Positionpaper SHOOT Swiss Haematologists and Oncologists of Tomorrow

Rahel Schwotzer1, Kathrin Vollmer2


1 Klinik für Medizinische Onkologie und Hämatologie, Universitätsspital Zürich, Zürich

2 Klinik für Onkologie, Kantonsspital Aarau, Aarau



Hardly any field of medicine has experienced such a rapid development in recent years as hematology or oncology. New therapeutic options and approaches are coming onto the market at ever-shorter intervals. Certain malignancies have evolved from rapidly fatal to chronic diseases. The understanding of tumor development with the corresponding molecular biological background, as well as the interaction with the immune system, is becoming more advanced and has led to the development of new targeted therapy options. New therapeutic concepts are also being introduced in hemostasiology, and methods that are more sophisticated are being used in diagnostics to detect and classify diseases at the molecular level.


The demographic development with an aging population as well as the improved prognosis of hematological/oncological diseases with correspondingly longer courses of disease leads to an increasing demand for hematologists and oncologists. At the same time, an increasing feminization in medicine as well as modern family models with correspondingly increasing part-time work can be observed.


Current developments are leading to multifaceted new challenges. The demographic development with an aging population leads to an increasing multimorbidity, which requires complex individualized therapy planning and is poorly reflected in current guidelines. Increasing knowledge of molecular biology basis of neoplasms leads to fragmentation of tumor entities into more subentities with their own treatment pathways and tumor diagnostic treatment options. Coupled with rapid advances in drug-based tumor therapy, the entire field is becoming increasingly difficult for individual providers to keep up with. Add to this the development of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and Big Data that will not stop at hematology and oncology and will shape developments over the next few decades. The increased number of cancer survivors, often with lifelong consequences of therapy, will also be a challenge for future care.


However, the above-mentioned challenges also offer opportunities to actively shape the future of the professional fields. In this context, both SGMO and SGH have decided to establish a working group. The Young SGMO and Young SGH are part of the respective professional societies; they organize themselves on a common platform of the young SGMO and SGH as 'swiss hematologists and oncologists of tomorrow SHOOT' so that future challenges can be shaped by the future professionals. The platform serves to exploit organizational synergies and to address common needs. The goals of the organizations are:


1)     Promotion and networking of young hematologists and oncologists.


The primary goal of the young professionals' organizations is the promotion and networking of young hematologists and oncologists. The aim is to maintain the current attractiveness of the profession and to develop it further in order to achieve long-term sustainable security of patient care.


2)     Improving the compatibility of career and family with the promotion of part-time models.


The increasing feminization of medicine as well as the dissolution of traditional family structures call for more flexible working models for both sexes. Hematology and oncology, with their predominantly outpatient disease management, offer a wide range of opportunities to help shape this. An upcoming challenge in this context is the promotion of part-time models in research and management positions.


3)     Promotion of resilience and burnout prevention


The daily confrontation with seriously ill patients and the constant presence of death and suffering are among the challenges in the treatment of oncological and hematological diseases. This is a burden for both newcomers to the profession as well as more experienced colleagues. Along with increasing bureaucratization and regulation in the health care system, these are risk factors for the mental health of the practitioners. SHOOT would like to proactively address this challenge and be a point of contact in this regard.


4)     Maintaining the high quality of continuing education


High-quality residency training remains essential to meet the coming challenge. SHOOT's goal is to maintain and create new training positions as well as to continuously develop residency training in view of upcoming challenges. The declared goal is the active inclusion of junior doctors in the design of the training curriculum.


5)     Promotion of research activities


Swiss cancer research is of an internationally high standard; the goal of the SGMO and SGH is to maintain this level in the long term. It is essential to link the next generation with existing structures and funding opportunities.


6)     Education about different career models


Oncology and hematology offer diverse career opportunities both in the context of independent practice and in hospital employment (self-employment and employment?). The goal of SHOOT is to educate about different models of activity and provide opportunities for exchange with relevant exponents. SHOOT is also intended to become a consulting point of contact for career planning issues.


7)     Promotion of women


Another focus of SHOOT is the targeted promotion and networking of women in oncology and hematology. The goal is to improve the visibility of female oncologists and hematologists, to highlight career opportunities as well as facilitating the promotion of women in leadership positions.


8)     Continuous exchange with international organizations such as DGHO, ESMO and EHA.


Last but not least, the goal of SHOOT is to cooperate with international organizations such as ESMO, DGHO and EHA to initiate joint projects and to raise awareness about opportunities for international training and fellowships.


Interested oncologists and hematologists are hereby cordially invited to contact the authors for cooperation in the described projects. The target group is hematologists and oncologists in training as well as young specialists. In the context of changing career models, an upper age limit for participation is waived.



Dr. med. Rahel Schwotzer
 Oberärztin meV Hämatologie
 Klinik für medizinische Onkologie und Hämatologie
 Universitätsspital Zürich
 Rämistrasse 100
 8091 Zürich
[email protected]


Med. pract. Kathrin Vollmer
Leitende Ärztin
Klinik für Onkologie
Spital Thun
Krankenhausstrasse 12
3600 Thun
[email protected]