Pursuing better, longer and richer lives for our patients is at the heart of our mission at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. Here, we believe our team approach, where our devoted advanced practice professionals, such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners, provide the best possible care for you.
While some people are familiar with these terms and team members, others may not be so clear on who exactly it is that’s helping them in their care.
Following the merger of long-time partners, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, the organization was renamed to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. We are an independent, nonprofit organization that also serves as UW Medicine's cancer program.
Physician assistants and nurse practitioners (collectively referred to as advanced practice providers, or APPs) are integral team members who work in nearly every specialty including oncology, hematology, surgery, pain service, survivorship, palliative care, and stem cell transplant.
As a part of the multidisciplinary team, each APP works collaboratively with your doctor, nurse, and other healthcare providers, participating in all aspects of your care.
What is a Physician Assistant?
Our physician assistants (PA) are licensed health professionals who practice medicine in a collaborative fashion with attending physician oversight. Physician assistants are trained and authorized to make medical decisions and provide highly skilled advanced care to patients in inpatient and outpatient settings.
What is a Nurse Practitioner?
Advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNP) are licensed health professionals who provide care to patients across the healthcare system. In Washington state, all nurse practitioners must have at least a Master’s degree in nursing. Nurse practitioners are licensed by the state of Washington to provide highly skilled advanced care to patients in both the inpatient and outpatient setting.
What do APPs do?
As part of a multidisciplinary team, APPs perform many diagnostic, preventive, and health maintenance services including:
- Obtaining health histories and performing physical examinations
- Ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests (X-rays, CT scans, blood work, and other laboratory tests)
- Performing procedures including bone marrow biopsies and lumbar punctures
- Establishing diagnoses, treating and managing patient health issues including treatment toxicities
- Performing surveillance during and post patient treatment
- Providing referrals within the healthcare system
- Prescribing medications and other therapies
- Responding to life-threatening emergencies
- Participating and collaborating in the care of patients receiving research-based treatment on clinical studies
An Fred Hutch, ARNP/PA-C is a certified physician assistant or advanced registered nurse practitioner who provides evaluation and medical management to oncology patients. They follow patients during their chemotherapy and radiation, provide medical supportive care, postoperative care, as well as surveillance after completion of treatment. The ARNP/PA-C assesses and manages basic health needs of patients, addresses treatment toxicities, performs procedures, monitors for cancer progression or recurrence, and consults with professional peers as needed. They work collaboratively with the treatment team to coordinate care for their patients. All clinical responsibilities are performed within the scope of practice, institutional privileges and under the supervision of an attending physician.
Our mission is to improve the quality of care for patients with cancer by supporting critical issues in educational, clinical, and professional development for advanced practitioners in hematology and oncology.
APP Fellowship in Oncology and BMT
Advanced Practice Provider fellows at Fred Hutch are PA and Nurse Practitioners (NP) representing the clinicians who will care for patients with cancer and blood disorders in the future. Each fellow has completed a PA or NP training program and passed their initial board certification. Through intense clinical subspecialty training at Fred Hutch, fellows build expertise in hematology, oncology and stem cell transplant. The APP fellows at SCCA are an integral part of a patient's multidisciplinary team, working hand-in-hand with medical and support staff to provide patient-centered care and critical insights to the patient's treatment.
Each year, Fred Hutch accepts new APP fellows to the program. Learn more about the fellowship program and application process.
Fellows at Fred Hutch are accomplished physicians who represent future leaders in research, education and clinical care for patients with cancer and blood disorders. Each fellow has completed a residency training program in internal medicine with qualifications for board certification.
Through subspecialty training at Fred Hutch, fellows build on their internal medicine skills to become experts in hematology and oncology. Our fellows are an integral part of the multidisciplinary teams, working hand-in-hand with medical, nursing and support staff to provide patient-centered care and critical insights to the daily medical decision-making.
“Given the strength and caliber of the fellows in our training program, we consider all of our fellows at Fred Hutch as valuable members of our patient care teams,” said Dr. Tejas Dhawale. “Not only do these bright young physicians represent the next generation of hematologists and oncologists, but their boundless curiosity and passion for scientific discovery will undoubtedly inspire the agenda for future cancer research.”
Fellowship Program Director Dr. Michael Linenberger said: “Our hematology/oncology fellows are privileged to work with patients and their caregivers in the various clinics at Fred Hutch and they deeply appreciate the opportunity to learn from experts in cancer, blood disorders and stem cell transplantation.”
Each year, up to eight fellows are selected to pursue their subspecialty training in hematology and/or oncology at the University of Washington/Fred Hutch. Our fellowship program and Fred Hutch training site are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The selection process to become a fellow at UW/Fred Hutch is highly competitive and those who are selected come with prior experience in research and numerous clinical accolades.
To be selected as a fellow, physicians must have completed at least four years of medical school, earned an MD or DO, and have served at least two to three years of residency training in internal medicine or pediatrics. The fellowship at UW/Fred Hutch is a 3-5-year rigorous training program, which includes patient care at Fred Hutch as well as protected time to carry out clinical, translational and laboratory research projects.
To learn more about the fellowship training program, please visit the Fred Hutch website.