Structure of Fellowship Program
Learn how the urologic oncology fellowship is structured. There are two components: clinical and research rotations. Fellows also attend conferences as part of their training.
The urologic oncology fellowship clinical rotation is 12 months and the research rotation is 12 months. We partner with area hospitals to provide a wide range of case types and ensure exposure to a variety of diagnosis and urologic diseases.
The University of Kansas Health System is a 923-bed medical center and performs approximately 19,000 operative procedures per year. The fellow will rotate with various urologic oncology surgeons, selecting cases that fit the fellow's interest. A sample schedule and staff listing is provided below. The fellow can choose a different surgeon with whom to work based on the case available. Surgeons specialize in all aspects of urologic oncology. Fellows also will be involved in collaborative cases with general surgery, gynecology, vascular surgery, transplant surgery and cardiothoracic surgery. Autonomy is based on the skill level of the clinical fellow and is expected to increase throughout the year. The expectation is that the fellow will be able to direct residents through major oncologic cases by the end of the clinical year.
The University of Kansas Cancer Center is the ambulatory, provider-based clinics associated with The University of Kansas Health System and KU Medical Center. The fellow will work with a urologic oncology attending at the cancer center seeing patients and helping develop treatment plans for patients. Continuity of care is provided here from preoperative to postoperative care. Office-based procedures, including TRUS biopsy of the prostate as well as cystoscopies, are performed by the fellow in this clinic. The expectation is that by the end of the clinical year, the fellow is able to independently determine treatment plans for complex urologic oncology patients. Additionally, the fellow will be familiar with ongoing investigator-initiated and industry-sponsored trials while identifying appropriate patients for enrollment.
The fellow works in a dedicated GU Medical and Radiation Oncology clinic one half day every week, alternating. In this clinic, the fellow will see patients with a variety of genitourinary malignancies. They become familiar with the different regimens of chemotherapy, targeted agents and immunotherapies for the various GU cancers and the treatment-related side effects. In a radiation oncology clinic, the fellow will learn radiation planning and the intricacies of radiation physics. Fellows are expected to learn about the management of treatment-related side effects. In both settings, the fellows will be expected to have knowledge of ongoing clinical trials and be involved with identifying appropriate patients for enrollment.
Truman Medical Center is a tertiary care hospital located on the Missouri side of Kansas City. It is a large, inner-city 600-bed hospital with a wide variety of urologic oncology cases. It is associated with the University of Missouri-Kansas City Medical School. The fellow rotates here and performs urologic oncologic cases with the KU Medical Center staff. There is a greater deal of autonomy at Truman where fellows see patients in clinic, develop the treatment plan, provide surgical and inpatient care and follow-up care in clinic. In addition, the fellow helps mentor and teach residents from The University of Kansas Hospital who also serve a clinical rotation here.
Example Weekly Clinical Schedule
Weekly Clinical Breakdown
- 60% OR with urologic oncology faculty
- 10% Independent OR
- 10% Clinic with urologic oncology faculty
- 10% Independent clinic
- 10% Clinic with medical oncology and radiation oncology
The urologic oncology fellow performs call in the attending "call pool." This is approximately one in 16 days.
Each month, fellows will be lectured on a urologic oncology topic presented by faculty from urologic oncology, medical oncology and radiation oncology. These will include case presentations, indications conferences and didactic lectures.
Fellows and fellowship director present journal club articles once per month.
GU tumor board consists of representatives from urologic oncology, GU medical oncology, GU radiation oncology, GU pathology and radiology as well as residents and fellows. Additionally, clinical research staff and the GU oncology nurse navigation team are present for all conferences. Fellows are expected to present cases encountered during clinic with urology, medical oncology and radiation oncology. They are also expected to identify appropriate clinical trials for the patient.
The fellow attends "R+P" monthly along with the residents and faculty. Conference topics in the past have included "basic statistics," "REDCap" and "End Note." Additionally, each month we review all current research projects, needs and directions. We also use this forum to present research concepts to the department for refinement of aims.
The fellows attend the KU Cancer Center disease working group. All GU cancer center trials are discussed. We discuss protocols, new trial concepts and ongoing clinical trials.
The fellow will choose a research mentor who will guide them through a primary research project. This can be clinical, translational or basic science. Individual guidance will be provided through weekly meetings with the program director and the study's principal investigator. Fellows are expected to continue to attend all conferences and presentations during their research time.
Fellows in urologic oncology can choose to pursue a Master of Science in Clinical Research during their research year.
There are three full-time research staff within the Department of Urology. They have specific expertise managing clinical research projects, including cooperative group, industry-sponsored and investigator-initiated clinical trials. Last year, we enrolled more than 800 patients in trials and registries. This is independent of the KU Cancer Center Clinical Trials mechanism.
Jeffrey Thompson, Ph.D., provides biostatistical support for the Department of Urology. In his role, he is both a co-investigator on clinical trials as well as our biostatistician for all urology research projects.