UF Hematology/Oncology Fellowship named UF GME Program of the Year

The University of Florida Hematology/Oncology Fellowship has been recognized as the UF Graduate Medical Education Program (GME) of the Year. It was selected from among 83 ACGME-accredited programs and nearly 50 non-ACGME-accredited programs offered at the University of Florida.  

Nominations for the prestigious award came from housestaff only and a GME selection committee chose the winner. The Hematology/Oncology Fellowship team accepted the award, which includes a $1,000 professional development stipend for the program, during the UF College of Medicine Celebration of Excellence in Medical Education on April 2.  

"I am deeply honored and excited by this award, which is a testament to all of the people who devote their time, energy and love to the fellowship. Our team cares so much about educating the next generation of oncologists and to see their care and hard work recognized means a lot. This is an award for all of us.”

– Martina Murphy, M.D., an associate professor in the division of hematology and oncology who has directed the fellowship for the past five years

Martina Murphy, M.D.

The fellowship is a comprehensive and specialized training program designed to prepare fellows for successful careers as hematologist and oncologists. The program combines clinical excellence, research experience, teaching opportunities and career mentorship to prepare fellows to make significant contributions to the field through patient care, research advancements and education. 

Martina Murphy, M.D., leads the fellowship with Jess DeLaune, M.D., an assistant professor and genitourinary oncologist at the Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center who serves as associate program director; Carol Mathew, M.D., an assistant professor and non-malignant hematologist who serves as assistant program director; and Shelby Thompson, the research fellowship program assistant. 

Martina Murphy, Jess Delaune, Carol Mathew, and Shelby Thompson
The Hematology/Oncology Fellowship team from left: Shelby Thompson, Carol Mathew, M.D., Martina Murphy, M.D., and Jess DeLaune, M.D.

“Our division has a long history of providing outstanding educational opportunities to trainees, and there is a culture of excellence in clinical education,” said Merry Jennifer Markham, M.D., FACP, FASCO, a professor and chief of the division of hematology and oncology who serves as associate director for clinical affairs at the UF Health Cancer Center. “Dr. Murphy and the fellowship program leadership have done a wonderful job of providing and spearheading the education and training for the fellows. The generation of physicians trained by this fellowship program have been and will continue to be extraordinarily well-trained for their future careers. They will serve their patients and their communities well.” 

Over the past several years under Murphy’s leadership, the fellowship has enhanced its strong focus on intentional career development and mentorship to prepare fellows for all types of oncology careers. 

A new daylong career development retreat allows fellows to explore pathways in academia, industry, community and private and federal sectors. Fellows craft and implement a detailed, goal-oriented career development plan and have regular meetings with a mentorship team to ensure they stay on track throughout their fellowship and connect with necessary internal and external resources. Fellows are also encouraged to seek mentors across disciplines and colleges based on their interests, and they benefit from monthly research meetings and a close connection with the UF Health Cancer Center. 

“We operate on the philosophy that it takes all kinds of oncologists to take care of patients with cancer. We’re very open and honest that there are so many different ways to build a successful and fulfilling career in hematology and oncology. Incorporating mentors across disciplines opens up new ways to further our trainees’ careers and advance science.” 

– Martina Murphy, M.D.

This year, the program also adjusted the weekly educational didactics to allow for better preparation for the board without affecting clinical duties. By maintaining an open dialogue for feedback through regular meetings and an open-door policy to discuss issues, the leadership has made the curriculum more engaging and educational.  

Martina Murphy, M.D., accepts the GME Program of the Year Award during the UF College of Medicine Celebration of Excellence in Medical Education on April 2.

“The program leadership is very close to the fellows and takes feedback seriously; changes happen quickly,” one nominee wrote. “This plays a huge role in fellows’ wellness and clinical experience.” 

Going forward, Murphy aims to support fellows with more niche career goals, such as pursuing dual certification in medical oncology and palliative care, through added programming. Additionally, she hopes to encourage the career development of oncology physician-scientists through eventual participation in the American Board of Internal Medicine Physician Scientist Training Program. 

For Murphy, who also received the College of Medicine Phase 1 Teacher of the Year Award for teaching Introduction to Clinical Medicine at the Celebration of Excellence on April 2, the fellowship award represents a full-circle moment. Murphy completed all her medical training at UF, including the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship.  

“Everything about who I am as a practicing oncologist and my own career has been shaped by this program and the phenomenal mentorship I received, so to be able to play a role in giving back to our trainees means everything to me,” Murphy said. “My ultimate hope is that all our trainees will go out into their respective fields with the skills and knowledge needed for a successful career and give back to the oncology trainees and other learners around them.”

“The most meaningful part of education is the forever ripple effect of learning.”

– Martina Murphy, M.D.
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