Subspecialty and Combined Training Careers

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New! Internal Medicine Training Infographic Reflects Breadth and Richness of Specialty

Although the multitude of career paths within internal medicine (IM) may seem staggering, it reflects the breadth and richness of the specialty as a discipline. All IM physicians share a basic core of residency training that forms the foundation for whichever discipline they choose to pursue. Whether physicians practice general internal medicine or obtain additional fellowship training, there are many opportunities to shape a unique medical career. See all the available career paths.


The Discipline

Hematology is the subspecialty of internal medicine that focuses on the care of patients with disorders of the blood, bone marrow, and lymphatic systems. Clinical issues managed by hematologists include:

  • Anemias
  • Hematological malignancies and other clonal processes
  • Congenital and acquired disorders of hemostasis, coagulation, and thrombosis

Hematologists may maintain an independent practice of hematology in which patients with hematologic diseases are followed longitudinally, although a large component of hematology practice involves providing consultative services for other physicians or medical institutions. Some hematologists maintain a split practice, seeing hematology and general internal medicine patients.

Hematology is most commonly coupled with training in oncology in a hematology-oncology combined fellowship program. This dual training prepares an internal medicine physician to diagnose, treat, and manage a wide range of related diseases.


Hematology fellowship training requires two years of accredited training beyond completion of a general internal medicine residency, while dual certification in hematology and medical oncology requires three years of combined fellowship training. Following completion of fellowship training, trainees are eligible for board certification in hematology by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Training Positions

In this 2023-2024 academic year, there are 187 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited training programs in hematology and medical oncology with 2,209 trainees.

Major Professional Societies

American Society of Hematology

Back to the May 2024 issue of ACP IMpact