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The mission of the Postgraduate Physician Assistant Oncology program is to eliminate cancer in Texas, the nation and the world by training the next generation of outstanding physician assistants who will provide comprehensive care to cancer patients as part of effective interprofessional teams and who will be leaders in healthcare delivery, cancer prevention, education, clinical research and quality improvement.
The postgraduate program spans 12 months and is designed to prepare PAs for a career in adult medical, surgical and radiation oncology.
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.
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.
- Breast Oncology
- Gastrointestinal Oncology
- Gynecologic Oncology
- Head and Neck Oncology
- Infectious Diseases
- Palliative Care
- Stem Cell Transplant
- Thoracic Oncology
- Genitourinary Oncology
- Elective clinical rotations (time permitting) available including Plastic Surgery, Pediatric Oncology and Investigational Cancer Therapeutics
The competitive stipend for FY 19 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.
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
- Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university (Masters degree preferred)
- Obtain National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants prior to program start date
- Obtain a Texas PA license prior to the program start date
The application period for Spring 2019 will open on May 1, 2018. If you have specific questions regarding the application process, please email us at email@example.com.
Apply to this program using the DISCOVER online application system. The following documents are required:
- References. You will be asked to submit the names and contact information for three individuals who will be contacted by our office 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.
- Tobacco Policy Acknowledgement
Applicants will be asked to complete an submit the Reference Contact Information form found in their Discover account in a timely manner, as the program will be contacting the individuals provided on the form on their behalf to complete another specific reference form. No other documents are needed in Discover at this time. There are additional documents required for Discover once an applicant is accepted into the program.
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 an interview. For the Spring 2019 cohort, we will be recruiting 1-3 PA fellows, depending on budget.
Timeline of Events
- Application period: May 1, 2018-August 1, 2018
- Application due date: August 1, 2018
- Notification of Interview Day invite: September 2018
- Interview Day (required): October 2018
- Notification of acceptance: November 2018
- Program Start Date: mid-late March 2019
Todd Pickard, MMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA
Director of Physician Assistant Practice
Chris Lopez, MBA
Office of Physician Assistant Education
UT MD Anderson Cancer Center
PO Box 301402
Houston, TX 77230-1402