Breast Oncology Track


This is a 1-2 year experience available to a 2nd/3rd year Fellow in Hematology/Oncology interested in intensive training in the field of Breast Oncology including clinical, research, and educational components.


Medicine - Hematology/Oncology

  • Marie E. Wood, MD, Professor of Medicine, Director, Familial Cancer Program (Track supervisor)
  • Kim Dittus, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine
  • Farrah Khan, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine
  • Patricia O'Brien, MD, Director of Lymphedema Clinic

Surgical Oncology

  • Seth Harlow, M.D., Associate Professor of Surgery, Director of Breast Clinic
  • David Krag, MD, Professor of Surgery
  • Ted James, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery
  • Michelle Sowden, DO, Assistant Professor of Surgery


  • Donald Weaver MD, Professor of Pathology
  • Gladwyn Leiman, MBBCh, Professor and Director of Cytopathology
  • Abiy Ambaye, MD, Associate Professor of Pathology
  • Andrew Goodwin, MD Assistant Professor of Pathology


  • Robert Oppenheimer, MD, Professor of Radiology
  • Betsy Sussman, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology - Maternal Fetal and Professor of Radiology
  • Sally Hershorn, MD, Associate Professor of Radiology

Radiation Oncology

  • Ruth Heimann, MD, Professor of Radiology
  • Deborah Rubin, MD, Associate Professor of Radiology

Vermont Cancer Center

  • Jane Lian, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry
  • Janet Stein, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry
  • Joann Sweasy, PhD, Professor, Therapeutic Radiology and Genetics
  • Susan Wallace, PhD, Professor and Chair
  • department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Office of Health Promotion Research

  • Brian Sprague, PhD, Assistant Professor of Surgery

Familial Cancer Program

  • Wendy McKinnon, MS


The overall goal of this program will be to educate physicians regarding the multidisciplinary practice of breast oncology and become familiar with basic science and clinical research pertaining to breast cancer. Participants will:

  • Learn how to evaluate and make multi-modality decisions for treatment of early breast cancer, develop expertise in management of advanced breast cancer as well as breast cancer in the elderly
  • Become familiar with the principal issues in pathologic and other prognostic assessments, as well as special imaging studies employed specifically for the evaluation of breast cancer
  • Understand cancer risk assessment, develop cancer genetic counseling skills and gain experience in use of genetic testing in the prevention and management of hereditary breast cancer syndromes (see related Cancer Genetics Track goals)
  • Appreciate local and national clinical research processes and directions, as well as the scientific and ethical principles of conducting research in the area


  • One weekly half-day session at Breast Multidisciplinary Clinic in addition to regular continuity clinics for a minimum period of 6 months
  • One weekly half-day session at Cancer Genetics clinic in addition to regular continuity clinics for a minimum period of 6 months
  • At least one year of a Fellow continuity clinic will be with Dr. Wood, Dr. Dittus or Dr. Khan caring for breast cancer patients.
  • At least 4 sessions at Lymphedema Clinic
  • Accrue and follow patients on cooperative, investigator initiated, and industry clinical trials
  • Observe breast biopsies and surgical procedures (lumpectomy, partial and total mastectomy, and reconstructive surgery)
  • Observe treatment planning for breast irradiation.
  • Observe imaging related to breast cancer with radiology faculty.
  • Attendance at following meetings:
    • Twice monthly Familial Cancer Program meetings (1st /3rd Wed of the month)
    • Weekly Breast Tumor Board (Thursday 12-1pm)
    • Monthly Breast Protocol Review Committee (2nd Monday 8-9am)
    • Clinical/Laboratory Research Project (REQUIRED): The Fellow will identify a research mentor and is expected to carry out a project with the intention of publishing the results. Fellows are encouraged to either write a research grant proposal under the guidance of a mentor or design and begin accrual to a clinical trial.
  • Consider attendance at national meeting with poster or abstract submission to:
    • ASCO breast cancer sessions and present high impact abstracts at ASCO Review conference
    • Miami Breast Cancer Conference
    • San Antonio Breast Cancer Conference
    • Alliance for Clinical Trials Group meeting
    • Present to survivors at Stowe Weekend of Hope as well as to breast cancer health care providers and staff at annual Vermont Cancer Center breast cancer symposium.

Educational Methods

Didactic Lecture Topics

  • Evaluation and management of early and advanced breast cancer
  • Principles and practice of cancer genetics and counseling
  • Palliative and End of Life Care


  • Review of ASCO MKSAP curriculum in Breast Cancer
  • Textbook of Breast Diseases

Conferences and meeting attendance

  • University of Vermont Medicine, Pathology and Surgical Grand Rounds as well as Vermont Cancer Center Research Seminars pertaining to breast cancer.
  • Miami Breast Cancer Conference (Fully funded)
  • San Antonio Breast Cancer Conference (Partial travel and Dues)
  • Alliance for Clinical Trials Group Meeting

Evaluation Methods:

  • Written evaluation by Dr. Marie Wood
  • Additiona written evaluations as pertinent by research mentor, and supervisors of pertinent electives