Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy:
Clinical and Administrative Sciences
Residency Program Director
The University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy
Oklahoma City, OK
Building Bridges to Conquer Cancer, the theme of the 2013 annual American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting held in Chicago, IL, is an appropriate goal of all healthcare practitioners who specialize in hematology/oncology, including postgraduate year 2 (PGY-2) oncology pharmacy residents. The question is this: how can we foster a resident’s ability to obtain the skills and knowledge needed to become an integral member of this bridge-building team?
Typical oncology residency programs provide a variety of educational and clinical opportunities to facilitate a resident’s knowledge of hematology/oncology. These include the review of the pathophysiology of cancer, disease state reviews, a comprehensive review of chemotherapy agents, and access to patients to integrate all of this information and hone the resident’s clinical skills. Residency programs in oncology pharmacy usually rely heavily on comprehensive guidelines such as the guidelines from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and published primary literature to accomplish these goals.
Attending national meetings is commonly limited to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association. Although these meetings provide valuable educational and networking opportunities, residents typically focus on presentation of their research and obtaining employment to start their career. In addition, these meetings have a narrow focus that is limited to the practice of pharmacy.
In order to become a member of a team that is “building bridges to conquer cancer,” a resident will have to assimilate knowledge from national and international meetings (as well as comprehensive guidelines) that their colleagues will be using to make decisions in the care of cancer patients. One way for residents to broaden the base of their knowledge is to attend the meetings that other healthcare practitioners host. Oncology pharmacy residents’ opportunities to attend these meetings are limited by meeting locations, budgetary concerns, and the lack of continuing education credit programs in pharmacy at some of these meetings.
The Resident Reporter Program was developed to provide access to meetings around the world with the goal of giving PGY-2 oncology residents enhanced opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge needed to integrate into an oncology team. To make the benefits of the program more widely available, the resident who attends the practice-changing sessions prepares a report on the major findings of these conferences. Here we present this report on current research findings in hematology/oncology around the world by an oncology pharmacy resident for oncology pharmacy residents and other healthcare practitioners in hematology/oncology specialties.
In this second year of the program, we sent PGY-2 oncology resident Brian Dinh, PharmD, of The University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy to attend these meetings:
- The American Urological Association (AUA) Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA, on May 4-8, 2013
- The ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, on May 31-June 4, 2013
- The 18th Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA) in Stockholm, Sweden, on June 13-16, 2013
- The Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer/International Society of Oral Oncology (MASCC/ISOO) International Symposium on Supportive Care in Cancer in Berlin, Germany, on June 27-29, 2013.
During these meetings, Dr Dinh was able to hear and synthesize data presented for the first time, hear long-term updates of trials previously presented, obtain information to assist in the supportive care of hematology/oncology patients, and enhance his knowledge of complex cancer pathways. We hope you find Dr Dinh’s report educational and informative as he shares with you some of the knowledge he has gained.