CAREER OPTION > Oncologist
Career as an Oncologist
With cancer being the most dangerous but also the most common disease across the globe, the demand and need for oncologists have increased to a great extent. As an oncologist, your duty is to diagnose and treat cancer. You will diagnose the stage of the disease and recommend best treatment options to your client. There are several fields in which oncologists can specialise according to age group of the patients and other factors. Since cancer is such a difficult disease to fight, the role that you have to play as an oncologist is really large.
Even though the career is very rewarding, it is also very challenging and stressful. Because of the incurable nature of the disease, as a doctor of oncology, you will have to handle and go through several difficult situations and help your patients go through the same by staying positive. In order to become an oncologist you need to take up a master’s degree in oncology and only then will you be able to start professional practice. The life of a patient depends upon the treatment plan that you develop. Hence, it is an extremely responsible yet a promising career to choose for.
- Qualifying marks in your H.S.C. (10+2) examination under a recognised board of education with Physics, Chemistry and Biology being core subjects.
- An MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree which extends to a time period of 5 years is mandatory to specialise in oncology.
- You should be able to determine which type of cancer your patient has and in what stage it has been diagnosed.
- You should constantly involve in research and be up to date about recent findings and treatments in oncology to help your patients better.
- You must be extremely positive and have the ability to effectively counsel patients and advise them about the measures to be taken.
- You must have good communication skills and be a good leader. Team working abilities are a vital quality.
How to become an Oncologist
STEP 1: After passing your H.S.C. (10+2) exams, you need to write state and central level entrance exams such as the AIEEE.
STEP 2: The entrance exam will have objective type questions from Physics, Chemistry and Biology. After clearing these exams, you will be admitted into different medical institutions for your MBBS degree as per your rank and performance in the entrance exam.
STEP 3: After completing your 5 years MBBS program, you will have to choose a field of oncology in which you wish to specialise. Subjects that you will cover in oncology are chemotherapy, radiation, pathology, cell cycle, science in oncology, clinical oncology, different types of cancer, rehabilitation of cancer, advances in oncology etc. to mention a few.
STEP 4: You will have to do a master’s program in oncology which extends to a time period of 2 years. You can choose either for Medical oncology or Surgical Oncology or any other and specialise in the same.
- Tata Memorial Centre – Mumbai
- Amrita School of Medicine – Kochi
- All India Institute of Medical Sciences – New Delhi
- Madras Medical College - Chennai
Demand for oncologists is increasing day by day and it is a career that will give you a permanent job security. There are several divisions of oncology under which you can opt a career. Radiation oncology, surgical oncology, medical oncology, gynaecologic oncology and paediatric oncology. You can work with both private hospitals and government hospitals.
A fresh oncologist in the government sector can earn between Rs.25, 000 to Rs.30, 000 per month and this can get as high as Rs.90, 000 per month. The salary of a fresh oncologist working in a private hospital will be Rs.50, 000 t Rs.60, 000 per month and can get as high as Rs.2 lakhs per month. Further increase depends on experience and expertise.