How I train specialists in transfusion medicine.
Goodnough LT., Murphy MF.
BACKGROUND: The changing focus of transfusion medicine (TM) toward the hospital rather than the blood center and the involvement of TM specialists in a wide range of patient blood management and other specialist activities in the hospital, rather than just blood bank activities, means that the training of the transfusion specialists of the future should be under constant review. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We provide overviews of the current training programs of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in the United States and the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board in the United Kingdom, along with specific descriptions of our own training programs at Stanford and Oxford. RESULTS: The numbers of TM fellows in training annually in the United States and of those who attempt to attain board certification have increased substantially over the last 20 years, despite the profound reduction in blood utilization since 2009. These trends reflect increasing job and career opportunities in new activities, such as patient blood management at hospital-based transfusion services. This trend has been seen to a lesser extent in the United Kingdom, although the focus of TM is similarly switching to hospital-based transfusion services. CONCLUSION: Based on current trends, transfusion medicine is a growing and robust specialty in the United States but perhaps less so in the United Kingdom, increasingly with hospital-centered job opportunities for improving blood utilization and clinical outcomes. Establishing pediatric TM training programs and improving research training are further opportunities for training TM specialists.