We offer a competency based medical education curriculum with an expected length of program of two years in Medical Oncology that meets the requirements of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The training is comprised of mandatory rotations including two months in Hematology, integrated Radiation Oncology training, one month in Palliative Care, one month in Gynecologic Oncology, two months of a Mentorship block near the end of training, and ten months in Medical Oncology which includes the 'Fundamentals of Oncology' rotation.
The trainee will start their first year with a two month rotation called the 'Fundamentals of Oncology.' During this rotation, they will meet with key members of the cancer multidisciplinary team; learn core concepts in oncology and pharmacology; and receive clinical exposure to the main cancer disease sites. The Hematology rotation focuses on malignant hematology. The second year of training includes six months in Medical Oncology rotations plus six months of elective time. All medical oncology rotations are based on a multi-disease-site specific teams. We encourage our residents to consider doing a one month elective in Community Oncology, but this is only available as an out-of- province elective and is not a requirement. Residents with strong academic standing and a defined research interests can request that the entire six months be used as a research block.
There is no in-house call. During Medical Oncology rotations, call never exceeds one in four. Since Medical Oncology patients requiring admission are usually admitted under the Internal Medicine teaching service, call usually entails answering phone calls from patients and addressing their concerns, and doing in-patient oncology consultations. There is always a medical oncologist supervising on-call duties.
Early in the first year, the trainee is assigned a longitudinal clinic, supervised by an attending staff medical oncologist. Whenever possible, this clinic is chosen to reflect the trainee’s stated interests. Participation in this clinic enables the trainee to appreciate the long-term nature of much of contemporary cancer care, and allows the trainee to hone patient interaction and communication skills. There is graded responsibility in the second year of training with the development of a 'senior' longitudinal clinic that is run by the resident with minimal supervision and designed to assist the resident in transition into independent medical oncology practice.
Toward the end of the second year, during elective time, we have a mandatory two month “Mentorship” Rotation in which the resident is paired with only one staff oncologist (generally of the trainee’s choice) to facilitate transition to practice. The resident is expected to attend all or most of the oncologist’s clinics, and to fulfill many of the clinical responsibilities of the staff physician, under the supervision of the staff physician. This rotation is intended to allow the resident to get a true sense of the clinical activities required of a full-fledged Medical Oncologist and to function as a junior consultant.
Graded responsibility for the care of both inpatients and outpatients is provided throughout the trainee’s rotations.
The program is closely linked with CancerCare Manitoba (CCMB), the organization overseeing cancer care in our province. CCMB is charged by an Act of the Legislature of Manitoba with responsibility for cancer prevention, detection, care, research and education for the people of Manitoba. CCMB is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for those living with cancer and blood disorders, and to improving control of cancer for all Manitobans.
Our program includes links to a lively research environment. CancerCare Manitoba is extensively involved in clinical trials, with affiliations with the Canada Cancer Trials Group, and is actively involved in a number of industry-sponsored trials. Faculty members are expected to be productive on an academic level. Many staff members are associated with, or have close ties to, the Research Institute of Oncology and Hematology (RIOH). Research interests are vast and range from lab-based to translational to clinical research. Particular areas of expertise include chronic lymphocytic leukemia, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer and clinical epidemiology. CancerCare Manitoba has a well-established Cancer Registry which leads to many effective collaborations. CancerCare Manitoba medical oncologists are also heavily involved in thethe Pan Canadian Oncology Drug Review Process. Our residents are required to be involved in at least one research project, which should be completed to the point at which it can be submitted for presentation and/or publication at the end of their two years of training.. Residents are also expected to participate in the quality improvement committee and are encouraged to carry through a clinical quality improvement project to publication. We are able to provide guidance and mentorship in grant-writing, research methodology, statistical analysis, and manuscript preparation. To date, most of our trainees have been successful in carrying their research project(s) through to publication, and many have gone on to research-based fellowship training. There is also opportunity to participate in a nationally acknowledged dedicated Trials Clinic during the program in the second year of training.