Community Oncology Alliance Launches Oncology Fellows Education Initiative

COA Initiative Will Share Benefits of Community Setting With Oncology Fellows and Education on Factors to Consider When Making Decisions on Where to Practice

Not only will practices and Fellows benefit, but, ultimately, so will patients.”
— Michael Diaz, MD, COA vice president and secretary

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES, August 4, 2017 / -- The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) announces the launch of the COA Fellows Initiative that seeks to engage and educate oncology fellows on the value of practicing in the community setting. The initiative is designed to inform and assist oncology fellows as they prepare for their career in the practice of medicine.

The COA Fellows Initiative is designed to explore all practice setting options, including research, academia, government agency, and hospital or community-based. The initiative is constructed to present a fair and balanced look, not only at the future of hematology and oncology, but also at choices for care delivery. As the only non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for community oncology and, most importantly, the patients they serve, COA members will share their expertise about private practice in the community setting.

Currently, the majority of Americans receive their cancer treatment from a community oncologist. However, research estimates have shown that by 2020, the country will experience a shortage of as much as 3,800 oncologists. At the same time, with the aging population and growing number of survivors due to the increased efficacy of cancer treatment, there will be a significant increase in the need for oncology services. As physicians complete their three-year oncology or hematology fellowship, they have a choice of how and where they will practice. The COA Fellows Initiative will present practice options and discuss the many factors to consider when making those decisions.

“It is imperative that we impart upon oncology fellows the importance of delivering high quality, affordable cancer care in the patient’s own community,” said Mary Kruczynski, director of policy analysis at COA and coordinator of the Fellows initiative. “Equally as important is the sustenance and growth of community oncology as the patient preferred site of care.”

The COA Fellows Initiative will feature local educational sessions for fellows across the country. Currently, presentations are planned in Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas with more to follow. Web based resources are also being added to the COA website at These will include ongoing updates and resources on the initiative, a schedule of presentations, a wide variety of educational materials, and more.

“There are thriving community oncology practices across the country that have a need for new physicians,” said Michael Diaz, MD, COA vice president and secretary. “This program will help both practices looking to expand their physician staff and graduating Fellows looking to join a practice. Not only will practices and Fellows benefit, but, ultimately, so will patients.”

Nicolas Ferreyros
Community Oncology Alliance
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