Nonmalignant hematologic conditions are extremely prevalent and contribute significantly to the global burden of disease. The US health care system may soon face a shortage of specialists in nonmalignant hematology. We sought to identify factors that lead hematologyoncology fellows to pursue (or not to pursue) careers in nonmalignant hematology. Crosssectional, web-based survey distributed to 149 graduates of a hematology-oncology fellowship program at a large academic medical center between 1998 and 2016. Eighty-six out of 149 graduates responded (57.7%); most (59 [68.6%]) practice at an academic medical center. Respondents spend a mean of 61% of their time in clinical practice, 23.7% conducting research, 5.2% in education, and 5.2% in administration. Those in clinical practice spend a mean of 52.1% of their time in solid tumor oncology, 37.5% in hematologic malignancies, and 10% in nonmalignant hematology; only 1 spent >50% of time practicing nonmalignant hematology. Factors most significantly affecting choice of patient population included clinical experience during fellowship and intellectual stimulation of the patient population/ disease type. Factors that could have most significantly influenced a decision to spend more time in nonmalignant hematology included increased exposure/access to role models and mentors and opportunities for better career growth/advancement. Fellowship graduates spend .50% of their time in clinical practice, but almost none spend a significant amount of time practicing nonmalignant hematology. Given the growing number of patients with nonmalignant hematologic conditions and a possible future provider shortage, medical trainees should be encouraged to pursue careers in nonmalignant hematology.
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