FRIDAY, Nov. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Exposure to clinical training and mentorship experiences in hematology throughout training is associated with fellows’ plans to enter hematology-only careers, according to a study published online Oct. 31 in Blood Advances.

Leah E. Masselink, Ph.D., from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and colleagues collected and analyzed data from a survey of 626 hematology/oncology fellows to examine the correlation between training and mentorship experiences and fellows’ plans to enter hematology-only careers.

The researchers found that compared with fellows with oncology-only or combined hematology/oncology career plans, fellows who planned to enter hematology-only careers were significantly more likely to report having clinical training and mentorship experiences in hematology throughout their training. There were positive and significant associations for exposure to hematology patients in medical school and fellowship, hematology research experiences, and hematology mentorship (research collaboration and career coaching) with hematology-only career plans after controlling for prior interest in hematology and demographic characteristics.

“These findings give us a better understanding of why trainees pursue hematology and suggest ways we can be proactive to ensure the supply of hematologists keeps up with demand, particularly in nonmalignant blood diseases, such as sickle cell disease, hemophilia, and other bleeding and clotting disorders,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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