Purpose: Oncology training requirements mandate that fellows demonstrate competence in delivery of cancer therapeutics, understand clinical indications for treatment, and manage toxicities by completion of training. An academic training environment may hinder fellows' engagement in prescribing, monitoring, and adjusting cancer therapy; thus, trainees may complete their fellowship with limited experience in developing such critical skills. To provide hands-on experience in cancer systemic therapy management, we created a novel infusion room-based rotation in the final year of training; here we report the structure, logistics, and evaluation of this innovative program.
Methods: In 2004, The University of Florida Hematology Oncology Fellowship Program created an outpatient infusion room rotation called Transition to Practice (TTP). We surveyed 20 graduates of the program to assess the ability of the rotation to teach skills necessary for systemic therapy management and identify which fellowship rotations had an impact on their readiness to practice independently.
Results: Nineteen graduates completed the survey. TTP was rated highest for promoting independence in making decisions related to therapy and adjustment to the treatment plan. It was less valuable in teaching the financial aspects of cancer therapy encounters. The Veterans Affairs Medical Center continuity clinic and the TTP rotation were highly regarded for preparing graduates to practice oncology independently.
Conclusion: We consider the TTP model an effective learning environment for oncology trainees to develop the essential skill set for managing cancer systemic therapy on the basis of this single-institution analysis of recent graduates. This model could be applied to training other oncology professionals, such as advanced practice providers, who are new to the field.