An oncologist is a specialized physician or doctor who is trained in a wide variety of diagnoses and cancer treatment procedures. This person often works in a hospital or medical office. While many work during regular business hours, it is not unusual for an oncologist to work extended hours, especially within a hospital setting.
An oncologist is responsible for many duties, primarily diagnosing and treating patients with cancer. They typically collect medical history information and perform physical tests on their patients, as well as perform an array of diagnostic procedures to determine tissue condition to detect cancer (including scanning, X-ray, MRI, surgical operation, and biopsy). The oncologist also treats the cancer using chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgical removal.
An oncologist may also refer their patients to a different oncologist based on their specialty or therapy training to ensure proper treatment. They are also responsible for explaining the cancer development stages to their patients, as well as discussing options and assisting in the management of pain. These medical professionals are frequently responsible for their patients throughout the entire course of treatment. Appropriate bedside manner is important in this position as well.
As physicians, oncologists must have an undergraduate degree and successfully complete medical school. Upon medical school graduation, medical residency must take place, which lasts anywhere from three to five years depending on the area of specialty. An additional residency or fellowship may be required, dependent on the subspecialty of the oncologist. Following residency and fellowship, a licensing exam must be passed.
Physician / Doctor, Oncologist Tasks
Examine patients, images, and laboratory results to diagnose and recommend treatments for cancer.
Track progress and health of patients.
Provide treatment plans that take into account the nature of the cancer, the patients' wishes and best medical options.
Recommend changes to diet, exercise, and other factors to reduce cancer risks or side effects of treatment.