Musculoskeletal Oncology Fellowship

Developing Tomorrow’s Leading Specialists

At Vanderbilt, our ACGME-accredited oncology program guides you toward becoming a physician armed with the surgical confidence and clinical acumen to deliver the highest level of thoughtful and evidence-guided care. 

As our fellow, you can expect to work alongside regionally, nationally and internationally recognized faculty and surgeons every day. We’re the fourth busiest orthopedic oncology group in the country, which means you’ll manage a high surgical volume and highly complex cases. You’ll also learn to make informed diagnoses through multi-disciplinary clinical analysis, will get access to innovative research opportunities and most importantly, will learn to become a compassionate leader.


What We Do Here Every Year

Musculoskeletal Oncology Fellowship Infographic


Program Overview

Positions: 1 fellow
Duration: 1 year, August 1st through July 31st
Stipend: PGY6 level
Location: Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Our staff works closely in conjunction with experts in medical oncology, surgical oncology, radiology, pathology, radiation oncology and plastic surgery to treat adults and children with conditions of the extremities, pelvis, chest wall, retroperitoneum, and spine. 

Some areas of special interest include the diagnosis and treatment of:

  • Bone and soft tissue sarcomas
  • Benign bone and soft tissue tumors
  • Pathologic fractures
  • Metastatic bone disease
  • Metabolic bone disease

As part of our fellowship program, you’ll work closely with faculty and staff at the Vanderbilt Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. You will also: 

  • Complete at least one publishable research project
  • Coordinate our weekly Sarcoma Tumor Board Conference, presenting cases and best practices and learning to advocate for patients among a group of esteemed peers
  • Give 2-3 lectures to residents during oncology academic block
  • Log cases/duty hours
  • Prepare daily written pre-operative plans for surgical cases

Clinical Program

Your time in clinic will provide experience in:

  • Analyzing radiographic imaging, pathology slides and tissue analysis to make a differential diagnosis
  • Delivering hard news in an empathetic and kind manner
  • Identifying ways these conditions present
  • Making a robust assessment of each patient 
  • Respecting the personal impact these conditions have on patients and their families
  • Understanding how a patient’s story can illuminate a diagnosis

The make-up of clinical cases you will participate in as a fellow is:

  • 1/3: Sarcoma (2/3 soft tissue, 1/3 bone)
  • 1/3: Benign tumors (2/3 soft tissue, 1/3 bone)
  • 1/3: Metastatic disease/arthroplasty/infection

Surgical Experience

In the operating room, you’ll work directly with an attending surgeon, leading or assisting on a wide variety of cases to gain firsthand technical experience. One of our most common observations is that we’ve never seen the same case twice.

As a fellow of this high-volume program, you’ll experience a significant number of complex cases. This exposure helps you build expertise in:

  • Anatomy
  • Creativity in consideration of post-resection reconstruction options
  • Humility
  • Understanding of tumor biology

Research Program

Our program offers dedicated weekly time to focus on your research interests. Our evidence-based treatment decisions are based on careful review of the literature. 

We encourage you to translate clinical questions you face into scientific studies and to take part in ongoing faculty-led projects, including clinical and pre-clinical studies and basic science laboratory research. 

Currently, our division is also leading two prospective clinical trials, several retrospective cohort analyses and has established collaboration with colleagues in biomedical engineering with regards to machine learning in the diagnosis of musculoskeletal tumors.

Leadership Training

A critical part of your education revolves around the concepts of leadership – as a teacher, coordinator and advocate. You will:

  • Give formal educational lectures to residents
  • Learn to mentor and guide residents as they develop their own surgical and clinical skill sets
  • Learn to share profound diagnoses that impact one’s life and livelihood in a way that patients and families can understand 

Conferences and Weekly Schedule

Fellows complete a rigorous schedule of clinical care, conferences, research and surgery.

Conferences

Weekly Wednesday Sarcoma Tumor Board Conference 
(7 a.m.)

Fellows and faculty review 100 percent of sarcoma tumor cases for the week. Fellows coordinate the conference meetings. 

Daily Schedule

Monday

  • AM: Children’s surgery
  • PM: Clinic

Tuesday

  • All day: Clinic

Wednesday

  • All day: Adult Surgery

Thursday

  • AM: Adult Surgery
  • PM: Admin/Research

Friday

  • All day: Adult Surgery

Application Process

We participate in the ACGME Fellowship Match process. For more information about our fellowship program, contact Shannon Mullens, Fellowship Program Manager, Musculoskeletal Oncology at shannon.mullens@vumc.org.


Fellow Benefits 

At Vanderbilt, we want you to enjoy a well-rounded fellowship experience. Benefits of our program include:

  • 24/7 exercise facility (free weight/aerobics) within our orthopedic surgery department
  • Attendance at two conferences: MSTS in the fall, AAOS in the spring
  • Office with computer and workspace
  • Readily available orthopedic anatomy cadaver lab on medical campus
  • Stryker Musculoskeletal Oncology Course in August

Division Research 

Our recent research publications include:

  • Lawrenz JM, Norris IV JP, Tan MC, Shinohara ET, Block JJ, Davis EJ, Keedy VL, Halpern JL, Holt GE, Schwartz HS. Inadvertent Inguinal Sarcoma Excision During Hernia Surgery: Outcomes, Gender Analysis and Prevention. International Journal of Surgical Oncology. 2020, Article ID 8374790, 9 pages. DOI: 10.1155/2020/8374790.
  • Wilson RJ, Freeman TH Jr, Halpern JL, Schwartz HS, Holt GE. Surgical Outcomes After Limb-Sparing Resection and Reconstruction for Pelvic Sarcoma: A Systematic Review. JBJS Rev. 2018 Apr;6(4):e10. PMID: 29688908
  • Nguyen JQM, McWade M, Thomas G, Beddard BT, Herington JL, Paria BC, Schwartz HS, Halpern JL, Holt GE, Mahadevan-Jansen A. Development of a modular fluorescence overlay tissue imaging system for wide-field intraoperative surgical guidanceJ Med Imaging (Bellingham). 2018 Apr;5(2):021220. PMID: 29531968
  • Mesko NW, Wilson RJ, Lawrenz JM, Mathieu JL, Ghiam MK, Mathis SL, Halpern JL, Schwartz HS, Holt GE. Pre-operative evaluation prior to soft tissue sarcoma excision – Why can’t we get it right? Eur J Surg Oncol. 2018 Feb;44(2):243-250. PMID: 29269109
  • Nguyen JQ, Gowani ZS, O'Connor M, Pence IJ, Nguyen TQ, Holt GE, Schwartz HS, Halpern JL, Mahadevan-Jansen A. Intraoperative Raman spectroscopy of soft tissue sarcomas. Lasers Surg Med. 2016 Oct;48(8):774-781. doi: 10.1002/lsm.22564. Epub 2016 Jul 25. PMID: 27454580

Our Current and Past Fellows

Anthony Judice, DO is our current fellow for 2021-2022.

  • Hometown: Ivyland, PA
  • Undergrad: The Pennsylvania State University
  • Medical School: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Residency: Orthopaedic Surgery, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Email: Anthony.D.Judice@vumc.org

Past Fellows 

Our past musculoskeletal oncology fellows and their current positions:

  • Amanda Goldin, 2021, UC-Irvine, Orange, CA
  • Joshua Lawrenz, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, 2020
  • James Norris, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Spartanburg, SC, 2018
  • Robert Wilson, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 2017
  • Geoff Siegel, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2016
  • Krishna Reddy, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2015
  • Nathan Mesko, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, 2014
  • Nicole Behnke, Legacy Silverton Medical Center, Silverton, OR, 2013
  • Kelly Homlar, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA, 2012
  • Jennifer Halpern, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, 2007