Fellows’ Track at Breast Cancer Symposium Provides Multidisciplinary Environment for Learning, Networking

Apr 16, 2014

The Breast Cancer Symposium, cosponsored by ASCO, offers special opportunities for early-career oncologists to network with colleagues and expert faculty and pursue focused learning with a Fellows’ Track of ticketed sessions limited to resident, fellow, and junior faculty attendees. Trainee and early-career attendees of the 2014 Breast Cancer Symposium (September 4-6, San Francisco, CA) can register for a networking reception and an educational session on evaluating scholarly articles.

Cory A. Donovan, MD, attended her first Breast Cancer Symposium in 2013 as a part of the Fellows’ Track and was a 2013 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Award recipient. Dr. Donovan is in her fifth year of general surgery residency at Oregon Health & Science University.

Why did you attend the Breast Cancer Symposium?
Dr. Donovan:
Attending the Symposium was an excellent opportunity to learn more about the latest research in breast cancer care in a truly multidisciplinary environment. After a year in the research lab, the meeting was an opportunity to connect with others who share my interests and to refine my career goals. The General Poster sessions allowed me to discuss our lab’s work with other researchers from a variety of disciplines. The other attendee’s excellent questions pushed my understanding of our results and helped me develop future directions for research. One of the best aspects of the program was the Fellow’s Track, which had specific sessions designed for fellows, residents, and early-career faculty.

What were some of the highlights of the Fellow’s Track?
Dr. Donovan:
The networking reception was quite valuable. I had the opportunity to meet several faculty members and recent graduates of breast surgical oncology fellowship programs. The design of the room and the format of the event encouraged mingling, which enabled me to meet a number of breast surgeons at varying points in their careers. As someone planning to apply to breast fellowship programs in the next year, hearing their encouragement and tips for the application process was invaluable. I left energized about my choice of breast oncology and had a clear idea of what the application process would look like.

I also enjoyed the “Best of Journals: Literature Review” session, which discussed important papers in a number of disciplines, and the “How to Give a Talk and How to Write a Paper” session. Although I had already written a paper and given a talk in the past, I left the session with notes filling my program. It was very helpful to hear about ways to structure my research that would enable a more seamless construction of a well-crafted paper. The specific tips on presentation delivery were also helpful. With so much information to share in a short time, it is difficult to determine how to choose information for presentation and how to structure the presentation in a clear and engaging way. The lectures on this topic were thoughtfully presented and were very practical. The smaller number of attendees at these sessions made it very easy to ask questions and to participate in a dialogue about the material.

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