How to Get Oncology Jobs

If you obtain an oncology job you will be examining, diagnosing and treating cancer patients. Oncology refers to the study of malign (cancerous) tumors and providing treatment to destroy these cancer causing tumors. Hence an oncologist is a physician who has undergone special education and training in the diagnosis and management of cancer tissues and cells. You can be handling and treating cases such as bone tumors, brain tumors, breast cancer, bowel cancer, esophageal cancer, stomach cancer and lymphomas. An oncologist generally resorts to chemotherapy or radiotherapy to treat cancer patients.

Education and Training

If you choose to become an oncologist, there are some strict requirements from the educational front. Like any other specialization of medicine, this field also requires graduation from an accredited medical college.

License and Certification

After graduation, finish a training course as a sub-specialist in any of the chosen fields. There are many sub-specialties in the oncology field to choose from. There is a separate certification board for each of these specialties. That is to say, medical oncology and hematology and medical oncology courses are certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM); while pediatric oncology and hematology is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP); gynecological oncology is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG); surgical oncology by the American Board of Surgery and radiation oncology by the American Board of Radiology (ABR). After completion of these course(s), appear for the certification examination and you must surpass this hurdle before you can start working as an oncologist.

Tips to Become Oncologist

Once you acquire the necessary education and certification, you have to complete the internships and residency programs for nearly 3 to 8 years. To find an internship in a hospital of your choice, search through newspapers, medical journals, magazines, websites and use your networking skills to acquire the needed training.

An important point, you should have compassion and empathy to understand and support patients emotionally. If you are not sensitive in this manner, you may want to stick with research and avoid working with patients directly.

An oncology department is generally run by a team of technologist and physicians so, you must also work on your team building skills. Improve your communication skills because as an oncologist, you have the responsibility of educating patients about their condition and treatment.

Types of Oncologist Jobs

Many oncologists enlist for special training and education courses in certain sub-fields and become a specialized oncologist. There are 3 basic types of oncologists, namely medical, surgical and radiation oncologists. Medical oncologists work in the realm of diagnosing and providing chemotherapy, surgical oncologists handle biopsies (removal of cancer cells and tissues) and radiation oncologists provide radiation therapy.

Final Word

Though oncology has a strenuous education and training period, this career is highly rewarding. As per the projection of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment opportunity in this field will rise by 14% through 2016 and the median annual salary for these physicians is $265,645, as of November, 2009. This could change though with the new health care bill, the incentives to enter the medical industry may not be there.

Lots of research is being conducted in the field of chemotherapy regarding cancer to reduce the side effects of this treatment. Since this profession also includes the satisfaction of saving a critically ill patient, many of the physicians love their chosen profession.