
- Clinical versus basic science research
- Ultimate interest in community versus academic medicine
Third Year: Apply for fellowship and complete your residency
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- Submit your ERAS application.
- Continue to work diligently on projects. Your progress can be discussed on the fellowship interview trail.
- Complete interviews and match with a fellowship program!
- Complete residency by solidifying your internal medicine knowledge base. You will have to take internal medicine boards in the second month of your fellowship (August).
- Finish any mentored research projects and submit for presentation and publication.
- Complete and submit required paperwork for your fellowship program. If you are leaving the state, you will need to complete licensing paperwork that will need to be processed well before your start date.