Skip to Content

Postgraduate Physician Assistant Program in Oncology

Program Mission

To develop the next generation of adult oncology clinicians with the skills necessary to provide outstanding patient care by training PA fellows in multidisciplinary settings with practical hands-on training and supportive supervised practice.

Program Description

The postgraduate PA program spans 12 months and is designed to prepare PAs for a career in adult medical, surgical and radiation oncology.

Documents

Accreditation

This program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (March 2011-March 2015). 

Didactic Curriculum

The didactic component of the curriculum consists of lectures, multidisciplinary conferences and Institutional Grand Rounds. By working at a premier oncology research institution, participants will have the opportunity to become involved in research. At the end of the year, each PA will prepare a manuscript suitable for publication on a relevant oncology topic.

Clinical Curriculum

The didactic portion of the curriculum is reinforced daily by hands-on training in a variety of settings, including multidisciplinary clinics, hospital wards, the emergency room and the operating room. Trainees will become an integral part of the health care team, be supervised by an attending physician and gain the confidence and skills required to become a successful oncologic PA.

Participants will have the opportunity to gain skills in various surgical procedures, bone marrow aspiration, biopsy interpretation and management of immunocompromised patients. They will also gain experience in correlating the clinical evaluation of the patient with radiologic, laboratory and pathologic findings. During the year, PAs will rotate through more than 12 disciplines. In addition, time will be available for elective rotations.

Core Clinical Rotations

  • Breast Oncology
  • Gastrointestinal Oncology
  • Gynecologic Oncology
  • Head and Neck Oncology
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Melanoma
  • Sarcoma
  • Stem Cell Transplant
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Thoracic Oncology
  • Genitourinary Oncology

Trainee Application and Information

A competitive stipend, as well as excellent benefits, will be provided. The stipend for FY 13 is $75,000. Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate and have earned approximately 100 hours of continuing medical education credit. They may also discover future job opportunities by networking within MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the program, applicants

  • Must be a graduate in good standing of a Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation of the American Medical Association approved PA program
  • Must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university (Masters degree preferred)
  • Must obtain National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants prior to program start date
  • Must obtain a Texas PA license prior to the program start date

Applications

Applications are accepted between January 1 and April 1 each year. Applicants should apply the year prior to the academic year for they wish to be considered. All supportive documents must be received by April 1.

Apply to this program using the DISCOVER online application system. DISCOVER is a Web-based application system to streamline the educational trainee application, selection and appointment processes at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Supportive documents include:

  • References. You will be asked to submit the names and contact information for three individuals who will be contacted by the program on your behalf.  If employed, one reference must be from a current supervising physician. New graduates must provide at least one reference from their program director or a clinical faculty member.
  • Personal statement- Candidates should discuss their interest in the field of oncology and professional goals.
  • Curriculum vitae - All experience, training, education and volunteer activities related to oncology, research and leadership should be included.
  • Original transcripts from PA school attended must be submitted directly to the PA office.

Selection Process

Applicants are selected based on their academic achievement, interpersonal skills and an established interest in oncology. Candidates with foundational competencies in clinical research which may be obtained in undergraduate or PA school are preferred. Those with an interest in PA education and leadership are encouraged to apply.  Top applicants are invited to Houston for a formal interview.

Timetable

April 1: Deadline for receipt by our office of completed applications and all supporting documents
May/June: Interviews
June: Notification of acceptance
Fall: Program commences. An alternative start date may be arranged for candidates who will be graduating from a PA program after the fall start date. 

 

The following presentations provide additional information regarding our programs.

Physician Assistant Postgraduate Oncology Program - A Program Overview

Physician Assistant Postgraduate Oncology Program - A Graduate's Perspective

The Emerging Role of Physicians Assistant in the Care of Cancer Patients

These are also available as podcasts for downloading.  Please see our PA presentations and other excellent MD Anderson podcasts at iTunes University.

To download iTunes:iTunes download page

Physician Assistant Education (iTunes U)

For information regarding living in Houston, please visit this website: Houston.

For more information regarding Physician Assistants at MD Anderson, please visit our main website.

Contact Information

Mailing Address
PO Box 301402
Unit 1418
Houston, TX 77230-1402

Location
Pickens Academic Tower
1400 Pressler Street, FCT 5.6000
Houston Texas 77030

Phone
713-794-5002

Fax
713-792-2304

E-mail
paponc@mdanderson.org


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center