Cancer Center

Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program

Work with a Nationally-Recognized Training Program Team

Tufts Medical Center’s Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program is an ACGME accredited program that provides training in all aspects of hematology and oncology. The Division of Hematology and Oncology emphasizes clinical instruction and research training in an academic environment.

The principal training experience is a three-year program that combines training in the fields of hematology and oncology and prepares physicians for careers in academic medicine.

The first year of the program is devoted to clinical training in Hematology and Oncology within a comprehensive ambulatory setting.

The second and third years emphasize research training, along with a continuation of specialty clinical work, including bone marrow transplantation and in-patient consultation services.

On the basis of an integrated three-year training program in hematology and oncology, almost all of the trainees elect to become board-certified in both sub-specialties.

The Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and the Program Directors are responsible for the fellowship program.

Rachel J. Buchsbaum, MD is the Director of the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program at Tufts Medical Center in downtown Boston, MA.Rachel J. Buchsbaum, MD
Director, Cancer Center
Chief, Division of Hematology Oncology
Jane F. Desforges Chair of Hematology and Oncology
Director, Hematology Oncology Fellowship Program




Cindy Varga, MD, an oncologist at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.Cindy Varga, MD
Associate Director, Hematology Oncology Fellowship Program





Lori Pai, MD is a hematologist/oncologist at the Tufts Medical Center Cancer Center in Boston. Lori Pai, MD
Associate Director, Hematology Oncology Fellowship Program


Program Structure

The Hematology/Oncology Fellowship is a 3 year combined program that provides comprehensive training in benign and malignant hematology, hemostasis and thrombosis, blood banking and laboratory medicine, bone marrow transplantation and solid tumor malignancies.

The first year of the program consists of an immersive clinical experience in our outpatient hematology and oncology center.   This consists of 6 continuity clinics divided equally into 3 hematology-based and 3 oncology-based subspecialties. These continuity clinics provide experiences in general benign and malignant hematology, as well as lung, breast, gastrointestinal, and head and neck oncology.   In addition, rotations in several subspecialty clinics provide experiences in neuro-oncology, breast diseases, genitourinary oncology, gynecologic oncology, and plasma cell disorders and amyloidosis..   During the first year fellows also complete 2 month rotations at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, MA.   This rotation provides exposure to a community oncology practice in a multidisciplinary setting.

The second and third years of the program consist primarily of fellow research activities.   The training program has always emphasized the importance of basic science and clinical research training, and has a long track record of scientific publication and awards.   Of the 24 months that make up the second and third year, 18 months are dedicated to mentored research activity.   The remaining 6 months represent further clinical training in bone marrow transplantation, hematology/oncology inpatient consultation, and palliative care.   One half day per week is reserved for the fellow’s continuity clinic experience, and several additional subspecialty clinics are available including sarcoma/rare tumor clinic and liver tumor clinic.   Elective time is reserved for additional clinical experience at the trainees request and program directors approval. An extensive curriculum is also delivered through a comprehensive conference series, delivered throughout all 3 fellowship years.

At the completion of the training program, fellows are eligible to sit for internal medicine subspecialty certification board exams in both hematology and medical oncology.

Training Record

The Division of Hematology/Oncology prepares physicians for careers in academic hematology and oncology, and promotes the combination of clinically-based practice with clinical, laboratory, and translational research.
The Division of Hematology/Oncology at Tufts Medical Center has maintained a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded T32 Research Training Program Grant now for more than 30 years.  Since the inception of this Training Grant in 1982, over 130 Hematology/Oncology Fellows have been trained within the Division, with approximately 60 of these trainees directly supported during their research years by the Training Grant. Among our Program graduates, more than 20 are now Hematology/Oncology Division Chiefs, head major programs at NCI–designated Cancer Centers or at the National Cancer Institute, or hold leadership positions at major pharmaceutical companies. 
Over the past 15 years, 75 postdoctoral fellows have completed this program. A recent analysis of program graduates indicates that approximately 60% remain in academic medicine and the remainder are engaged in sub-specialty private practice. Recent graduates of the fellowship program have received faculty appointments at many of the nation’s leading cancer centers, including Tufts Medical Center, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, City of Hope Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Chicago, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Ohio State, Case Western Reserve University, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Columbia University Medical Center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the University of California, Irvine, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center.
Clinical training in the program is pursued under the mentorship of the clinical faculty of the Division of Hematology-Oncology.  The research resources of the entire Tufts University Health Sciences campus and Tufts University are available to fellows for their research training.  Recently fellows have pursued research projects under mentors at the Tufts Molecular Oncology Research Institute, the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development.
Fellows also have the option of applying for and enrolling in the Masters of Clinical Science degree program offered through the Clinical and Translational Science Institute.  The fellowship program works together with the CTSI to enable fellows accepted into the Masters program to complete their Hematology-Oncology fellowship and the Masters program in a total of 4 years.
In addition to the fellowship program, the Hematology/Oncology Division trains approximately five interns and residents per month, plus third- and fourth-year medical students on the combined inpatient and outpatient services. Each summer, the Division also supports education for many students through a summer research program.
The Hematology/Oncology course for second-year medical students offered at Tufts University School of Medicine is taught by the faculty from the Division of Hematology/Oncology, and is nationally recognized as one of the most innovative and comprehensive for medical students.

NIH-Sponsored Research Opportunities

Participation in research activities is an important part of the fellowship training program at Tufts Medical Center. An NIH-sponsored oncology training grant provides funding for basic and clinical research training in the second and third year of the fellowship program. 

Fellows are expected to identify a research project and a research mentor before the end of the first year. The research mentor also serves as the head of the research committee for their particular project.  Research mentors are not restricted to the division of hematology and oncology and may include researchers throughout the Tufts campus, including those in the Graduate School of Biomedical Science, and the Friedman School of Nutritional Science and Policy. Faculty members from other divisions within the Cancer Center have also served as research mentors for fellowship research projects.

During their research experience, fellows meet regularly with their mentor as well as their research committee. Fellows are expected to present their research regularly in both formal and informal settings. This includes presentations to their research groups, to the entire division at the end of the second year and an invitation to present at Cancer Center Grand Rounds at the end of the third year.

Distinguished Faculty from Tufts University School of Medicine

The Tufts Medical Center Cancer Center includes the faculty in the Division of Hematology/Oncology as well as physicians and researchers from other divisions of Tufts Medical Center. In addition, faculty from Tufts University School of Medicine, the Tufts University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and the Tufts Medical Center Hematology + Oncology Research Institute play an active role in fellowship training.

Please view profiles for more information about our Cancer Center's faculty.

Rachel J. Buchsbaum, MD
Director, Cancer Center
Chief, Hematology/Oncology
Director, Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program
Breast Health Center
Professor of Genetics
Professor of Medicine

Raymond L. Comenzo, MD
Director, Blood Bank and Stem Cell Processing Laboratory

John K. Erban, MD
Clinical Director, Cancer Center
Professor of Medicine
Phil Hinds, PhD
Deputy Director of the Molecular Oncology Research Institute
Deputy Director of the Tufts Cancer Center

Lynn Hlatky, PhD
Director of the Tufts Center of Cancer Systems Biology

Andreas K. Klein, MD
Director, Hematologic Malignancies Program
Assistant Director, Bone Marrow and Hematopoietic Cell
Transplant Program; Chair, Tufts Health Sciences Campus
Institutional Review Boards

Athan Kuliopulos, MD, PhD
Director, Hemostasis and Thrombosis Laboratory; Investigator, Hematology + Oncology Research Institute

Joel Mason, MD
Director of the Vitamins & Carcinogenesis Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA HNRCA

Paul Matthew, MD
Genitourinary Oncologist

Kenneth B. Miller, MD
Associate Director, Hematology/Oncology

Susan Parsons, MD
Founding Director, Reid R. Sacco Adolescent and Young Adult Program for Cancer and Hereditary Blood Diseases
Director, The Health Institute at the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies 

Robert S. Schwartz, MD
Distinguished Professor of Medicine

Kellie A. Sprague, MD
Assistant Director, Bone Marrow and Hematopoietic Cell
Transplant Program; Director, Adult Leukemia Service

Gary M. Strauss, MD, MPH
Medical Director, Lung Cancer Program
Associate Director,Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program

Philip N. Tsichlis, MD
Executive Director of the Hematology + Oncology Research Institute

Advance Your Medical Career at Tufts Medical Center’s Cancer Center

The Tufts Medical Center Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program participates in the National Residency Match Program (NRMP).

All applications will be processed through ERAS

Along with your ERAS application, please include three letters of recommendation (one of which must be from your current residency program), board scores, and a personal statement.

A thorough review is undertaken of each fellowship application.  A select number of applicants are invited for an interview to meet with staff and tour the facilities.

Please address all inquiries regarding fellowships to:

Rachel Buchsbaum, MD
Fellowship Director
Division of Hematology/Oncology
Tufts Medical Center
800 Washington St. Box 245
Boston, MA  02111

For general information about the fellowship program, contact:

Nicauris Santana
Fellowship Coordinator
Division of Hematology-Oncology
P 617-636-8944
F 617-636-8538

60 Years of Comprehensive Hematology + Oncology Training for Tomorrow’s Medical Leaders

The Division of Hematology/Oncology at Tufts Medical Center was established in the 1940’s by William Dameshek, MD, founder of the American Society of Hematology, first editor of its journal Blood, and one of the world’s preeminent hematologists.

The Division provides comprehensive hematology and oncology training to fellows in the training program. Over 60 years, the fellowship program has trained hundreds of hematologists and oncologists from throughout the United States and overseas who are currently practicing in these specialties and/or themselves leading major Divisions, Research Centers, or Training Programs.

Since 1978 when the Divisions of Hematology and Oncology merged, the combined fellowship has accepted on average 5 fellows per year from over 200-300 applicants annually. Since 2006, recruitment to the fellowship program has been through the National Resident Matching Program. The Division’s training program provides rigorous clinical training as well as the opportunity for broad exposure to basic laboratory research or experience in clinical research.  

Educational Goals

The primary educational goals for fellows in the Fellowship Training program in Hematology-Oncology are to:  

  1. Develop clinical expertise in the management of patients with hematologic and/or oncologic diseases in order to be able to pass certifying examinations in Hematology and Medical Oncology and to practice at the level of an independent subspecialist, and
  2. Develop an understanding of the scientific process underlying biomedical research in the field of Hematology-Oncology.

Educational experiences supporting the fellow’s achievement of the first goal include clinical rotations through the Ambulatory Clinics, Bone Marrow Transplant service, Hematology-Oncology Consult service, and the Palliative Care Service at Tufts Medical Center, a rotation through the Hematology-Oncology service at the Lahey Clinic, and active participation in the didactic sessions and conferences of the Tufts Division of Hematology-Oncology.

Educational experiences supporting the fellow’s achievement of the second goal include the planning and execution of a mentored research project, attendance and participation in relevant research conferences, and presentation of independent research in institutional and extramural forums.

Fellowship Funding

Stipends for the first year clinical fellows are assured by Tufts Medical Center. Support for eligible research fellows is derived from an NIH training grant in Oncology from the National Cancer Institute (4 positions per year). Fellowships from the National Institutes of Health (National Research Service Award) and private foundations serve an important role in funding advanced research fellows. At the present time, the Division supplements the NIH stipends in order to establish a base salary that is commensurate with experience and living costs in the Boston area.

In addition, fellows with prior research experience are encouraged to apply for Physician Scientist Awards and Clinical Investigator Awards from the NIH. A large number of Tufts Medical Center fellows have successfully competed for these awards. The Division provides assistance and encouragement for fellows to apply for independent funding in their research years.