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Hematology Oncology Fellowship

The Pediatric Hematology Oncology training program at Children's National Hospital is an ACGME accredited, three year training program for physicians that have completed three years of general pediatric training at an ACGME accredited institution.

Our goals include providing:

  • Comprehensive clinical training in all aspects of pediatric hematology, oncology, and stem cell transplantation in infants, children, adolescents, and young adults
  • The appropriate environment and support for both clinical and laboratory research to prepare trainees for an academic career in this subspecialty
  • Opportunities for educating patients, families, and other trainees.

We accept four trainees per academic year.



The majority of the second and third year are dedicated to either clinical or laboratory research activities. Some clinical responsibilities exist as listed above.

Research Project

  • Two weeks of the first year are spent by rotating through the research laboratories so the trainee can be familiar with current projects in order to make a decision about a research project and chose a research mentor.
  • Trainees in Hematology/Oncology can select a basic science research project through the Center for Cancer and Transplantation Biology of Children's Cancer Research Institute.
  • Opportunities exist for basic science project outside of Children’s National Medical Center.
  • Trainees may pursue clinical research endeavors through supervision from one of our attending physicians.

The trainee is responsible for:

  • Reviewing the literature
  • Initiating the research proposal which includes background information and rationale, potential scientific significance, methodology, data acquisition, management, and statistical analysis.
  • All activities are supervised by the selected mentor.

Research education areas of focus:

  • Laboratory techniques taught by experienced personnel until the trainee has achieved independence in the techniques.
  • Experimental design and data collection/analysis: The trainee presents their proposal (see above) at a Center-wide meeting where constructive feedback is given. Updates are presented during the weekly lab meetings where feedback and instructions are given.
  • Scientific communications: Oral presentations to the Center for Cancer and Transplantation Biology are required on a semi-annual basis. Fellows are encouraged to submit abstracts for oral or poster presentations at both local and national meetings. They also are encouraged to apply for in-house fellows' grants which provide valuable early experience in grant writing.


Our trainees receive both formal and informal education throughout their three years. They also play a role in the education of pediatric residents, medical students, and other trainees.

Rounds, Seminar Series, and Lecture Series

Bone marrow morphology rounds is a weekly meeting where trainees gain experience in interpreting normal and abnormal morphology under the instruction of an attending oncology physician trained in morphology as well as a hematopathologist. Peripheral smears and cytospins of cerebrospinal fluid also are reviewed during this meeting.

Fellow seminar series is a weekly meeting where the trainees have a formal detailed discussion with one of the hematology oncology, stem cell transplantation, immunology, transfusion medicine, lab medicine or radiation oncology attending physicians about a general topic that the trainees are required to know at the end of a three-year fellowship in hematology oncology.

Psychosocial rounds meet every other month and are a conference presented by the hematology and oncology psychologist. The focus of these meetings is centered on the psychological aspects associated with children that have chronic and/or life threatening illnesses.

Institutional fellows lecture series is a series of talks centered on hypothesis testing, statistical analysis, oral presentations, manuscript writing, grant writing, and critical review of the literature. Adult learning theories also are addressed during this series.

Palliative Care rounds occur every other month.

Conferences and Boards

Departmental education conference occurs monthly as a two hour, evening program and includes a weekly journal club, and current research activities/special presentations.

Hematology conference is a weekly meeting where we present interesting hematology cases, review the literature and discuss best practices.

Hematopathology conference is a monthly conference where one trainee presents several cases and reviews all laboratory findings. The aim of this conference is to interpret diagnostic studies in association with clinical findings. Similar cases that have alternative diagnoses are used to compare and contrast diagnostic findings with the current case.

Two tumor boards each meet weekly. One is for the solid tumor program and the other is for the neuro-oncology program. The tumor boards are interdisciplinary conferences where all patients newly diagnosed with a malignancy are reviewed. Presenting signs and symptoms, radiological findings, surgical approach, pathologic findings, and plan of treatment, including radiation oncology, are addressed at each conference. Additionally, patients with a change in status or relapse are reviewed.


The first year of training is dedicated to an intensive clinical exposure in hematology, oncology, immunology, and stem cell transplantation. All clinical training is based at Children's National Health System.

Oncology Inpatient Service

Three months of the first year are spent on the oncology inpatient service, which includes caring for both acute and chronic patients.

During the inpatient rotation, the trainee is responsible for:

  • Conducting daily work rounds with the house staff along with a senior resident
  • Providing immediate support and supervision to the house staff and nursing staff
  • Writing all chemotherapy orders
  • Performing all procedures (bone marrow aspirates, bone marrow biopsies, and lumbar punctures with intrathecal chemotherapy)
  • Educating patients and their families on their illness
  • Communicating with patients and their families on the plan of care
  • Communicating with the patient’s primary care physician
  • Obtaining consent for treatment protocols for newly diagnosed oncology patients.

Routine daily orders are handled by the house staff. All activities are performed under the direct supervision of an attending physician in oncology. Oncology consults are seen by the inpatient oncology team.

Hematology Inpatient Service

Three months of the first year are spent on the hematology inpatient service.

During these three inpatient months, the trainee is responsible for:

  • Conducting daily work rounds with the house staff.
  • Providing immediate support and supervision to the house staff and nursing staff
  • Educating patients and their families on their illness
  • Communicating with patients and their families on the plan of care
  • Communicating with the patient’s primary care physician and coordinating care for the patient.

All activities are performed under the direct supervision of an attending physician in hematology oncology. Hematology consultations are performed by the inpatient hematology team. Occasionally, immunology consultations also will be done by the hematology fellow.

Stem Cell Transplantation Service

Two months of the first year are spent on the stem cell transplantation service.

The trainee is responsible for:

  • Conducting morning rounds
  • Supervising all aspects of the patient's care
  • Communicating with patients and their families
  • Performing all procedures (lumbar punctures, bone marrow aspirates and biopsies, bone marrow harvest, and skin biopsies)

All activities are performed under the direct supervision of an attending in stem cell transplantation. Immunology consults are seen by the BMT/Immunology team.


For consultations, the trainee is responsible for:

  • The initial evaluation
  • Formulation of a diagnostic approach and therapeutic plan of action
  • Review of the literature
  • Communicating recommendations with the referring team
  • Providing follow up on further evaluation and management

All activities are reviewed and directly supervised by either an attending physician in hematology, oncology, or immunology.

Leukemia/Lymphoma and Solid Tumor Patients

Fellows identify new patients with leukemia/lymphoma and solid tumors which will be their patients to follow longitudinally for three years. Fellows will have a one-half day continuity clinic for managing these patients. One new hematology patient will be filtered into the fellows’ continuity clinics each week in order to get exposure to the hematology new patient consultation. Fellows in their third year will go to neuro-oncology clinic every other week alternating with their continuity clinic. Fellows also will rotate into the procedure schedule once every eight weeks in the second and third year to maintain their procedural skills.

Outpatient Oncology Clinic

Fellows will attend the outpatient oncology clinic for one block month and the outpatient hematology schedule for one block month.

Fellows are expected to:

  • Evaluate the patient
  • Develop a diagnostic and therapeutic plan
  • Follow up on outstanding laboratory, radiology, or pathology tests

The fellow is also responsible to perform any procedures required at the visit. All activities are under the direct supervision on an attending in hematology oncology, stem cell transplantation or immunology.

Opportunities for Trainees

Academic Services Assistance Program, provided by the institution, includes training in biostatistics, informatics, software, finance and budget, IRB, leadership training, and medical education.

Second and third year trainees have the opportunity to present topics for the residents and medical students during attending rounds, the Resident Core Lecture series, professorial rounds, and medical student education conferences.

Trainees provide informal teaching through the five-minute preceptor technique as part of their supervisory role in both the inpatient and consultation services.

Educational stipends are given to trainees in the second and third year which may be applied to educational materials and/or attendance at national meetings. First year trainees receive Nathan and Oski’s Hematology of Infancy and Childhood, Pizzo and Poplack Principles and Practices of Pediatric Oncology, and Altman Supportive Care of Children with Cancer.

Trainees are eligible for an adjunct instructor level academic appointment at the George Washington University (GWU) School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Trainees have the opportunity to obtain a Masters in Public Health or a Masters in Clinical and Translational Sciences during their second and third years of training. Course work is offered through the GWU School of Public Health.

How to Apply

How to Apply

We accept applications through ERAS and participate in the NRMP for selection. Required to complete an ACGME pediatric residency:

  • Accept US citizen, Green card, J1 visa and H1b
  • Need to be able to get a District of Columbia (D.C.) medical license
  • Three letters of recommendations

Direct Questions To:

Myisha Braddock
Fellowship Program Coordinator

Dr. Holly Meany
Program Director

We interview one day a week from mid-January through the end of March. Multiple candidates are interviewed on the same day.

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff

Blood and Marrow Transplantation


David Jacobsohn
Evelio Perez-Albuerne  



Michael Guerrera
Jay Greenberg
Emily Meier
Nicole Verdun
Yaser Diab
Deepika Darbari
Naomi Luban
Stephan Ladisch

Nurse Practitioner

Christine Guelcher
Barbara Speller Brown



Anne Angiolillo
Shana Jacobs

Reuven Schore

Nurse Practitioner

Melissa Silva Wills

Solid tumor


Jeff Dome
Holly Meany
Aerang Kim
Leslie Doros
Nita Seibel

Nurse Practitioner

Wendy Fitzgerald
Lizzie Thomson
Katarina Steacy



Brian Rood
Eugene Hwang
Lindsay Kilburn

Nurse Practitioner

Debbie LaFond
Faith Crozier

Northern Virginia Group


Sadhna Shankar
Carly Varela
Elizabeth Yang
Christopher Lawlor
Jennifer Dean

Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant

Kathy Scarbalis

Montgomery County


Jay Greenberg

Nurse Practitioner

Beth Siever

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the call responsibilities for hematology/oncology fellows?

Trainees are required to take call from home during the week and will round on the weekends. This schedule is developed by the trainees and is flexible.


One month of the first year is spent on an elective rotating through transfusion medicine, hematology, special hematology and coagulation laboratory, flow cytometry and cytogenetics.During this month, the trainee learns:

  • The principles of transfusion medicine 
  • The principles of radiation oncology 
  • How to perform and interpret testing in the special hematology and coagulation laboratory 
  • Review of peripheral smears 
  • How to interpret flow cytometric results 
  • Exposure to the technical areas in medical cytogenetics. 

Outpatient Clinic and Continuity of Care

Current second and third year trainees have one-half day per week dedicated to outpatient clinic and continuity of care. This time is spent increasing he trainees’ knowledge in a selected sub-specialty area of interest and in developing an appreciation for and an understanding of the longitudinal nature of hematology and oncology care. This has been transitioned for the first year fellows to a weekly one-half day continuity based clinic. The fellows will have the responsibility of managing all aspects of their patients’ care from diagnosis to completion of therapy to follow up and management of relapse if necessary.

Q: What are the benefits?

  • Health, Dental, Vision
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Life Insurance
  • Annual & Sick Leave
  • Disability Insurance
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Backup Child and Elder Care

A detailed summary of all benefits can be found in our Benefits Guide.

Debbie Lafond's Story

Debbie Lafond

Debbie Lafond began her career at Children’s National in 1991 as a clinical coordinator of the IV therapy team, and joined the department of Hematology/Oncology a year later as an advanced practice clinician.

Read More of Debbie Lafond's Story