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Oncologist Job Description

Oncologist Job Description
An oncologist deals with patients suffering from cancer. The article below highlights the job description of an oncologist.
Dr. Sumaiya Khan
One of the most deadly diseases that can affect a person at any age and any time is cancer. According to the WHO, the number of deaths due to cancer all over the world is projected to increase by 45% by 2030, i.e., from approximately 7.9 million to 11.5 million deaths. According to other studies, it is claimed that there will be approximately 1,500 deaths per day due to cancer in the coming years. 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. These statistics alone will tell you the importance and the need for qualified oncologists.

Educational Requirements

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.

Oncologist Responsibilities
  • 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 the patients needs and must coordinate between the families and relatives of the patients while explaining the best possible treatment plan for the patients. If the family or patients have any doubts, he should try to clear it out.
  • An oncologist must have excellent inter and intra-personal communication skills so that he can manage his team of health care providers, while also managing his patients and handling their doubts in a professional manner.
The salary of an oncologist salary depends on many factors - experience, educational qualifications, state, etc. However, on an average, an oncologist can ear anywhere between USD 60,000 to USD 1,50,000 per year. Needless to say, this is one of the most sought after medical jobs. So if you think you fit into the oncologist job description, then this exciting and ever growing medical field is for you!