Clinical Oncology Training and Degree Program Overviews
Research clinical oncology training fellowship programs. Get information about education prerequisites, program coursework, employment prospects and salary to make an informed decision about your education.
Oncology Fellowship Training Program Overview
Students who have an aptitude for science and a desire to help treat and prevent cancer may wish to devote themselves to the study of oncology, the branch of medicine that deals with cancer. Students might choose to pursue a fellowship training program specific to oncology or a program that includes both hematology and oncology. Most programs are designed to be completed in three years. As a result of the program, students may become competent in preventing, detecting, evaluating and treating cancers. In addition to learning how to effectively communicate with other healthcare providers, patients and their families, students might also learn to show compassion through the development of interpersonal skills.
Generally, students spend the majority of the fellowship program participating in both in-patient and out-patient clinical rotations. Rotations might include working with individuals diagnosed with blood diseases such as AIDS or leukemia or with a variety of cancers including breast, gastrointestinal, melanoma and gynecologic. Students might also partake in research both in a clinical and laboratory setting. Upon program completion, students are typically able to complete procedures and administer treatments, such as bone marrow aspirations, biopsies and chemotherapy.
Admission to such a program requires successful completion of medical school. In addition, students typically are expected to have completed a residency program in internal medicine.
Students may study biostatistics, molecular and cellular biology of cancer, epidemiology and clinical trial design. Students might also be required to complete a course on medical ethics. Generally, students participate in a number of lectures and conferences related to oncology on topics such as:
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Breast cancer
- Treatment of benign conditions
- Clinical research methods
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Salary.com reported that as of April 2012, the median expected salary for a hematology/oncology physician was $265,064. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that employment for all physicians and surgeons was expected to grow by 24% in the 2010-2020 decade (www.bls.gov).
Although not required, students might consider becoming certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in medical oncology (www.abim.org). In addition to passing a specialty examination on the topic of oncology, students also need to meet training, licensure and education requirements as set by the ABIM.
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