Oncologists are medical doctors who specialize in the prevention and treatment of tumors. The path to becoming an oncologist will definitely be hard so take some time to read these tips and do further research prior to deciding to become an oncologist.
- Do some self assessment on your motivations for entering the medical field. Oncologists may have the highest paying job in the world, but they have the most stressful too. They get to deal firsthand with very ill patients. Just breaking the news to the patient and the family is hard enough as it is. But what if the patient's cancer is in its terminal stages and all the oncologist gets to do is to relieve the patient's suffering as treatment is no longer an option? This situation will likely become commonplace when you become an oncologist so make sure that you are up for the challenge emotionally. To help you in your self assessment, why not accept volunteer jobs in hospitals that have cancer wards? This way, you will get to see for yourself the sufferings of the people afflicted with the disease. And if what comes out of these volunteer stints is the commitment and pledge to help the patients by becoming a good oncologist, then by all means strive to be one.
- Study hard and get good grades in high school. Do your best while you are still in high school. Good grades will enhance your chances of getting into the best medical schools in the country.
- Take all the necessary courses and trainings to become an oncologist. When enrolling for college, make sure that you enroll in premedical subjects such as biology, organic chemistry, physics, calculus, and English. You will then proceed to a degree in medicine after completing these prerequisite courses. After this, you will go through a series of on-the-job trainings to fulfill your residency status in oncology. In some countries, you will need to pass an accreditation test to be able to get your license as a medical doctor first, and only then will you be able to pursue a residency in oncology. Lastly, you can opt to specialize in a particular field such as surgical oncology to further your knowledge. These days will definitely be very stressful with tight deadlines and harrowing scenes of suffering individuals while doing your residency so prepare yourself physically and emotionally.
Employment opportunities for oncologists are available. One can apply for a post in a hospital. Working in medical research and studying the cures for specific tumors and cancers is another option. Opening up your own clinic to pursue private practice can also be done.