The six-month rotation in oncology is primarily an outpatient training experience focused on providing psychosocial oncology services to patients at the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. In the outpatient setting, interns will complete initial psycho-diagnostic assessments and learn to differentially diagnose psychological disorders in the context of medical illness.
As an essential member of a multidisciplinary team, interns provide psychotherapy for patients with a variety of cancer diagnoses. Interns will also have opportunities to complete brief cognitive screens to assess cognitive functioning and intervene to assist patients in developing skills to manage treatment-related cognitive effects.
Common presenting problems include depression, anxiety, end of life concerns, survivorship issues, pre-existing mental health diagnoses, fear of cancer recurrence and health worry, difficulty managing treatment and side effects (pain, nausea, fatigue, insomnia, additional medical complications such as graft versus host disease), medical decision making and communication with medical teams and family. There may also be opportunities to help co-facilitate group therapy with the oncology population, including with patients on active treatments and longer-term cancer survivors.
Interns will participate in the psychosocial oncology grand rounds on topics essential to the psychosocial care of cancer patients. Interns can also participate in the psychosocial oncology case conference, a monthly inter-professional meeting where complex patient cases are discussed. Trainees are encouraged to give an educational talk on a topic of their choice as part of the JamesCare for Life Survivorship Programming. Research opportunities are also available.