Explore the Surgical Oncology Breast Fellowship

Overview

The program will provide intensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of these diseases, experience in a multidisciplinary approach to treatment planning and opportunities for collaborative clinical and basic research.

The fellowship is based at Massachusetts General Hospital and includes rotations at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. We are a Breast SPORE site. The clinical practice treats more than 2000 new breast cancers per year and accrual to clinical trials runs at more than 200 enrollments per month.

Candidates for the fellowship must be board-eligible graduates of a general surgery residency program.

Curriculum

Educational Objectives for Breast Surgery Fellow:

  • Become familiar with diagnosis, decision-making and treatment of all stages of breast cancer and benign breast disease
  • Become familiar with management of patients at increased risk for breast cancer, and understand genetic and other risk factors
  • Refine breast surgery skills by working with breast surgeons in the operating room
  • Gain familiarity with the principles and practices of other collaborating disciplines including breast imaging, medical oncology, pathology, and radiation oncology
  • Participate in the design and conduct of clinical trials and clinical research
  • Participate in national cooperative clinical trials group activities
  • Participate in the organization and conduct of weekly educational conferences and resident education activities
  • Increase expertise in presenting clinical and research data in formal and informal presentations
  • Prepare a clinical research project for presentation and publication

Clinical Experience

Throughout the one-year fellowship, the fellow will spend time in:

  • The operating room
  • The Gillette Center for Breast Cancer in multidisciplinary sessions for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients
  • Screening, diagnostic and follow-up office sessions
  • In the first part of the year, the fellow will spend time in collaborating specialties including medical oncology, radiation oncology, breast imaging, and breast pathology

Current Fellows

Meghan Garstka

Meghan E. Garstka, MD, MS

Post Graduate Education:
2008-2009: Tulane University, Cell and Molecular Biology, MS
2009-2013: Tulane University School of Medicine, MD
2013-2020: Tulane University School of Medicine, General Surgery Residency
2017-2018: Tulane University School of Medicine, Research General Surgery

Dr. Garstka was born in the city of Chicago and moved with her parents to the suburb of Park Ridge. She then moved to Nashville, Tennessee to attend college at Vanderbilt University. At Vanderbilt, she double majored in Cell and Molecular Biology and Spanish, with a minor in General Music, continuing her studies of piano and oboe throughout her college years. She also defended a thesis to obtain Honors in Spanish during this time. She moved to New Orleans for graduate school at the Tulane University School of Science and Engineering, where she completed a Master of Science degree in Cell and Molecular Biology. She remained in New Orleans for medical school at Tulane University School of Medicine (TUSOM), where she was a member of the inaugural class of the DeBakey Scholars Program, a four-year mentored research program. She was also passionate about community health during medical school at Tulane and was the first clinic coordinator for the student-run Fleur de Vie free clinic in New Orleans East, and a founding member of the TUSOM Interclinic Council. She remained at Tulane for her General Surgery Residency and also completed a research year.

Meghan has achieved numerous awards and accolades including; the Tulane Humanitarian Award, the Matas Clinical Research Award, and the American Thyroid Association Trainee Grant. In 2018 Meghan received a grant from the Society of Surgical Oncology to present her research poster at the Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology in Xiamen, China. Most recently, in January 2020, she was designated the first-place winner for the Cancer Paper Competition at the Louisiana Chapter of the American College of Surgeons Annual Meeting.

 

Halley Vora

Halley Vora, MD

Post Graduate Education:
2010-2014: Temple University School of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine
2014-2020: Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Internship and General Surgery Residency

Dr. Vora is originally from Southern California but has lived in many places all over the United States in pursuit of education and new experiences. She completed her undergraduate studies at Union College in upstate New York, earning her Bachelors’ degree in science with honors. She then attended medical school at the Temple University, Lewis Katz School of Medicine in Philadelphia. It was there that she fell in love with surgery, leading her to move back to the west coast to complete a general surgery residency at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. During her residency, she was drawn to breast surgical oncology due to the multidisciplinary and patient centered nature of care. She dedicated a year to pursue research in breast cancer, focusing on practice patterns, outcomes, quality improvement, and surgical education.

Halley won several honors and awards during her educational time including the prize from the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons for her resident research presentation in 2017. She also received recognition for the best poster at the Pacific Coast Surgical Association and the Herman Brown Excellence in Surgery Award while she was a medical student.