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Elective in Peds Hem/Onc in Ottawa

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The Peds Hem/Onc Elective at CHEO is excellent. As part of our third year rotation schedule, UofO students do two weeks in subspecialties of pediatrics, and I did hem onc.


My suggestion would be to read up on the classification of leukemia and the diagnosis and treatment and complicating symptoms (i.e. tumor lysis syndrome). The other thing to look at is side effects of chemotherapy. there are a lot of "follow up" clinics and it's important to know which symptoms to be asking about in terms of chemo side effects. Finally, you'll probably want to look up some of the common tumors in childhood - i.e. nephroblastoma and astrocytomas (I think) osteosarcomas ... even though they're rare, you're going to see a lot of rare things on this elective.


Finally, there is a good bulk of 'benign' hematology, such as clotting disorders and bleeding disorders as well as anemia (thalassemia, sickle cell and iron deficiency) so it's good to look over the work up for those as well.


I spent most of my time in the day unit and the outpatient clinics. it's also possible that you may spend some time on the ward - if so, it's good to look up febrile neutropenia and management...


It's a great elective - tough in terms of the patient population, but the kids are absolutely adorable, and you'll learn a lot and get to do some procedures too. the staff is also great - eager to teach.


Hope this is helpful. If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to PM me.



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Hi there,


I also recently completed an elective (although not pediatric) in Heme/Onc and enjoyed it very much. My experience was similar to the above re: the types of subjects that are essential to know when hitting the wards and being around preceptors and patients. Another set of common trivia bits that I incurred were: the neutrophil count at which folks run into serious trouble; the percentage of blasts incurred in diagnosing leukemias; the chromosomal aberrations in the other leukemias, i.e., Philadelphia chromosome.


Have fun! :)



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