Explore the Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship


The Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship is a 12-month clinical oncology training program provided in collaboration by Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). The program will provide intensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer and benign breast disease, 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 2,500 new breast cancers per year and accrual to clinical trials runs at more than 200 enrollments per month.

Fellows can expect to work and apprentice directly with a small group of faculty members that specialize in various disease disciplines. This approach, combined with intensive multidisciplinary experience in breast malignancy management, provide the fellow with a comprehensive skill set. The timing of the completion of research electives will be tailored to the fellow’s academic objectives and goals.

Educational Objectives

The educational objectives for breast surgery fellows include:

  • 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

Schedule & Curriculum

The typical schedule for a fellow includes:

  • Three months of breast surgical oncology rotations at Mass General
  • Three months of breast surgical oncology rotations at BWH
  • Four weeks of breast medical oncology at Mass General and DFCI
  • Four weeks of breast radiation oncology at Mass General
  • Four weeks of breast pathology at Mass General
  • Four weeks of breast radiology including breast ultrasound training at Mass General and BWH
  • Four weeks of breast reconstructive surgery at BWH
  • Two weeks of electives/research tailored to fellow’s long-term goals
  • Two weeks of dedicated time for genetics, social work, psychology oncology and outreach

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

How to Apply

In order to apply for this fellowship, candidates must:

  • Be board-eligible graduates of a general surgery residency program
  • Have completed a residency in an ACGME-accredited general surgery and/or gynecology program in the United States or Canada

Foreign students who have graduated from a medical school accredited by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates are welcome to submit an application.

Required Documents

The following documents must be available through ERAS in order for applicant consideration:

  • ABS in-training exam scores (on application)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Medical school transcript
  • Personal statement
  • At least three letters of recommendation
  • USMLE transcript

Selecting Candidates for Interviews

Applications are selected based on academic achievement and excellence, demonstrations of leadership and personal character.

Please note that we receive many promising applications and, as such, we cannot interview all who apply. Those who are invited will be notified approximately one month prior to the date of the scheduled interview.

The dates for the interview season are usually held late summer/early autumn of the year prior to starting the fellowship. All interviews will take place on one day.

Our Faculty

We are driven by the mission to teach the next generation of surgeon and medical researchers. Our team of expert faculty is comprised of breast oncologists, surgeons and scientists—all of whom will mentor and guide fellows as they grow their skills in the clinic, operating room and research labs.

Mass General Program Director
Michelle Specht, MD

DFCI/BWH Program Director
Tari A. King, MD

Mass General Fellowship Coordinator
Kolleen Taylor, MHMP

BWH/DFCI Fellowship Coordinator
Linda Cutone

Current Fellows

Our Alumni

July 2018 – June 2019
  • Alison Laws, MD—Instructor in Surgery, Harvard Medical School
  • Olga Kantor, MD
July 2017 – June 2018
  • Tara Spivey, MD—Physician, St. Vincent Medical Group in Carmel, IN
July 2016 – June 2017
  • Anvy Nguyen, MD—Assistant Surgeon, Massachusetts General Hospital; Part-time Instructor in Surgery, Harvard Medical School
July 2015 – June 2016
  • Jennifer Plichta, MD—Assistant Professor in Surgery, Duke University in Durham, NC
July 2014 – June 2015
  • Maureen McEvoy, MD—Instructor, Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY
July 2013 – June 2014
  • Barbara Wexelman, MD, MBA—Breast Surgeon, TriHealth in Cincinnati, OH
July 2012 – June 2013
  • Kari Kansal, MD—Breast Surgeon, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA; Instructor in Surgery, Harvard Medical School
July 2011 – June 2012
  • Melissa Camp, MD, MPH—Assistant Professor of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins Breast Center
  • Rachel Greenup, MD, MPH—Assistant Professor of Surgery, Duke Cancer Center/Duke University School of Medicine
July 2010 – June 2011
  • Suzanne Coopey, MD—Assistant in Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital; Instructor in Surgery, Harvard Medical School
July 2009 – June 2010
  • Elizabeth Kim, MD—Breast Surgeon, Sutter Roseville Medical Center in Roseville, CA
July 2008 – June 2009
  • Amanda Wheeler, MD—Clinical Assistant Professor, Breast Surgery, Stanford Women's Cancer Center; Stanford University Medical Center
July 2007 – June 2008
  • Colleen D. Murphy, MD—Medical Director, Porter Comprehensive Breast Care in Denver, CO
July 2006 – June 2007
  • Laurie Kirstein, MD, FACS—Attending Surgeon, Breast Surgery Fellowship Director, Cancer Institute of New Jersey; Assistant Professor, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School/UMDNJ