A deadly disease that can affect a person at any age and any time is cancer. According to WHO, the number of deaths due to cancer all over the world is projected to increase by 45% by 2030, i.e., approximately 7.9 million to 11.5 million deaths. According to other studies, there are approximately 16,992 deaths per day due to cancer.
Cancers of the lung and bronchus, prostate, and colon and rectum are the most common types of cancer deaths in men, whereas cancers of the lung and bronchus, breast, and colon and rectum in women continue to be the most common causes of cancer deaths in women.
For a person to become a qualified oncologist, he will first and foremost need to complete a four-year bachelor's program. Normally, during undergraduate studies, the person will need to opt for biochemistry, general chemistry, organic chemistry, molecular biology, human anatomy, and physiology, genetics, and ethics.
After this, he will first need to apply to a medical school, and then complete his internship and an ACGME-accredited residency. This could take around eight years altogether. It is during the residency that the person will handle cancer cases, and thus, specialize in oncology.
If he wishes to opt for a sub-specialty, like pediatric oncology or surgical oncology, he can do so. After completion of studies, a person may apply for board certification. Herein, the candidates must pass the certifying examinations that are held by the medical specialty board.
- One of the key oncologist job description criteria is that an oncologist must supervise an oncology medical unit and ensure that the patients that are admitted get the best possible medical care.
- He must also participate in providing services and ensuring supervision of medical staff present in the oncology department.
- He must provide clinical leadership and always try to ensure that there is a team approach to a case.
- One important aspect of an oncologist's job is that he must work with the Head of Department of general medicine so as to plan and ensure the best possible options for treatment of cases.
- He must supervise training and practice of allocated trainee medical students and medical officers. This would include seeing to the appraisal system as well.
- He has to ensure that there is a high level of competence in acute oncology medicine emergencies. For this, he must participate in continuing medical education since his qualification.
- He must be sensitive to patients' needs, must coordinate between their families and relatives to explain the best possible treatment plan and has to clear their doubts.
- He must have excellent inter and intra-personal communication skills to manage his team of doctors, and also manage his patients and handle their doubts professionally.
Salary of an oncologist salary depends on many factors - experience, education, state, etc. On an average, he can earn anywhere between USD 110,000 to USD 410,000 per year. Needless to say, this is one of the most sought after medical jobs. If you think you fit into the oncologist job description, then this exciting and ever growing medical field is for you!