How Do I Become a Gynecologic Oncologist?

Angela Crout-Mitchell

In order to become a gynecologic oncologist there are several crucial steps that have to be completed successfully, including obtaining the correct education, taking the appropriate tests, and finishing a variety of different internships and residencies before being considered properly trained for the job. During education and training, candidates learn the many facets of gynecologic oncology, such as the different types of cancer commonly occurring in the female reproductive system, various cancer treatments, and how to effectively treat patients affected by these illnesses. Advanced training, far past the bachelor's degree level, and specialized courses are designed to provide the student with large knowledge base pertaining to this specialized medical field.

A gynecologic oncologist will need to have the basic skills of any other gynecologist.
A gynecologic oncologist will need to have the basic skills of any other gynecologist.

To become a gynecologic oncologist, the candidate must first complete a bachelor's degree from an accredited school. Many people find it easier to gain admittance to a good medical school with an undergraduate degree in one of the sciences, such as biology, chemistry, or physics. Most students discover it is much simpler to be admitted to medical school when their undergraduate history shows community service or activities in addition to excellent grades.

A gynecologic oncologist specializes in the treatment of ovarian, cervical, and uterine cancer.
A gynecologic oncologist specializes in the treatment of ovarian, cervical, and uterine cancer.

Before applying to medical school, students are normally required to take and pass a medical college admission test. These exams test the student's knowledge in problem solving, science knowledge, as well as written and verbal communication skills. Without a passing score on these exams, the student may be unable to enroll in medical school.

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The next step to become a gynecologic oncologist is to complete medical school. During the first two years basic medical subjects are studied, such as anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, and microbiology. The third year focuses on internal medicine, gynecology, and surgery. Electives and choosing a good residency program are both done during the fourth year. Another four years is spent learning, working, and practicing gynecologic medicine within the confines of a medical residency program.

After residency, the final step to become a gynecologic oncologist is to be accepted for and complete a fellowship in gynecologic oncology. These programs last for an additional three years of study, and it can be incredibly difficult to be accepted. During this time, doctors are expected to study an intensive program relating to the female reproductive system as well as the diagnosis and treatment of cancers. Following successful completion of the fellowship, a doctor is considered an expert in her field.

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