Yale University Interdisciplinary Breast Fellowship Program

New Haven, Connecticut

Program Director: Brigid Killelea, MD, MPH, FACS

The Yale University  “interdisciplinary breast surgery fellowship” is a one year clinical fellowship that will train future leaders in breast surgical oncology in the multidisciplinary aspects of breast cancer care, including breast surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, breast imaging, pathology, plastic surgery, genetics and high risk, survivorship, and palliative care. Our faculty is committed to world-class patient care, education and research and our program is designed to provide trainees with all the necessary skills needed to become leaders in breast cancer treatment and research. Our Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven (a beautiful state-of-the-art 15 story facility) is fully accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), an accrediting body administered by the American College of Surgeons.  The Center’s affiliation with Yale Cancer Center makes it the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the Northeast to also have the NAPBC accreditation. Yale Cancer Center is a collaboration between nationally and internationally renowned scientists and physicians at Yale School of Medicine and Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. This partnership enables the Center to provide the best approaches for prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment for cancer.

The Program

The fellowship at Yale is designed to train outstanding breast surgeons with a foundation of interdisciplinary breast cancer management with an apprenticeship model in breast surgery (six months), discipline-specific rotations (six months) and requirements for research. The discipline-specific rotations include medical oncology, radiation oncology, breast imaging, pathology, plastic surgery, high risk and genetics, survivorship and palliative care. During the six months dedicated to the surgical management of breast cancer, the fellow is allocated one-to-one mentorship by each of the four breast attending surgeons and fellows are dedicated to that particular attending’s service; they see patients with them in the clinic, and operate with the attending to which they have been assigned. Having this one-on-one mentorship not only provides outstanding exposure to how each attending does things, but also provides continuity of care and ensures that patients are seen through the spectrum of perioperative workup, intraoperative intervention, through postoperative management. The fellow’s training and experience in multidisciplinary management of the breast patient is guaranteed in a number of ways. The fellow rotates through a myriad of breast specialties, each of which have close collaborations with the others, so he/she sees firsthand the multidisciplinary care that takes place. We all work in the same space, and so day-to-day management of patients is totally integrated. In addition, he/she attends our multidisciplinary tumor board, and is exposed to how the intricacies of management of breast cancer patients intersect between various specialties. Community outreach is intended to occur concurrently with other rotations. The Program Director coordinates these efforts and an expectation is set that the fellow should participate in at least two community outreach events per year.

Educational Conferences

The fellow will have an opportunity to participate in multiple teaching conferences throughout the year including the weekly Multidisciplinary Breast Tumor Board as well as our bi-monthly Breast Clinical Series lectures (with topics covering the year’s curriculum presented by experts in the breast cancer field) including one presentation by the fellow at the end of the program year. There are many other rotation-specific educational opportunities throughout the year such as weekly surgical grand rounds and QI conferences, medical oncology, radiation oncology and Pathology Grand Rounds and various breast oncology lectures. The fellow also attends rotation-specific journal clubs and presents at our monthly breast journal club where specialists from the multidisciplinary team are invited. 

Research, Publication, and Presentation

The Yale School of Medicine has extraordinary strength in the basic sciences and consistently ranks in the top handful of medical schools receiving funding from the National Institutes of Health. At the beginning of the fellowship year, the fellow meets with the Program Director and does a self-assessment of how much previous experience he/she has with research methods. If the fellow does not feel comfortable with particular aspects of research methods, arrangements are made for them to take courses through the Investigative Medicine Program at Yale, Introduction to Biostatistics, Principles of Clinical Research, Ethical and Practical Issues in Clinical Investigation and Seminars in Clinical Investigation. With the teaching guidance of the breast oncology attendings, the fellow is strongly encouraged to submit abstracts (with the goal of receiving a merit award) to all major national breast and surgical oncology meetings. The fellow will attend conferences where abstracts have been accepted. Under the breast faculty guidance, the fellow will also prepare manuscripts for final submission. The Breast Center has also implemented a “mini-symposium” to provide a forum for fellows who have been invited for oral presentations at national meetings. This allows for constructive feedback in a more informal setting from attendees that include experts from all disciplines of breast cancer, thus enhancing the quality of their presentation. 

Clinical Trials

On nearly every rotation, the fellow will be exposed to clinical trial patient enrollment, as trials are ongoing in nearly every specialty. This includes cooperative group trials – particularly as Yale is a main member of SWOG, and has access to other trials through CTSU. In terms of trial development, the fellow will get exposure through the weekly clinical trials’ meetings (particularly on medical oncology), as well as through research meetings with the Program Director and other faculty. The fellow will also participate in the design and conduct of clinical trials as well as prospective and retrospective clinical research.  

Eligibility

One fellowship position is available. This is a one year program. To be eligible, applicants must be BE/BC in General Surgery, able to be licensed in Connecticut, and approved by the Yale Medical Group. Yale is an equal opportunity, affirmative-action employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Contact Information

Training Program Director: Brigid Killelea, MD, MPH, FACS
Associate Professor, Department of Surgery

Address: Yale School of Medicine
20 York Street
North Pavilion, First Floor
New Haven, CT 06510

Phone:
203-200-1518
Breast Center:
203-200-2328
Fax:
203-200-2503
Email:
brigid.killelea@yale.edu

Breast Fellowship Coordinator: Janine Hoffmann
Email: janine.hoffmann@yale.edu
Phone: 203-200-1518
Fax:  203-200-2503


203-200-1518