Feb 17, 2010
I will be starting my internal medicine residency in June and wish to pursue a fellowship in heme/onc. What do I need to do in order to be competitive for such a fellowship at the big 10 institutes?
Is pursuing a basic science project better than pursuing something clinical?
Thanks guys.


7+ Year Member
Jul 16, 2009
1) In terms of research in residency, I only did clinical (my residency doesn't really have bench), but I did do some bench in med school (1 month). First, contact fellows/attendings and try to hop on a project or two. My research was mainly chart reviews, just gathering info like cancer stage, chemo, survival. I would start this ASAP, doesn't take much time, less than 5min per chart. The time consuming parts are getting a project, analyzing data, waiting for charts (assuming no EMR).

2) Work hard on rotations, just one resident who thinks you're lazy can give you a bad rep, residency is gossip central. Be fast and efficient, your resident shouldn't have to look over your orders because they're incomplete. Don't ask to go home when your team is still working. Look eager and enthusiastic even if you're post call. Get along w/ people including nurses. All this will equate into good LOR's and possibly clinical awards. Work extra hard on heme/onc rotations.

3) Meet w/ the heme/onc PD and let them know you're interested and ask what you can do.

4) Chief year

5) Other stuff out of your hands by now: residency program, med school, AOA

Personally, I applied as a 3rd yr, did not do chief, mid tier residency (don't think it's US News top 50), 5 abstracts, a couple clinical awards, very good LORs, no AOA......matched at US News top 5 heme/onc.