Graduate Medical Education (GME): Hematology

Fellowship Program Director: Charles Bolan, M.D.

Training Program

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) offers an ACGME accredited fellowship program which provides a strong grounding in basic clinical hematology and oncology as well as providing a comprehensive introduction to clinical and laboratory-based research. Even during the full-time clinical rotations there is an emphasis on exposure to the basic science underlying the practice of hematology and oncology. During the subsequent year or years, the fellow will join one of the many available laboratories or clinical research groups at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (NIH CC) and acquire the skills necessary to become an independent biomedical investigator. The NIH provides a unique opportunity for physicians interested in academic careers to develop and integrate both their clinical and basic research interests. After two years of Clinical Hematology training, fellows are board-eligible in hematology. In cooperation with the Medical Oncology Clinical Research Unit (MOCRU) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a combined training program in hematology/oncology is available for those individuals who desire to be board-eligible in both subspecialties. This requires an additional six months of full-time clinical training in oncology (a total of 18 months of full-time clinical rotations on both NHLBI and NCI services), for a total of three years at the NIH.

Program Structure
The first year will be divided among several rotations. Each fellow will also attend a weekly half-day outpatient continuity clinic at NIH, which will continue during the second and third, primarily laboratory year(s). Each rotation will be approximately 4 to 16 weeks long and cover hematology and transplantation service, clinical hematology consultation service, sickle cell/hemoglobinopathies services, leukemia service and will expose the fellow to a wide range of clinical cases and a diverse patient census. During each rotation there are regular daily rounds for teaching and patient care purposes. Weekly fellowship conferences are held in which the fellow is responsible for presenting analyses of clinical or research problems. Well-known hematologists are invited monthly to present a seminar to the fellows on their clinical and research interests and to meet with the fellows. Conferences devoted to case presentations and special topics are also held in which each patient or topic is discussed by intramural or extramural experts in the relevant fields. A course in hematology and hematologic malignancies is conducted weekly by senior staff. Clinical journal club is held weekly. Fellows are also encouraged to attend weekly NIH Clinical Center Grand Rounds and NCI Grand Rounds. A formal training program in clinical trials research resulting in a master's degree is offered collaboratively with Duke University, and fellows may apply to participate during their second or subsequent years.

Each fellow is expected to choose a laboratory or clinical research group in which to pursue his or her research interest during the second and subsequent years. This choice may be made prior to commitment to the program or at any time during the first year of clinical training. The choice of laboratory is by mutual agreement between the fellow, the laboratory Chief, and the fellowship program director. Research opportunities are broad and include both basic and clinical investigation. Fellows may elect to receive training in the laboratory or clinical program of any investigator on campus with some connection to the general field of hematology, not only members of the Hematology Branch of the NHLBI. With satisfactory performance of the fellow, the program commits to providing a position for a total of three years of fellowship. Many fellows elect to stay for a 4th or even 5th year to gain enough research experience and publication output to be competitive for intramural tenure-track positions or extramural positions and grant funding. Staying beyond the 3-year fellowship program is at the mutual discretion of the individual fellow and the research mentor.

Additional Information
For more information, please visit NHLBI Trials at the NIH Clinical Center.

Application Information
Applicants can begin applying to our program via ERAS yearly on July 1, with a yearly deadline of November 30. However, early application is encouraged in order to be considered for the 3 to 4 Friday interview sessions normally held in August and September.

Applications are reviewed and processed through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) Web site. Our program is listed as NIH Clinical Center Program (ACGME ID#145232177) and can be found under the heading for Hematology (Internal Medicine). This same information can be used if you are interested in applying for combined training with Oncology where the primary focus is Hematology.

Requested Application Documentation

  • At minimum three (3) letters of recommendation, of which one is from the candidate’s internal medicine training program director
  • Candidates with significant prior research experience should include a recommendation from his/her research mentor

If you are interested in combined training with a primary focus on oncology, please apply through the National Cancer Institute's Oncology program in ERAS. It is listed as NIH Clinical Center Program (ACGME ID# 1472321183) and can be found under the Oncology (Internal Medicine) heading. For questions, contact Janet Edds,