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.



This program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc.  

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
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Melanoma
  • Palliative Care
  • Radiology
  • Sarcoma
  • Stem Cell Transplant
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Thoracic Oncology
  • Genitourinary Oncology

Benefits and Expenses

The competitive stipend for FY 17 is $75,000.  PA fellows receive various benefits as provided for MD Anderson clinical trainees.  For information regarding these benefits, refer to the Clinical Education Trainee Manual noted above.  PA fellows may incur some professional costs during the program to include books, professional organization membership fees, conference registration, etc.  It is estimated that these expenses be no more than $1,000.

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 student or 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


Application dates for next year will be announced in Fall 2016.

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.


TBA:  Application period begins
TBA:  Deadline for receipt by our office of completed applications and all supporting documents
TBA:  Notification of acceptance
TBA:  Interview Day
TBA:  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.

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

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 301407
Unit 1727
Houston, TX 77230-1407

Mid Campus Building 1
7007 Bertner Ave, 1MC17.2343
Houston Texas 77030