Medical Oncology Program

Medical Student in the Clinic

Welcome from the Division of Medical Oncology Residency Program Director

Western University’s Medical Oncology Postgraduate Training Program is a hidden gem within Southwestern Ontario and we are fortunate to have over 20 faculty with a wealth of specialized skill and knowledge in all aspects of research and education, most of whom have advanced degrees, training and experience in their respective areas.

The two-year program offers a diverse array of exceptional training in all core competencies outlined by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Our program is comprehensive and designed to train residents to work with diverse patient populations and in diverse practice settings. Residents in our program have access to many additional clinical, academic and research training opportunities throughout the program. 

The most unique feature of our program is that the residents in Medical Oncology work one-on-one with the medical oncologists. This affords the greatest amount of teaching and commitment to excellence as residents develop independent diagnostic and therapeutic skills over the two-year training period. Also, towards the end of the first year of training, the residents participate in a weekly Resident Longitudinal clinic, and has its own primary nurse assigned to work with the resident. Residents attend to patients in this clinic until the completion of their oncology training. This allows the residents to manage patients throughout the full course of their treatment, and augments their clinical skills, confidence and consultant level abilities in order to be better prepared for independent practice. 

The residency program is conducted at one main site within the London Regional Cancer Program (LRCP) which is part of the Victoria Campus of London Health Sciences Centre. However, several Medical Oncologists also run weekly clinics in 2 peripheral community hospitals in St. Thomas and Woodstock, which allows the residents the opportunity for built-in community oncology experience.

We welcome you to further explore the information herein that further supports our commitment to training and education in the Medical Oncology Residency program.

Dr. Kylea Potvin
Division of Medical Oncology Residency Program Director
Western University, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Residents and Fellows

PGY4

Dr. Suga Lakkunarajah      Dr. Priya Patel      Dr. Beatrice Preti 
   Dr. S. Lakkunarajah                   Dr. P. Patel                             Dr. B Preti 

PGY5

Dr. Jasna Deluce
         Dr. J. Deluce

Fellows

  • TBA

To learn more about our residents, please visit our Residents & Fellows page.

Application and Appointment of Trainees

Applications are made to the Program Director through CaRMS for positions beginning July 1 of the following year.  The London Regional Cancer Program will host their interviews on September 9, 2021.

Medical Staff: Medical Oncologists

  • Dr. P. Blanchette, Medical Oncologist & UGME Program Director
  • Dr. D. Breadner, Medical Oncologist
  • Dr. S. Ernst, Medical Oncologist
  • Dr. R. Fernandes, Medical Oncologist & Fellowship Director
  • Dr. K. Hahn, Medical Oncologist & Interim Chair/Chief of Oncology
  • Dr. S. Kuruvilla, Medical Oncologist
  • Dr. J. Lenehan, Medical Oncologist
  • Dr. D. Logan, Medical Oncologist
  • Dr. A. Lohmann, Medical Oncologist
  • Dr. D. MacDonald, Medical Oncologist
  • Dr. V. Panuganty, Medical Oncologist & Wellness Lead Physician
  • Dr. K. Potvin, Medical Oncologist & Residency Program Director
  • Dr. J. Raphael, Medical Oncologist
  • Dr. M. Sanatani, Medical Oncologist & CBME Lead
  • Dr. P. Stewart, Medical Oncologist
  • Dr. E. Tsvetkova, Medical Oncologist 
  • Dr. T. Vandenberg, Medical Oncologist
  • Dr. M. Vincent, Medical Oncologist
  • Dr. S. Welch, Medical Oncologist & Deaprtment Chair
  • Dr. E. Winquist, Medical Oncologist
  • Dr. J. Younus, Medical Oncologist

Training Requirements for Entry into Program

Applicants should have completed an internship recognized by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. In addition, applicants must have completed three years of training in Internal Medicine under Section 2(a) of the Training Requirements in Internal Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. It should be noted that trainees are required to be certificated by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Internal Medicine in order to be eligible for the Certificate of Special Competence in Medical Oncology.

Academic Curriculum

Academic Half Day

Residents are required to attend the Radiation Oncology Academic Half Day at LRCP once a week. Teaching sessions are designed to prepare residents not only for the Royal College exam, but life outside the program, and foster a fulfilling and successful career. Topics include:

  • Disease Sites
  • Clinical Trials
  • Ethics
  • Communication
  • Wellness
  • Professionalism
  • Finances
  • Career Planning

 

Residents can also expect to be challenged during other learning opportunities such as practice exams, while soaking up new ideas and knowledge through rounds, and journal clubs. Opportunities include:

  • Disease Site Group Meetings
  • Residnet Rounds (weekly)
  • Practice Oral Exams (every other month)
  • Practice Written Exam (every other month)
  • Multi-disciplinary Tumour Boards (present a case every rotation)
  • ASCO ITE (annually)
  • Grand Rounds - weekly lecture series featuring speakers from all disciplines, across the globe
  • Resident Grand Rounds - annual presentation to help residents prepare for conference season
  • OSCE Exam (annually)
  • Basic Science Self-Study Reports
  • Resident Journal Club (quarterly)
  • Faculty Journal Club
  • Resident Research Rounds (monthly)
  • Serious Illness Conversation Workshop (annually)

Clinical Curriculum

Clinical Curriculum Outline

The Residencey Program consists of 18 blocks of outpatient medical oncology clinics that are disease site specific. Residents do two blocks of Hematology, which can be done in London, or at a peripheral site in Windsor based on the resident's preference and schedule availability. Residents will also complete one block each in Radiation Oncology. Palliative Care, and Medical Oncology Ward Services (MOWS). Three blocks are available for elective experiences with significant flexibility in time and use, based on the needs of the resident and agreed upon by the Program Director.

Research Resources

  1. Cancer Research Laboratories: The cancer research laboratories of the London Regional Cancer Program and Western University are located within the LRCP.  The CIHR Strategic Training Program in Cancer Research and Technology Transfer (CarTT) offers fellowships to trainees wishing to pursue advanced training in cancer research leading to a PhD.  Translational research fellowships are also available through the Department of Oncology to those completing the required two years of Medical Oncology training.
  1. Western University: Western is one of Canada’s premiere universities with world-class faculty offering research and advanced training opportunities in many areas related to medical oncology e.g. Immunology, Pharmacology, Genetics, Epidemiology and Biostatics.
  1. Clinical Trials Centre:The clinical trials centre of the LRCP is one of the largest oncology clinical trial centres in Canada.  There are Phase II and Phase III clinical trials in progress for many disease sites.  Phase I facilities are being developed in conjunction with the Department of Pharmacology and the Cancer Research Laboratories.

Longitudinal Clinic

In order to more fully develop the Collaborator, Professional, and Manager roles as a medical oncologist, residents will have the opportunity to run their own clinic as the primary treating oncologist. This clinic will enhance skills as an Advocate and Medical Expert and increase confidence in independent decision-making. Starting in block 4 of training, residents will attend a half-day clinic on Thursdays which continues for one year to allow residents the opportunity to follow patients through their complete treatment course. In conjunction with a primary nurse, the residents will see one new consult per week as well as a limited number of scheduled follow-up patients. The residents will see the consult first, develop a management plan, and then discuss the case with the designated Medical Oncologist who ultimately remains the most responsible physician (MRP). The MRP will meet the patient, directly observe the resident going through the management plan with the patient and be available to answer any questions the resident is unable to. With the patient’s consent, from that point onward, the patient’s follow-up care will continue in the residents’ clinic, at which point the MRP will remain available to the resident for any issues that arise, but will not come to directly see the patient unless so requested by the patient or the resident. Any major changes in treatment or management will be discussed with the MRP before implementation. Copies of notes from all clinic visits are to be sent to the MRP as well as the family doctor and referring physicians to keep them up to date on the patients’ status. If residents are away on the clinic day for any reason, they are expected to arrange coverage for their patients with another resident or the MRP. The cases for consultation will be selected by the Medical Oncology Program Director and will span the major disease sites. Cases will be “bread and butter” to gain solid expertise in the most common oncologic scenarios. However, residents may also occasionally see rare or interesting cases for the purposes of enhancing their education. At the end of the year of clinic, the patients will be absorbed into the practices of the MRPs in order to ensure seamless continuity of care.

Resident Research

During the two years of training, residents are expected to complete a research project. Under the supervision of Dr. Ana Lohmann, Research MO Lead, and Dr. Kylea Potvin, Residency Program Director, incoming residents will meet with the Research Scholar Program Faculty Committee to identify a project of eduational benefit and link them to other potential mentors. The Research Scholar Program will focus on the following "Key and Enabling Compentencies:"
  • Integrate best available evidence into practice
  • Contribute to the creation and dissemination of knowledge and practices applicable to health

The curriculum includes a monthly session on various elements of Research Methodology, Critical Appraisals, and Epidemiology of cancer. To apply thr principles from the Research Scholar Curriculum, this program also encompasses Resident Journal Club (every second month) and Resident Research Rounds (formal appraisals 2 sessions/year).


Residents will be required to present their research outcomes to the following:
  • 1 abstract submission for each resident to an international conference
  • 1 publications
  • FLIMS or ESMO workshop
  • Resident to present at MO Faculty Journal Club

Medical Oncology Ward Services (MOWS)

Most of the ambulatory training is done in the outpatient clinics of the London Regional Cancer Program (LHSC-VH). The LRCP is a contiguous part of Victoria Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre where there is a 40-bed oncology inpatient unit and inpatient consultations are done. The London Health Sciences Centre provides pathology and imaging services. Consultations may also be done at University Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre. The Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario is also located at the Victoria Hospital site.

Enhanced Skills in Oncology Program

In collaboration with the Department of Family Medicine, the Medical Oncology program provides family physicians with knowledge and skills to care for patients with cancer. The program is open to family medicine residents who have successfully completed their training in an accredited Canadian residency program. The General Practitioner-Oncology (GP-O) model is a step above what the typical family physician would provide in oncological care to patients and has been around for over twenty years in Canada. Residents will gain experience in a wide variety of tumour sites. The bulk of activities will be outpatient oriented and will occur in a Multi-disciplinary setting. Much of the training will occur at the London Regional Cancer Program at London Health Sciences Centre (Victoria Campus) but may also occur at the Windsor Regional Hospital. A strong focus will be managing oncology emergencies and managing problems in the chemotherapy suite.

For more information, please visit our Enhanced Skills - Family Medicine - Western University page.