Program Director's Message

Helen Chew, MD

On behalf of the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the UC Davis School of Medicine and the UC Davis Cancer Center, I would like to thank you for your interest in our Hematology and Oncology Fellowship Program. I am honored to succeed Dr. Ted Wun as Fellowship Program Director and would like to share with you a brief overview of the program.

The Division of Hematology and Oncology and the UC Davis Cancer Center have enjoyed a period of tremendous growth over the past decade. We are the largest Division in the Department of Internal Medicine with 44 full-time faculty members, including 26 clinician-scientists with expertise that covers the breath of hematology and medical oncology. The Division consistently ranks in the top two academic units in the School of Medicine in terms of the largest research portfolio. The UC Davis Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Cancer Center in inland California, with a referral base of 4 million people that stretches from the Oregon border to the lower San Joaquin Valley. Our vigorous developmental therapeutic programs offer innovative therapies to patients, anchored by NCI-funded Phase I and Phase II development grants.

The fellowship program takes full advantage of the opportunities that have resulted from this growth. Our goal is to train outstanding clinicians, clinician-scientists and translational researchers in hematology and oncology. A broad and deep exposure to clinical problems is made possible by rotations that include diverse patient populations including the UC Davis Medical Center, the VA Medical Center Sacramento, and Kaiser Permanente Sacramento Clinics (elective). In addition to sub-subspecialty clinic exposure, fellows have two half-day continuity clinics a week for general hematology and oncology (can be decreased to one half-day a week for research fellows). Fellows follow their own panel of patients throughout their training, greatly enhancing their clinical experience. Rotations in Transfusion Medicine, Radiation Oncology, Hospice, and Pathology ensure exposure to these important disciplines.

Research is a required part of fellowship and the opportunities are tremendous. Fellows consistently present their work at the national ASCO and ASH meetings. For those headed for a career in clinical investigation, a formal mentored clinical investigator-training program is available. UC Davis was one of the first 12 recipients of the NIH Clinical and Translational Sciences Awards, and Hematology and Oncology faculty play leadership roles in our Clinical and Translational Sciences Center. In addition, the Hospice Program in Palliative Care and the NCI-funded Minority Outreach Programs provide other clinical research opportunities. Fellows interested in laboratory-based research also have a wealth of options with active investigators within our own Division, or within the Cancer Program.

Despite our growth, the Division continues to be a congenial and intimate group. The faculty are friendly, approachable, and committed to fellow education. Part of this commitment is reflected in the fact that as opposed to many Cancer Centers, our full-time faculty supervise our fellows’ general hematology and oncology continuity clinics, rather than having fellows attend only sub-subspecialty clinics. Thus, the fellows’continuity clinics are filled with diverse patients over the course of training. It is this dedication that has led to an overall positive experience and exceptional training for our fellows. We are tremendously proud of the clinical proficiency of our graduates.

Again, we appreciate your interest and look forward to meeting you.

Best wishes,

Helen K. Chew, MD, FACP
Professor of Medicine
The Joe Sullivan Hematology Oncology Fellowship Program Director