The 6-month rotation in oncology is a combined inpatient and outpatient training experience. In the inpatient setting, interns will have the opportunity to complete pre-bone marrow transplant assessments and follow patients throughout the transplant experience, including the outpatient setting. Interns will learn about cancer diagnosis and treatment and brief medical psychotherapy interventions in the inpatient setting including assisting patients at the end of life. Interns will work as part of an inter-professional Bone Marrow Transplant team of physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, and chaplains. Students will attend pre-transplant meetings and can provide ongoing therapy for patients with depression, anxiety, and coping with graft-versus-host disease. In the outpatient setting, interns will complete initial psycho-diagnostic assessments with oncology patients and learn to differentially diagnose psychological disorders in the context of medical illness. They will function as an essential member of a multidisciplinary team providing psychotherapy services for patients with a variety of cancer diagnoses including gynecologic, thoracic, gastro-intestinal, breast, head and neck, melanoma and brain tumors.
Interns will receive a minimum of 1 hour of individual supervision per week. Interns will have the opportunity to participate in the Psychosocial Oncology Seminar which focuses on oncology-related topics essential to the psychosocial care of cancer patients such as psychopharmacology, managing fears of recurrence, suicide risk assessment and management, body image changes, caregiver interventions, “chemobrain,” and how to adapt CBT, ACT, and other psychological intervention techniques in working in the oncology setting. Interns can also participate in the Psychosocial Oncology Case Conference with a variety of learning opportunities in palliative and hospice medicine. Research opportunities are also available depending on the intern’s time and interest.