ASH to Fund 10 Innovative Hematology-Focused Fellowship Training Programs to Sustain Future Hematology Workforce
Starting today, U.S. academic institutions can apply for funding and join a consortium of institutions that will work together to establish new hematology-focused fellowship tracks in existing adult hematology-oncology training programs, addressing the critical need to expand the workforce with expertise in non-malignant blood disorders.
(WASHINGTON, February 16, 2021) — To address the shortage of clinicians with specialized training to care for patients with blood disorders, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) has made a substantial commitment to expand the pipeline of hematologists entering the field. ASH has dedicated $19 million to fund 10 new hematology-focused fellowship tracks in existing adult hematology-oncology training programs with the goal of strengthening the pipeline for the future by producing 50 new academic hematologists by 2030.
Beginning today, academic institutions in the United States can apply for funding from the ASH Hematology-Focused Fellowship Training Program. Selected institutions will receive funding to support the salary of an assistant program director to develop a robust hematology training experience as well as up to two new fellows per year over a period of five years. The first cohort of 10 ASH-sponsored hematology fellows is expected to begin in July 2023.
“Ensuring an invigorated and sustainable future for hematology and, in particular, non-malignant hematology, is key strategic priority for the Society,” said ASH President Martin S. Tallman, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “We believe it is critically important for ASH to make this unprecedented investment in the field, which will in turn benefit participating institutions by allowing them to expand their own hematology workforce.”
Over the course of 25 years, accredited hematology only fellowship programs have been gradually absorbed into combined accredited hematology-oncology programs. According to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, in 1995 there were 74 accredited U.S. hematology training programs and 75 hematology-oncology programs. Today, there are only two accredited single-specialty hematology programs and 172 combined hematology-oncology programs. However, a handful of dually accredited programs have started to offer hematology-focused tracks within their combined programs for fellows that express an interest in only boarding in hematology. ASH is looking to build on this model by funding the creation of new hematology-focused tracks within accredited hematology-oncology programs.
ASH expects that the institutions supported under this program will augment their hematology-focused fellowship tracks with innovative, enhanced curricula in multidisciplinary non-malignant hematology. Multidisciplinary non-malignant hematology is defined as clinical hematology paired with either enhanced career expertise in a subdiscipline of non-malignant hematology (e.g., transfusion medicine) or a complementary discipline (e.g., medical education, systems-based hematology).
At the core of ASH’s effort to sustain and strengthen the hematology workforce is a comprehensive longitudinal workforce study commissioned by the Society to examine the current workforce and the existing pipeline of future hematologists. The initial results of the ongoing three-year study helped shed light on critical opportunities for ASH intervention. One of the primary 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.
“Not only are we, as hematologists, at the forefront of cutting-edge research, but we are also afforded ample opportunities to truly make a difference in the lives of individuals who need our specialized care,” said Dr. Tallman. “ASH looks forward to collaborating with the institutions selected for this program to recruit a new class of talented hematologists and support them throughout their careers.”
Proposals will be accepted for the Hematology-Focused Fellowship Training Program through November, with the awarded institutions to be announced in March 2022 after a competitive review process.
Institutions interested in submitting a proposal can view more information and download the Request for Proposals and the application on the ASH website.
The American Society of Hematology (ASH) (www.hematology.org) is the world’s largest professional society of hematologists dedicated to furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the blood. For more than 60 years, the Society has led the development of hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. ASH publishes Blood (www.bloodjournal.org), the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, and Blood Advances (www.bloodadvances.org), an online, peer-reviewed open-access journal.
Amanda Szabo, American Society of Hematology
[email protected]; 202-552-4914