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UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas is ranked as one of the top biomedical institutions in the world. It is home to the research laboratories of hematology-oncology faculty and collaborating investigators in other clinical and basic science departments.
The state-of-the-art facilities in molecular biology, immunology, flow cytometry, cytogenetics, hemostasis and cell biology are closely linked with the hematology-oncology program’s clinical and research initiatives.
UT Southwestern’s distinguished faculty includes four active Nobel laureates and 18 members of the National Academy of Sciences. UT Southwestern recently received a prestigious Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the National Institutes of Health to foster cutting-edge clinical research advancement. The Gill Center is by far the largest Children’s program involved in and supported by the CTSA.
A fundamental mission of an academic medical center is the education of future physicians. The Gill Center incorporates training initiatives into every aspect of its clinical care and research activities. It's on the forefront of clinical education and is the first pediatric subspecialty service at Children’s Health℠ to designate divisional education coordinators who oversee all levels of medical education for medical students and pediatric residents and act as course directors for the pediatric hematology-oncology CME course co-sponsored by UT Southwestern and Children's Health each October.
Pediatric hematology-oncology is one of the core subspecialties for pediatric residents at UT Southwestern. All pediatric interns spend at least four weeks covering the inpatient hematology-oncology service under the supervision of a senior resident. Pediatric residents may also elect, during their first, second or third year, to spend a month in the outpatient clinic at the Gill Center. This rotation allows the residents to learn about and help to care for children with a wide range of hematologic or oncologic conditions which they may never be exposed to in the inpatient setting. Over the course of the month, the residents will spend time in a number of clinics – general hematology, hemophilia, thrombosis, general oncology, neuro-oncology and stem cell transplantation. They are also invited to attend the many educational programs offered by the division, including weekly hemostasis and sickle cell team meetings, a weekly research seminar and tumor board.
During their third year, medical students from UT Southwestern spend eight weeks at Children's Health learning pediatrics. Approximately one-fourth of these students will spend two weeks on the inpatient hematology-oncology service.
Fourth-year medical students have the option to participate in a four-week elective in the outpatient hematology-oncology clinics of the Gill Center. During this elective, the students have an opportunity to see children with cancer and blood disorders, as well as new patients who are referred to the Gill Center for evaluation. This outpatient rotation allows the students to see these children in a more relaxed "normal" setting than is possible in the inpatient area, where our children are often more acutely ill. With prior approval, this elective is also available for a limited number of fourth-year students from other medical schools. They may also do an inpatient externship where they, with close supervision, act as an intern.
The unique Gill Center Summer Internship Program has been a cornerstone of the department's education mission for over a decade. The program allows one or two undergraduate pre-medical or medical students to conduct a clinical research project, attend rounds and clinics, and participate in conferences and seminars. Many past summer interns have become physicians, several of whom are pediatricians. For a number of years the program has received a grant from the American Society of Hematology to cover the stipends. Results of several of the research projects completed by the summer interns have been presented at national meetings and published as manuscripts in journals. The program provides an excellent opportunity for students interested in a career in medicine to see how superb patient care is given in an academic setting.
As the primary pediatric teaching facility for The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, the medical staff at Children’s Health℠ conducts research that is instrumental in developing treatments, therapies and greater understanding of pediatric diseases.