Becoming an oncologist is a long and arduous process that requires dedication and hard work. In total, it takes between 11 and 12 years of school to become a medical oncologist. The first four years are dedicated to completing a bachelor's degree, followed by four years in medical school. Then, medical oncology requires three to four years in an internal medicine residency.
After completing the residency and passing the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) certification exams in internal medicine, he goes on to complete a two-year fellowship in medical oncology. Once you pass the ABIM medical oncology exam, you gain board certification in the specialty. The entire process lasts five years, so a medical oncologist requires a total of nine years of medical education and training. In your undergraduate program, you will need to take the prerequisite courses for your future medical school.
Although these courses may vary by medical school, the most common are chemistry, biology, physics, calculus, anatomy, physiology, psychology, and English. These courses will prepare you to take the Medical School Admission Test (MCAT), where you will need to score well to be accepted into good medical schools. Oncologists have a deep desire to change the course of disease for cancer patients, cure when possible and when a cure is not possible, extend and improve the remaining quality of life, and provide effective palliation of symptoms. Paradoxically, oncologists have high levels of depression while they have relatively high levels of job satisfaction.
The specialty includes medical oncologists, who prescribe and administer medications; radiation oncologists, who administer radiation therapy; and pediatric oncologists, who treat children. A college degree, medical school graduation, and residency are required to become a solo physician, with additional years of experience and specialized training to become an oncologist. Oncologists can obtain certification by passing the exam offered by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). Oncologists or oncologists are specialists in treating patients with cancer, either as doctors or in academic and research settings.
While a degree in any discipline will help you gain admission, most aspiring oncologists earn a degree in biology, chemistry, or other hard science. Education requirements for oncologists include a 4-year bachelor's degree and 4 years of training at an accredited medical school. To become an oncologist is not easy but it is worth it if you have the passion for it. It requires dedication and hard work but it is also very rewarding as you get to help people with cancer and make a difference in their lives.