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Stanford University School of Medicine

Stanford, California

Training Program Director: Irene L. Wapnir, MD

Stanford University School of Medicine building

The Breast Fellowship training program at Stanford University School of Medicine is sponsored through the Department of Surgery and the institutional Graduate Medical Education office. The Women’s Cancer Center is within the Stanford Cancer Institute, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center. It provides outpatient multidisciplinary services for women with benign and malignant breast diseases.  Advanced imaging and access to cutting-edge treatments characterize the clinical research enterprise. The Medical Center on the Stanford University campus is a major quaternary care referral center with over 613 beds and 49 operating rooms that is housed in a new state-of-the-art facility that opened in 2019.

Training Program and Rotations

Our breast oncology training program is a Society of Surgical Oncology approved one-year fellowship emphasizing interdisciplinary and longitudinal care of patients.  The educational and training experience is primarily focused on the surgical aspects of breast disease and the treatment of breast cancer while integrating other breast disciplines, including survivorship and fertility services. There are formal rotations in pathology, plastic/reconstructive surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, genetics and breast imaging with faculty who are leaders in their respective fields. The bi-monthly Fellows Forum (with pathology, radiology, radiation and medical oncology fellows) and didactic sessions, as well as institutional lectures, complement and enrich the educational experience.  Other elements of our program include weekly Tumor Boards, surgical Grand Rounds, and Cancer Education series.

Fellows stay connected with the Breast surgical service throughout the year. Interns are assigned to the service throughout the year and PGY3’s for half the year. At least six months of training are spent exclusively on the surgical service working with four breast surgical oncologists. During this rotation, the fellow will achieve expertise in breast conserving techniques, soft tissue mobilization/oncoplastics, lymphatic mapping and sentinel node biopsy as well as nipple-sparing mastectomies. Other examples of the training experience include intraoperative radiotherapy, use of ultrasound in the office and operating room, and fluorescence skin perfusion imaging. Emphasis is placed on the patient journey, longitudinal care and clinical trial participation.  Our multidisciplinary faculty is devoted to teaching and mentoring trainees.

Research, Presentations, and Publications

Recruitment of patients onto phase 1 to 3 clinical trials, translational research protocols and investigator-initiated studies are part of daily activities in clinic at Stanford. We participate in national cooperative oncology group trials including NRG (NSABP, RTOG) and ECOG, in additional to industry-sponsored trials and investigator/institutional-initiated studies.

Fellows are required to develop their own unique clinical research projects and present at national meetings.  It is expected that fellows will complete 1 to 2 manuscripts.

Fellows attend usually two national meetings as well as the SSO-Fellow’s Institute course(s).


Applicants should have completed an approved surgical residency, be Board-eligible or Board-certified, citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Fellows must obtain a valid medical license in the State of California before starting the program.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Department of Surgery values diversity in each of our divisions and training programs and is aware of all aspects of human differences such as socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, language, nationality, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, geography, disability and age.

Diversity improves the educational experience, strengthens our team, makes us more effective problem solvers, and helps us take care of our patients from multi-cultural backgrounds.

It is our goal to create an environment that fosters belonging, respect, and value for all.

Contact Information

Training Program Director:Irene L. Wapnir, MD
Professor of Surgery
Address:Department of Surgery
Stanford University School of Medicine
300 Pasteur Drive #H3625
Stanford, CA 94305-5655
 Email: wapnir@stanford.edu
 Fellowship Coordinator : Audrey Bowler
 Email: abowler@stanford.edu
 Phone: 650-721-5705
 Fax: 650-736-1663
 Website: http://med.stanford.edu/gensurg/
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