Training of breast surgical oncologists
Breast surgical oncology is a defined sub-specialty of general surgery with focus on the surgical management of breast disease and malignancy within a multidisciplinary context. Much of the training of breast surgical oncologists in the United States exists within a fellowship training structure with oversight and approval by the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO). Rapid continuous changes in breast oncology practice have further substantiated dedicated expertise in breast surgical oncology. Training programs are structured to develop proficiency in fellows for advanced surgical techniques and clinical decision-making as well as exposure to the multidisciplinary aspects of breast cancer management. Components of a successful program include an intense multidisciplinary curriculum, engagement in clinical research and attention to strong mentorship. National curriculum and training requirements as well as supplemental resources assist in standardizing the fellowship experience. As surgical training and the field of breast oncology continues to evolve, so do fellowship training programs to ensure high quality breast surgical oncologists equipped to deliver high quality evidence based patient care while continuing to drive future research and trainee education.