Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Columbus, Ohio

Training Program Director: Lawrence (Drew) Shirley, MD


The Ohio State University Department of Surgery established a Surgical Oncology fellowship in 1977, which was officially endorsed by the Society of Surgical Oncology in 1981 and was among the first to be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) in 2012. 

We accept three fellows each year. During our two year fellowship, 20 months are dedicated to clinical rotations, with 4 months dedicated to a flexible research experience. There is an optional third year available for basic science research.

Upon completion of our fellowship program, approximately 2 out of 3 of our graduates have accepted full academic positions in university programs. The other third have entered community or university-affiliated practice, with over 90% of this group limiting their practice to surgical oncology.

Clinical Rotations

All of the rotations take place at the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Research Institute and the Ohio State University Hospitals. During the two-year fellowship program, the clinical rotations include 18 months on one of our surgical oncology services, one month of radiation oncology, one month in medical oncology, as well as integrated pathology conferences. Our surgical rotations adhere to an apprenticeship model, with month-long rotations focused on 1-2 attendings. Our rotations provide broad-based exposure to complex multidisciplinary care of breast cancer, melanoma, extremity and retroperitoneal sarcoma, pancreatic and liver malignancies, gastric and small bowel cancers, complex colorectal and peritoneal surface malignancies, and tumors of the thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands. The lack of breast, endocrine, and HPB fellowships at Ohio State University allows for optimal exposure to these disease processes for our fellows. Further, our second year of fellowship allows for flexibility to tailor experience to disease sites of interests for our fellows as they transition to junior faculty positions.

Research Opportunities

Fellows are offered either basic or clinical research opportunities making an individualized two-year fellowship program with an optional third year. At present, research programs within the division of surgical oncology include molecular biology of soft tissue sarcomas, thyroid cancer, pancreatic cancer, and melanoma; utilization of radio-guided surgery; application of adoptive immunotherapy; tumor immunology; gene mediated cytotoxic immunotherapy; health services research in neuroendocrine tumors, pancreatic cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, breast cancer, thyroid cancer, gastric cancer, peritoneal malignancies, and melanoma. As well, fellows have opportunities to participate in concept development, implementation, and conduct of clinical trials. The well-established infrastructure of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, as well as research support from our Department of Surgery’s new Center for Surgical Health Assessment, Research & Policy (SHARP) optimizes our fellows’ ability to achieve success in research pursuits.

Grants and Graduate Medical Education

As part of a robust basic science effort, fellows have an opportunity to compete for one of 14 available NCI T32 training grants in cancer research as well obtaining advanced degrees in the Masters of Medical Science Program or in the College of Public Health. Close affiliation with an excellent General Surgery residency program permits exposure of fellows to continued core curriculum in general surgery at the discretion of the fellow.

Meetings and Conferences

Weekly presentations and conferences including weekly Morbidity and Mortality (M&M) conference and Department of Surgery Grand Rounds, our weekly Surgical Oncology Educational Series, and disease specific multidisciplinary conferences (including those focused on breast cancer, melanoma, soft tissue sarcoma, endocrine cancers, neuroendocrine cancers, pancreatic cancer, liver cancers, gastric cancer, and colorectal cancer). Our weekly Educational Series includes didactic lectures presented by faculty, complicated case discussion led by fellows, written and oral CGSO board preparation, as well as a monthly journal club, where seminal papers are discussed along with recent potential practice-changing studies. Monthly meetings include administrative and research meetings in which specific research projects are discussed and critiqued by the oncology faculty.

Clinical Trials

The Arthur G. James Hospital and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center belong to both the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology group and The National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP). Via this relations, our fellows are directly exposed to national protocol and are encouraged to attend cooperative group meetings. As well, our Cancer Center has a weekly, year-long session dedicated to training fellows and junior faculty on the practical aspects of clinical trial design


The Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard Solove Research Institute is a recently constructed 1 million square foot dedicated cancer facility, which opened in December 2014. This state-of-the-art hospital houses 305 beds and 14 operating rooms dedicated to cancer, featuring the latest technology in video integration, intraoperative radiation and imaging, and robotic surgery. 

Contact and Address:

Program Coordinator: Jennifer Long
Address: The Ohio State University 
Department of Surgery/Division of Surgical Oncology
N924 Doan Hall
410 West Tenth Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: (614) 293-0758
Fax: (614) 293-3465
Email: Jennifer.long@osumc.edu