All oncology doctors must complete an undergraduate degree program, four years of medical school and a residency or fellowship program that usually lasts two to four years, depending on the oncology specialty. Specialty areas include medical oncology, pediatric oncology, radiation oncology, or gynecological oncology.
Do oncologists perform surgery?
The field of oncology has three major areas: medical, surgical, and radiation. A medical oncologist treats cancer using chemotherapy or other medications, such as targeted therapy or immunotherapy. A surgical oncologist removes the tumor and nearby tissue during surgery.
Clinical oncologists need:
- a high level of compassion, sensitivity and empathy to treat people with cancer.
- an interest in the pathology and biology of cancers and radiation physics.
- an interest in the pharmacology of systemic cancer therapies.
- emotional resilience to help patients during very difficult times.
The national average salary for a General Surgeon/Surgical Oncologist is $272,129 in United States. Filter. Salary estimates are based on 196 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by General Surgeon/Surgical Oncologist employees.
About 19% of oncologists spend 51-65 hours seeing patients, about the same percentage as in the 2011 report. Only 4% work more than 65 hours, while 16% work fewer than 30 hours. A year ago, about 6% worked more than 65 hours per week.
In Medscape's 2014 compensation report, oncologists fall slightly above the middle among all physicians, with average earnings of $290,000. As in previous Medscape reports, orthopedists are the earning leaders, followed by cardiologists. Urologists and gastroenterologists are tied for third place.
In the field of radiation therapy, the median annual starting salary for experienced physicians in 2016 was $473,875. According to the report, the median starting salary for an experienced hematologist/medical oncologist is $390,000, while new physicians earned a median annual salary of $350,002.
In the AMGA's survey, for example, hematologist/oncologists treating adults reported a median income of $320,907 a year, or roughly 50 percent higher than their pediatric counterparts. Gynecologists earned $232,075, while gynecologist-oncologists earned $320,907. Family physicians earned an average of $208,861 a year.
Almost all physicians complete at least 4 years of undergraduate school, 4 years of medical school, and 3 to 8 years in internship and residency programs, depending on their specialty. Education: Most applicants to medical school have at least a bachelor's degree, and many have advanced degrees.
A doctor who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer in adults using chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy, and targeted therapy. A medical oncologist often is the main health care provider for someone who has cancer.
One exception is the annual salary survey performed by the Medical Group Management Association. In its 2011 survey, the MGMA reported an average salary of $477,807 per year for radiation oncologists. By contrast, medical staffing agency Jackson & Coker reports an average salary of $367,978 for oncologists as a group.
Steps to Be a Surgical Oncologist
- Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree and take MCAT.
- Step 2: Graduate from Medical School.
- Step 3: Earn Licensure.
- Step 4: Complete a Residency in General Surgery.
- Step 5: Complete a Fellowship in Surgical Oncology.
- Step 6: Continue Education.
- Step 7: Career Advancement.
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree. Individuals interested in pursuing a degree in the medical field first need to earn an undergraduate degree. While no specific degree is required for pre-med students, coursework in biology, chemistry and physics can give students a good foundation of knowledge for medical school.
In 2015, the average resident salary—$55,400—was a slight increase over that reported in Medscape's 2014 Residents Salary & Debt Report ($55,300). The figure averages higher earnings in such specialties as critical care and oncology and lower earnings in other specialties, such as primary care.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment for all physicians and surgeons, including medical oncologists, will grow 14% over the 2014-2024 decade, which is much faster than average for all occupations. Demand for physicians is expected to increase due to a growing aging population.
Pediatric oncologists must complete up to 13 years of training, including an undergraduate degree that generally focuses on the sciences, a medical degree, a residency in pediatric oncology and an optional fellowship.
Well, below is a list of steps of what it takes to become a cancer doctor:
- Earn Your Bachelor's Degree.
- Take the Medical College Admissions Test.
- Attend Medical School and Earn Your MD or DO Degree.
- Complete Residency.
- Obtain Proper License and Certification.
It takes four years to complete medical school and three years to complete a general pediatrics residency. Pediatricians whose postgraduate training combines pediatrics with another medical specialty will spend an additional two years in their residency.
A radiation oncologist is a specialist physician who uses ionizing radiation (such as megavoltage X-rays or radionuclides) in the treatment of cancer. Radiation oncology is one of the three primary specialties, the other two being surgical and medical oncology, involved in the treatment of cancer.
Pediatric hematologist/oncologists primarily treat leukemia, lymphoma, embryonic tumors and genetic blood disorders, such as sickle-cell anemia and hemophilia. They may choose to narrow their practice and treat only cancers or only blood disorders.
Hematology-oncology: The diagnosis, treatment and prevention of blood diseases (hematology) and cancer (oncology) and research into them. Hematology-oncology includes such diseases as iron deficiency anemia, hemophilia, sickle cell disease, the thalassemias, leukemias and lymphomas, as well as cancers of other organs.