How do I Become an Orthopedic Oncologist?
The career path a student takes to become an orthopedic oncologist is complex and lengthy, as this type of oncology career specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and research of cancerous tumors that infect and attack the skeletal system and its related muscles. A student who wishes to become an orthopedic oncologist must complete a specific set of steps, including medical school, a residency, and a fellowship. This type of medical specialty requires a student to complete rigorous training in orthopedics as well as in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
The first step a prospective orthopedic oncologist must take for this career path is to complete an undergraduate degree. This can be completed at a four-year university or through a combination of community college classes and years at a university. Many students choose to focus on pre-medical studies during this process in order to prepare themselves for the rigorous demands of medical school. This is also the time that a student will choose to work hard at excelling in science classes as preparation for the next step in the plan to become an orthopedic oncologist: medical school.
It takes a typical student four years to complete medical school. During this time, an individual who wishes to become an orthopedic oncologist will study the human body and general medical practices. He may focus on orthopedics or oncology, or a combination of the two. Most medical students, however, learn general medicine during this time. Toward the end of medical school, a student also may work in an internship designed to prepare him for his upcoming residency.
The third step in the path to become an orthopedic oncologist is the completion of a residency. The student is considered a practicing doctor of medicine at this point, but he must work and receive on-the-job training to complete his education. The length of a residency can vary but is usually a period of five years or more. During this residency, the student will learn surgical techniques and receive training on injury management and other related orthopedic practices.
Once a doctor has completed his residency, he must continue to study his specialty. He will need to qualify and be accepted to a fellowship, during which he will focus on and compile an increasing amount of expertise and experience in the detection and treatment of tumors in the musculoskeletal system. He will learn about specific treatments, such as surgical techniques, radiation, and other types of care necessary for cancer patients. During this period, the doctor will usually be required to do extensive research and publish and present findings to the medical community.
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