Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship

Rutgers Cancer Institute and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School offer a one-year fellowship program which has continuously approved since 2007 by the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO). The Division of Surgical Oncology at the Rutgers Cancer Institute has four full-time, SSO fellowship trained surgeons within the Section of Breast Surgery. The Breast Surgery Section also includes an APN and an RN. The Division of Medical Oncology has five dedicated breast medical oncologists, and the Department of Radiation Oncology has three radiation oncologists focusing on breast cancer. The principal teaching hospital, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. The Cancer Hospital of New Jersey at RWJUH has 93 oncology specific beds with 31 reserved for Surgical Oncology. Graduating fellows have entered community as well as academic positions. All fellows obtained post fellowship positions prior to graduation.

Clinical Rotations:

One month is spent on Surgical Pathology for the examination of breast specimens. One month is spent in the Women's Imaging Center where the fellow reviews over 1,000 breast images, including breast MRI.  Eight months are spent on the Breast Surgery Service. Six months occur at the New Brunswick campus at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of NJ, the states only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.  The emphasis at this site is on the multidisciplinary management of the breast cancer patient. In the outpatient office, emphasis is given to new patient evaluation with a variety of minimally invasive techniques such as fine needle aspiration with immediate on-site assessment, diagnostic US and US guided core and vacuum assisted biopsies. The US guided biopsy procedures are performed completely by the surgical faculty. Two dedicated US machines are available in the breast center as is a vacuum assisted core biopsy system. In the OR, the fellow will be the operating surgeon for complex cases such as skin-sparing and nipple-areola sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, axillary dissection, ultrasound guided partial mastectomy for non-palpable cancer and the placement of brachytherapy devices. The fellow will instruct junior residents for simple procedures such as sentinel node mapping and excisional biopsy. The fellow will spend 4 weeks on Breast Medical Oncology, including a formal Genetic Risk Assessment Clinic. Four weeks are spent on Radiation Oncology. The fellow spends two months on a community breast surgery rotation with an SSO-fellowship trained breast surgeon at University Medical Center at Princeton, RWJUH at Hamilton and RWJUH at Somerset.

Together, these locations provide exposure to over 450 new breast cancer patients per year. At the Hamilton location, the fellow will obtain hands on experience with stereotactic biopsy under the direction of full time Rutgers breast surgery faculty. Activities that span the entire year include one to two weekdays per month while on Breast Surgery at Plastic Surgery Arts of NJ, evaluating breast cancer patients at various stages of breast reconstruction procedures.

Clinical Research and Academic Activities:

One to two weekdays per month are devoted to textbook reading and a clinical research project. The fellow will prepare a clinical research project for presentation at an appropriate regional or national meetings with subsequent publication in a peer reviewed journal. The fellow will attend the annual SSO Fellows Conference. A variety of lectures and speakers are scheduled throughout the year. The fellow will lead case-based teaching sessions for medical students, surgical residents, medical oncology fellows, gynecology residents and family practice residents. The fellow will always attend the weekly Breast Tumor Study Group Meeting where all new patients are discussed by a multidisciplinary team. The fellow is responsible for one formal didactic presentation per month at that meeting. Currently the center has several actively accruing clinical trials in the Breast Tumor Study Group. A current list is available at

Eligibility, Salary, and Benefits:

The fellowship is available to fully trained surgeons eligible or certified by the American Board of Surgery. The fellow salary is the current PG-6 level at Rutgers RWJMS. Health benefits and four weeks of vacation are included. Vacation is taken during the New Brunswick Breast Surgery rotations in one-to-two-week increments.


We participate in the SSO Breast Fellowship Matching Program. Interviews are held between February and May every year. A personal statement and three letters of reference (one from your surgery program director) should be sent to the SSO along with other supporting documents as required.

Program Director:

Shicha Kumar, MD

Shicha Kumar, MD, FACS, Breast Surgical Oncologist at Rutgers Cancer Institute discusses her patient philosophy of care.

Program Manager:

Kimberly Finney, MBA

Mailing Address:

Attn: Ms. Kimberly Finney
Rutgers Cancer Institute
Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program
195 Little Albany Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08903

For more information about the fellowship and the application process, please contact the Program Manager, Ms. Kimberly Finney, at 732-235-6775 or email