About the Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program

Welcome to the Hematology-Oncology Fellowship training program website.  We are incredibly proud of our fellows, our program, our institution, and our city. The VCU medical campus boasts state-of-the-art clinical, research, educational, and simulation facilities. But, what makes the VCU experience so rich and the learning climate optimal is the supportive, experienced faculty and the collegiality of the fellows. We invite you to explore our website and learn more about what VCU has to offer you educationally. Throughout the site you will find perspectives from our fellows to give you insight into the VCU Hemotology-Oncology Fellowship Training Program.

Welcome from the Program Director

Welcome from the Program Director

Welcome from the Program Director

Welcome to the VCU Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Training program. When I became the program director in 2011, we embarked upon an expansion from six fellows to twelve with one goal in mind—to provide the time and opportunity for each fellow to pursue her/his personal educational, scholarly, and professional aspirations. In 2020, we began a further expansion to fifteen fellows, with the first class of five fellows arriving July1, 2020. In 2020, we are again recruiting for five fellowship positions to start their hematology-oncology training in July 2021.  As you consider your choices of programs to complete your fellowship training, I encourage you to explore our web-site as well as our program's educational blog.

Read more

Curriculum

Conferences

Vacation Time
Each fellow is allowed three weeks of vacation per training year. The time is generally taken as either one of the following:

  • Three 7-day vacations
  • One 7-day vacation and one 14-day vacation.

Additionally, each fellow is given five days off during the December holiday period.

Night Coverage
The hematology-oncology fellows provide at-home night and weekend coverage for the outpatient clinic patients, in-hospital consults, and requests for admission/transfer to the hematology and oncology teams. The fellows are expected to return to the hospital as needed while on call to see urgent consults which are then staffed with the attending physician on call. Additionally, the attending physicians provide back-up, supervision, and escalation along with feedback on the triage decisions made by the fellow. Nighttime at-home call is provided by the fellows on the inpatient hematology and inpatient oncology services.

Fellows' Perspectives on the Program

"The attendings are always available for any type of support and they care about our education."

James Qu, MD
Class of 2018

Internal medicine residents and faculty members provide in-house coverage for admissions and cross-coverage related to the inpatient hematology and oncology services at night.

The bone marrow transplant services are covered separately. They have an in-house nurse practitoners.  While on the inpatient and ambulatory bone marrow transplant services, the fellow takes night call from home (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), alternating with the transplant attendings as back-up to the in-house practitioner.

Weekend Coverage
Fellows are given one day off in seven averaged over each 2-week block while on the inpatient hematology, inpatient oncology, hematology consults, VA consults, and the bone marrow transplant services. All elective rotations are weekdays only unless on at-risk pull schedule.
When on consult call over a weekend, the fellows see during the day all new consults at both the VCU and Veterans hospitals, which are then staffed with the attending on call for the weekend. Additionally, the on-call fellow rounds on existing consults followed at the VCU and Veterans hospitals as determined by the consult team at the time of weekend check-out or as warranted by changes in a patient’s condition.

GME Resident & Fellow Well-Being
Graduate Medical Education training is not easy. With the GME Physician Well-being program, we first and foremost assert our commitment to your well-being, resilience and all aspects of a healthy lifestyle. VCU and VCUHealth are dedicated to ensuring that you have the tools you need to be your best. (Learn more)

All About VCU, VCUHealth, and RVA
First things first. We fondly refer to Richmond as RVA.  People love this city because it’s awesome. And Virginia Commonwealth University is in the middle of it all.  Learn more about VCU, VCUHealth, and RVA!

J. Christian Barrett, MD

J. Christian Barrett, MD

Program Director

J. Christian Barrett, MD

J. Christian Barrett, MD

Program Director

Internal Medicine

Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care

Email: john.barrett@vcuhealth.org

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View Faculty Expertise Profile

Steven R. Grossman, MD, PhD

Steven R. Grossman, MD, PhD

Division Chair

Steven R. Grossman, MD, PhD

Steven R. Grossman, MD, PhD

Division Chair

Internal Medicine

Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care

Email: steven.grossman@vcuhealth.org

Read More

View Faculty Expertise Profile

Additional Faculty

Class of 2023

Dr. Berkman

Jonathan Berkman, MD
Medical School:  Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Scranton, PA
Residency: Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA


Dr. Bouligny

Ian Bouligny, MD
Medical School:  Louisiana State University School of Medicine Shreveport, LA
Residency: Internal Medicine, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC


Dr. Kolipakkam

Bharadhwaj Kolipakkam, MBBS
Medical School:  Chengalpattu Medical School, India
Residency: Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA


Dr. Oduah

Eziafa Oduah, MD, MPH, MsC
Medical School:  Rostov State Medical University, Russia
Residency: Internal Medicine, Berkshire Medical Center, Pittsfield, MA


Dr. Rhea

Logan Rhea, DO
Medical School:  Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine Virginia Campus, Blacksburg, VA
Residency: Internal Medicine, Inova Fairfax Internal Medicine Residency Program, Fairfax, VA
Chief Resident:  Internal Medicine, Inova Fairfax Internal Medicine Residency Program, Fairfax, VA


Class of 2022

Dr. Benson

Zachary Benson, MD
Medical School:  University of Nevada School of Medicine
Residency: Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Chief Resident: Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA


Dr. Hanson

Laura Hanson, MD
Medical School: Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Residency: Internal Medicine, University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville, VA


Dr. Kothadia

Sejal Kothadia, MD
Medical School: St. George’s University School of Medicine, West Indies, Grenada
Residency: Internal Medicine, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School Program- Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Chief Resident: Internal Medicine, UMDNJ - Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers, New Jersey


Dr. Sindel

Ariel Sindel, DO 
Medical School: Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA


Class of 2021

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Baijia Jiang, MD
Medical School: University of Maryland School of Medicine
Residency: Internal Medicine, California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, CA


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John McKay, DO
Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: Internal Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN


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Hank Ng, MD
Medical School: University of Vermont College of Medicine
Residency: Internal Medicine, University of Vermont Medical Center, Burlington VT


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Kevin Sing, MD
Medical School: Eastern Virginia Medical School
Residency: Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond VA


Class of 2020

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Scott Graupner, MD
Medical School: Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine- Virginia Campus
Residency: Internal Medicine, Georgia Health Sciences University
Chief Resident:  Internal Medicine, Georgia Health Sciences University


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Toshihisa Satta, MD
Medical School: Tokyo Medical and dental University Faculty of Medicine
Residency: Internal Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center


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Taha Mahdi Salih Al-Juhaishi, MD
Medical School: Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar
Residency: Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA


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Mahmood Rasheed, MD
Medical School: Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
Residency: Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA


Alumni

Eligibility Requirements

Virginia Commonwealth University Health Systems can only support J-1 visas.

How To Apply

The Hematology-Oncology fellowship training program at VCU is a participant in the NRMP match. All applications will be accepted through ERAS and follow ERAS deadlines.

Required Documentation

  • Application
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • USMLE score reports
  • Medical School Transcripts
  • MPSE
  • A personal statement
  • 4 letters of recommendation, including one from your program director 
  • A photograph


If applicable, please provide the following:

  • ECFMG certificate 
  • Medical School Diploma (with translation if necessary)

Interviews

Application Timeline

We will review applications from July 15 through August 31. Invitations to interview will be issued by September 30.

Interview dates for 2020 are:

  • Monday, September 14, 2020
  • Tuesday, September 15, 2020
  • Friday, September 18, 2020
  • Monday, September 21, 2020
  • Tuesday, September 22, 2020
  • Friday, September 25, 2020
  • Monday, September 28, 2020
  • Tuesday, September 29, 2020
  • Friday, October 2, 2020
  • Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Interview Information

Interviews are conducted on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. Applicants can expect to arrive shortly before 8 a.m. for a full day.

The interview day consists of the following:

  • introduction to the program, division, and Massey Cancer Center
  • interviews with VCUHS and VA-based faculty
  • tour of the VCUHS facilities
  • lunch with current fellows
  • a mini driving tour of the Richmond area while en route to the VA Medical Center

Interview days typically end by 4:30 PM. A sample itinerary is provided to give you a general sense of how we structure the day. See sample intinerary here. 

Attention:  In support of our applicants, we will be flexible in providing virtual and on-site fellowship interview opportunities.  We understand that applicants may have restrictions on travel during this time.  Our interview schedule may change as we approach the late summer and fall.  We appreciate your patience and understanding; we will absolutely work to accommodate all applicants as best possible during the COVID pandemic.

Hematology and Oncology Fellowship Program Office
1101 East Marshall Street
Box 980230
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0230

Program Director

J. Christian Barrett, M.D.
Email: john.barrett@vcuhealth.org

Associate Program Director

Sarah Gordon, DO
Email: sarah.gordon@vcuhealth.org

Uzma Athar, MD
Email: uzma.athar2@va.gov

Program Coordinator

Cesley Watkins
VCU School of Medicine
Department of Internal Medicine
Box 980509
Richmond, VA 23298-0509 
Phone: (804) 828-9726
Email: imfellowships@vcuhealth.org