Oncologist jobs include generalist positions, as well as ones where medical personnel specialize in diagnosing and treating patients with a particular type of cancer. There are opportunities for physicians interested in a general practice, as well as those who want to specialize in treating patients with particular types of cancer. Some areas of specialization include gynecologic, pediatric and radiation oncology.
An oncologist is a medical doctor who has graduated from medical school and completed an internship. The next phase of training for oncologist jobs is to complete a residency program, which takes between two and four years. At this level, the future oncologist chooses his or her area of specialization. Before starting to practice as a specialist, the oncologist must pass licensing exams set by the jurisdiction where he or she will be working.
People working in a general capacity make up the majority of those working in oncologist jobs. The general oncologist sees patients who are suspected of having or have been diagnosed with cancer. The physician relies on his or her knowledge and experience to devise a treatment plan for each patient, which may include surgical or non-surgical components. The doctor may conduct various tests, including biopsies and collecting tissue samples for examination by a pathologist.
Gynecologic oncologist jobs involve treating female patients exclusively. This type of oncologist has completed the training to become an obstetrician/gynecologist as well as specialized courses in diagnosing and treating women's reproductive cancers. Dealing with ovarian, cervical and uterine cancer is best conducted by a highly-trained medical specialist.
Pediatric oncology is another area of specialization under the category of oncologist jobs. This branch of medicine deals with diagnosing and treating cancers in patients under the age of 18. It can be particularly challenging for physicians, who must have good communication skills to explain treatment options to the patient and his or her parents or guardians.
Radiation oncology is an area of specialization in cancer care which involves treating tumors using technology which is very similar to an x-ray. People who choose to work in this area of oncologist jobs lead their patients' treatment team and provide instructions to other healthcare professionals about how often to schedule treatment sessions and what dosage of radiation is appropriate for a particular patient. The patient's progress is monitored carefully by the radiation oncologist so that changes can be made if the patient is not responding as anticipated to the treatment.