Medical and surgical teams for blood and marrow transplants

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Learn about the members of your child's blood and marrow transplant (BMT) medical and surgical teams.

Key points

  • Your child's medical and surgical team may include a haematologist/oncologist, an immunologist, a staff transplant physician, and doctors in training such as residents, medical students and fellows.

During your child’s blood and marrow transplant (BMT), they will meet the medical and surgical BMT team.

Haematologist and immunologist

Your child’s physician can be one of two types of doctors: haematologist/oncologist or immunologist.

What is a haematologist/oncologist?

A haematologist is a physician who has special training in diagnosing, treating, and preventing blood and bone marrow diseases.

What is an immunologist?

An immunologist is a physician who has training in immune systems. The immunologist who works with your child has special training in paediatric bone marrow transplants.

Staff transplant physician

This is the haematologist or immunologist who makes all major decisions about your child’s medical care. They decide which medications and procedures are best for your child.

Doctors in training

Doctors go through a number of different stages of education and training. If your child is having their bone marrow transplant at a teaching hospital, you and your child will meet doctors in training.

A medical student is someone in a four- or six-year program to learn to be a doctor. Many medical students have a university degree already. After graduating from medical school, doctors must have further training, which is like an apprenticeship. A one-year internship is required in many places before a doctor can get a license. If a doctor has a name tag that identifies them as a rotating intern, it means they rotate through a number of different specialties during the year.

To be a family doctor or a specialist, a doctor must do a residency. These residents rotate through different areas within their specialty. Different specialties have different lengths of training. Paediatric residency requires at least three years of training in paediatrics. The family medicine residency requires at least two years training in family medicine. A resident’s name tag may tell you their specialty and what year of training they are in.

You may hear interns and residents referred to as house staff or house officers. This refers to the interns and residents who are on call and in the hospital overnight.

Fellows are doctors who spend between one and three years learning a subspecialty within a specialty. They have already been residents and provide quite a bit of care without direct supervision. However, there is always a staff doctor responsible for your child’s care. This person has finished all of this training and has taken special exams.

This may seem like a lot of doctors involved in your child’s care. But having trainees in a hospital keeps the quality of care high.

Last updated: February 12th 2010