What is Oncology?
Oncology is basically a medical area that focuses on cancer treatment. Most hospitals have an Oncology Department. This section handles everything about the disease and treatment of the patients.
Who is an Oncologist?
Oncologists are physicians who specialize in the treatment of cancer. They can diagnose and plan out treatment for cancer patients. These medications include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery and palliative care.
Becoming an Oncologist
There are many stages before you become an oncologist. It takes many years of study to specialize in cancer treatment. Nevertheless, oncologist salary is competitive enough to compensate for your hard work. It is necessary that oncologists learn all about cancer and treatment methods.
An Oncologist need to take a four-year course in biology or other field of science. This is the springboard to the residency program where the oncologist salary is just at a regular rate. After four years in the residency program, they will have a hands-on experience in handling cancer cases. They are assigned in shifts to cover different cases thereby, helping them identify what they want to focus on.
Oncologist salary increases as they improve their skills. One way to do this is to undergo professional development. Oncologists have to be updated with the new trends of cancer treatment. Attending conferences in oncology are a good way to meet other professionals in the field. It is also a learning experience for oncologists as they listen to recent researches and studies about cancer. Oncologists can further add credibility to their name by being a member of a professional organization.
Different Types of Oncologist
There are different types of oncologist. You can choose one depending on your area of interest. Oncologist salary also varies for each field of expertise.
1. Medical Oncologist - Medical oncologists are the most common type of oncologist. You may consult a medical oncologist if you are diagnosed with tumors, referred by a surgeon and is recommended to undergo chemotherapy.
2. Hematology Oncologist - This type of oncologist specializes in cancer of the blood like leukemia and sick cell anemia. If you are considering this field of expertise, physicians are required to study hematology and medical oncology.
3. Radiation Oncologist - This type of oncologist are those that implements radiation therapy, chemotherapy and other similar tasks of medical oncologist but is more oriented towards cancer treatment.
4. Surgical Oncologist - Surgical oncologists are expert in removing tumors that cause cancer. Surgical oncologists are initially general surgeons that have further training in oncology and in operating cancerous tumors.
5. Gynecological Oncologist – Women usually consult with this type of oncologist. Gynecological oncologist specializes in the cancer and treatment of the female reproductive system. This includes ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, and uterine cancer.
6. Pediatric Oncologist – There are children who develop cancer even when they are under 18 years of age. So, they are referred to the pediatric oncologist.
The Oncologist salary, based on the US Salary Statistics, ranges from $57, 000 to 220, 000 per year. The difference is based on the areas of specialization, geographical location, type of employer and hospital facility. Oncologist salary is one of the highest compensation especially for those who can diagnose and facilitate treatment of cancer.
Oncology Career Outlook
In a research published in the American Society of Clinical Oncology, results showed that oncology services will continue to increase due to the growth in population and percentage of cancer patients. Old timers in the field also need to retire and a new breed of experts has to be employed. A 48% increase in job opportunities is foreseen until 2020. This also means higher oncology salary bracket for the new doctors.
The greater demand for oncologists also calls for a revision in the policies regarding medical practice. This will hopefully answer the needs of cancer patients. If cancer patients will continuously increase, more oncologists are needed to ensure full treatment. As experts in cancer widen their specialization, the oncologist salary will definitely increase to compensate for the challenges in the medical practice.