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Resources for Training Program Directors

Hematology-Focused Fellowship Training Program

Over the past three years the American Society of Hematology (ASH) conducted a comprehensive longitudinal workforce study in partnership with the George Washington University Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity. The study was designed to examine the current hematology workforce and the existing pipeline of future hematologists. The goal of the study was to identify critical opportunities for ASH intervention to ensure an invigorated and sustainable future for hematology and, in particular, for non-malignant hematology.

One of the initial recommendations from the first phase of the workforce study was the need to increase the number of hematology-oncology fellowship programs designed to prioritize training in hematology and promote careers in hematology in the United States.

Based on this recommendation, in January 2020 ASH convened a two-day summit of subject matter experts and key stakeholders who were charged with identifying ASH’s role in fostering the creation and sustainability of adult hematology-focused programs in the United States. Attendees discussed the possibility of ASH support for 10 new hematology-focused fellowship tracks to train future academic hematologists. In September 2020 a formal proposal and the RFP were presented to and approved by the ASH Executive Committee.

Program Details

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) will provide institutional funding to develop ten new innovative hematology-focused fellowship tracks within existing adult hematology-oncology training programs. Funding will be available for one or two new fellow(s) in each of five years at each sponsored institution, producing 50 new academic hematologists by 2030. Training in these tracks must lead to eligibility for American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) hematology certification, and the programs must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Funded programs will have an emphasis on comprehensive and innovative curricula in non-malignant hematology.

The primary goal of this program is to enhance recruitment of internal medicine (and med-peds) residency graduates and to retain them in life-long subspecialty careers focused on academic multidisciplinary non-malignant and/or malignant hematology. Multidisciplinary non-malignant hematology may pair traditional training with career enhancing opportunities such as transfusion medicine, sickle cell disease or hemostasis/thrombosis or a broader academic emphasis such as medical education, systems-based hematology, or outcomes research.

Eligibility

Institutions with well-established fellowship programs with proven track records or the strong potential, based on existing infrastructure and resources, for excellence in training non-malignant and multidisciplinary hematologists will be eligible to apply. Programs supported under this RFP will augment training within their existing core curriculum. Fellows will be specifically recruited into a novel hematology-focused track that will be designed to include experiential learning and innovative instruction in non-traditional, enhanced curricula. Collaborative opportunities are encouraged and may include externship rotations at partner institutions.

More information about the requirements and eligibility will be available in the request for proposals (RFP) scheduled for publication on this webpage on February 15, 2021.

Key Dates

Publish RFP February 15, 2021
Launch Online Application February 15, 2021
Publish Schedule of Informational Webinars and Town halls February 15, 2021
RFP Submission Deadline November 15, 2021
Awarded Institutions Announced March 15, 2022
Awarded Institutions Receive Funding for Assistant Program Director July 1, 2022
First Cohort of ASH Sponsored Hematology-Focused Fellows Starts July 1, 2023
Awarded Institutions Receive Funding for Fellow Salaries, Benefits and Stipends July 1, 2023

Funding

Awarded institutions will receive funding for an Assistant Program Director (5% of salary to be matched 5% by institution) starting July 1, 2022 with the first cohort of hematology-focused fellows starting July 1, 2023. Awarded funding includes:

  • Hematology-Focused Fellowship Track Assistant Program Director Salary: five percent salary support with institution matching an additional five percent starts July 1, 2022; the ASH contribution does not include benefits, which will be the responsibility of the institution.
  • Fellow Salaries: salary for two to three years per fellow starts July 1, 2023.
  • Fellow Benefits: 30% of each fellow’s salary starts July 1, 2023.
    • Awarded institutions will not receive additional indirect or overhead funds beyond the fellow benefits.

In addition, ASH will provide the following annual stipends for fellows funded through the new Hematology-Focused Fellowship Tracks:

  • Visiting Rotation Stipend: $5,000 annually for three years per fellow to cover travel and living expenses to attend a one-month rotation per year at a Center of Excellence (e.g. Sickle Cell Disease Center of Excellence)
  • ASH Annual Meeting Stipend: $1,000 annually for three years per fellow to cover expenses to attend the ASH Annual Meeting 
  • Scholarly Research Stipend: $1,500 annually for three years per fellow to cover scholarly research and expenses to submit manuscripts for publication

Frequently Asked Questions

For questions about this program, please review the following FAQs. Additional in-depth FAQs will be made available on this webpage when the RFP is published on February 15, 2021.

No. Awarded institutions will be required to develop a new hematology-focused fellowship slot within an existing hematology-oncology program.

Institutional graduate medical education (GME) approval.

At many institutions, the designated institutional official (DIO) and local GME office must approve the rotation sites, activities, supervision, and funding for the new fellow. This usually requires descriptions and justifications of the patient care duties within the scope of subspecialty requirements; curricular goals and educational objectives; faculty preceptor teaching, supervision, oversight, and evaluation; implications for workforce and reassurance that the new fellow will not detract from existing trainee experiences; approval and completion of any contractual arrangements and agreements by the medical director of a sponsoring hospital or facility. These steps often require many months of planning, review, and approval. Therefore, applying programs should allocate sufficient time to ensure approval for the new fellow.

You will also need Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) approval for your complement to include this fellow.

All fellowship positions must be included within the approved complement number (approved fellowship slots) by the ACGME. If the new fellow slot exceeds the existing approved complement number, a request must be made to the ACGME Review Committee (RC) to increase the approved complement – and this must be done after receiving local institutional approval.

If your institution has an approved ACGME fellowship slot that is currently not filled, you still need to receive institutional approval from your DIO and local GME office before applying. However, you do not have to request ACGME approval to increase your complement (number of ACGME approved fellowship slots).

Yes. Training in the program must lead to eligibility for initial certification in hematology by the ABIM. The applicant fellowship program will need to have an ACGME accreditation of “Continued Accreditation” at the time of application and throughout the program to be funded.

No. The selection of fellows must take place within the Medical Specialties Matching Program of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) system. Sponsored programs will be required to list their hematology-focused fellowship slots separately in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Instructions will be provided with the launch of the RFP on February 15, 2021.

Institutions will be able to apply for funding for one or two new slots. While some institutions may apply for two slots, it is possible that ASH may only fund one new slot, depending on the number institutions that apply and the quality of their applications.