Cancer Center Special Report
Physician Education is an Interactive, Collaborative ProcessAs an academic medical center, Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin has a long-standing commitment to physician education. Tomorrow’s doctors train here today, guided by a team of experienced physicians who are themselves world-class researchers, clinicians and educators. At every level of education, future physicians have access to top-notch research facilities, advanced technology and a diverse patient population. It’s an intellectually stimulating environment that offers many opportunities to pursue advanced education and specialization.
“Residents are physicians who spend additional years (generally three to five) after medical school developing expertise in a specialty such as surgery, radiation oncology, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine or pediatrics,” says Christopher R. Chitambar, MD. Dr. Chitambar, a Medical College of Wisconsin medical oncologist, is director of the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Some doctors seek further specialization and apply to become fellows. “Fellows are physicians who have done a residency and elect to sub-specialize within that field,” Dr. Chitambar continues. “Instead of going into practice, they pursue specialized study that involves clinical and research experience.”
A few moments of extra time one day led to an unexpected passion for radiation oncology for Joe Bovi, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin radiation oncology resident. Dr. Bovi was planning to pursue a career in medical oncology when his preceptor suggested he “see what’s going on with radiation oncology,” Dr. Bovi recalls. “I absolutely loved it,” he says.
“Radiation oncology has the technology side of things, yet I’m still working with cancer patients. As radiation oncologists, we get to know patients so much better, because we see them on a daily basis.” Dr. Bovi finds his interaction with cancer patients extremely rewarding. “Cancer patients are the hardest working and most dedicated group of patients,” he says. “It’s great to come to work when you know you’re taking care of people who want nothing but to get better.”
Seeing his mother battle breast cancer left an indelible mark on Christopher Hake, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin chief resident in Medicine and Hematology/Oncology fellow. “I was 13,” Dr. Hake says, “when my Mom was ill. It was strange seeing her in that position.”
But the experience made Dr. Hake a better physician. “I realize cancer affects not just the patient, it affects the family, so when you become someone’s cancer doctor, you have to be willing to help the family get through the social and psychological implications of the disease also,” he says.
Today, Dr. Hake’s mother is doing well. Dr. Hake is taking a one-year break from his fellowship to serve as chief resident of Medicine. “Educating physicians is one of my priorities,” he says. “I’ll help run the residency program, help with recruitment and attend on the wards. It’s a very good experience.”
Source: Cancer Center Special Report 2005/06