American Society of Hematology

Career-Development Timeline for MD Trainees (Continuous Priorities)

Published on: January 26, 2015

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 training for a career in hematology.

This timeline assumes that year 1 will be devoted to clinical training, with remaining years focused on a specific career pathway.

Continuous Priorities  |  Year 1  |  Year 2-3 

Continuous Priorities Throughout Fellowship

  • Check out the many ASH Career and Training Awards available for those training in a career in hematology.
  • Schedule formal meetings with your program director and your division chief at least twice a year.
  • Identify your training track early (Master Clinician, Clinical Investigator, Lab-based researcher, Physician Educator). Ideally, this should be identified within the first 6-9 months of fellowship. During this time, a mentor should be identified based on the track you are pursuing. Depending on the program, an initial mentor may be assigned to you at the start of fellowship based on research interests you may have verbalized. However, once a specific research track is identified, the primary mentor may change. In addition, mentoring committees may provide additional guidance regarding career development, grant writing, and research milestones.
  • Attend weekly research seminars at your institution to help identify research interests and scout potential mentors and to break from "hospital" thinking. Such seminars may be part of the schedule of didactics within hematology/oncology division, or as part of other graduate biomedical programs within the University setting.
  • Sign up early for any available "research methods" or "scientific writing" courses that your training institution and/or affiliated teaching hospital may offer to its junior faculty or trainees as part of its research development initiatives. These are often more accessible than competitive, and more committed, research degree programs or workshops. Increasing numbers of academic centers have a clinical research program or a center with educational aims and logistic support for its local researchers.
  • Attend a national or international research meeting as soon as possible after starting your fellowship. This may be quite difficult during first-year clinical rotations, but not insurmountable, and is absolutely necessary by years 2 and 3. The ASH Web site is a good resource for identifying conferences of interest in addition to the annual meetings of ASH and ASCO.
  • Identify grant and training opportunities to fund your research—ASH or ASCO Fellow career development grants (ASH RTAF, ASCO YIA), foundation grants (e.g. LLSS), and internal institutional training grants. The ASH Clinical Training Research Institute is an ideal training platform for clinical fellows interested in pursuing a career with a research focus.
  • Maintain regular meetings with your mentor(s) to attain the necessary guidance for research project and career development. You may have more than one mentor to cover the different aspects of your training, including a career mentor, research mentor, and clinical mentor.
  • Develop a vision and map out your future. Continuously revise a plan for your clinical and scholarly life. Set short- and long-term goals; revise and reevaluate these regularly.

Additional Resources

  • Mark your calendar of upcoming medical meetings that you can incorporate into your personal timeline.

Continuous Priorities  |  Year 1  |  Year 2-3 

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