Starting a career as an oncologist makes a medical doctor who specialises in cancer diagnosis and treatment. This career path is one of the careers in the healthcare sector that has rigorous requirements. As a result, physicians in this field are well respected and valued in the healthcare sector. As an oncologist, you will work specifically with healthcare professionals such as surgeons, radiologists, and pathologists, to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for their patients. You will collaborate with other healthcare professionals such as surgeons, radiologists, and pathologists, to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for their patients.

This piece will guide you through the steps to take in pursuing a career as an oncologist.

Steps to Pursue a Career as an Oncologist

  1. Obtain a Secondary School Certificate

    The first step to pursuing this career is to obtain a high school certificate. Additionally, you should have a strong foundation in science subjects. These subjects will give you the foundational knowledge for attending medical school. You should have good grades in subjects such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and English.

  2. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

    There are several requirements for applying to a medical school. However, this may vary based on the country you wish to study in. Some countries require you to have a bachelor’s degree in science while in some countries, you can apply to a medical school with your secondary school certificate. If you are required to have a bachelor’s degree, you should have a bachelor’s degree in disciplines such as biology, chemistry or any health-related field.

  3. Attend Medical School

    Medical school is compulsory while pursuing a career as an oncologist. A medical school can take four to six years.

  4. Undergo Residency Training

    You need to complete a residency program after medical school. This program is important because it will give you the experience to have real-world experience in this field. Therefore, you can complete your residency program in internal medicine or paediatrics. This program will train you on how to diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions including cancer. Additionally, you will work under the supervision of experienced doctors. You can work in places such as hospitals or clinics.

  5. Pursue Fellowship Training

    You should register and complete a fellowship program after completing your residency. The fellowship program should be specifically in the field of oncology. Therefore, you will specialise in training and gaining knowledge in diagnosing and treating cancer.

  6. Obtain a License

    You need a license to be able to start practising as an Oncologist. However, you must fulfill some requirements before you can obtain this license. You must have completed your residency as well as passing your license examination.

  7. Get a Board Certification

    Board certification is highly required to practice cardiology. However, this may depend on the country you choose to practice oncology in. Board certification is also important for patients who want to ensure that their oncologist has met certain standards of education, training, and experience.

Types of Oncologists

  1. Haematologist-Oncologist

    Haematologists and oncologists treat blood malignancies and illnesses such as leukaemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and myelodysplastic syndromes. They treat diseases such as blood disorders, interpreting blood tests and bone marrow biopsies, and administering chemotherapy.

  2. Surgical Oncologist

    Surgical oncologists specialise in cancer surgery, such as tumour removal, biopsy, and staging. Surgical oncologists often collaborate with other oncology specialists, such as medical oncologists and radiation oncologists, to provide comprehensive cancer care.

  3. Pediatric Oncologists

    They specialise in treating paediatric malignancies such as leukaemia, lymphoma, brain tumours, sarcomas, and solid tumours. Pediatric oncologists focus on the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in children and adolescents.

  4. Medical Oncologist

    Medical oncologists are experts in treating cancer with a variety of systemic therapies, such as immunotherapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy.

  5. Gynecologic Oncologist

    Gynecologic oncologists are experts in the detection and management of malignancies that impact the female reproductive system, such as cancers of the ovary, cervix, endometrium, vagina, and vulvar regions.

  6. Neuro-Oncologist

    Neuro-oncologists are experts in the identification and management of tumours that impact the central nervous system and brain. Additionally, they are skilled in treating spinal cord tumours, primary brain tumours, metastatic brain tumours, and neurological side effects of disease.

  7. Radiation Oncologist

    Radiation oncologists specialise in using radiation treatment to treat cancer. They create radiation therapy regimens, provide precise doses of radiation to malignant tumours, and track patients’ responses to treatment.

Universities to Study Oncology in Africa

  1. Cairo University, Egypt
  2. Mansoura University, Egypt
  3. Ain Shams University, Egypt
  4. University of Cape Town, South Africa
  5. University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  6. Alexandria University, Egypt
  7. Menoufia University, Egypt
  8. University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
  9. University of Pretoria, South Africa
  10. Zagazig University, Egypt
  11. Assiut University, Egypt
  12. Al-Azhar University, Egypt
  13. Tanta University, Egypt
  14. University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  15. Suez Canal University, Egypt
  16. University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  17. University of Tunis El Manar, Tunisia
  18. Makerere University, Uganda
  19. Minia University, Egypt
  20. Mohammed V University, Morocco
  21. Benha University, Egypt
  22. University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  23. Beni-Suef University, Egypt
  24. University of Nairobi, Kenya
  25. Tunis University, Tunisia
  26. University of Monastir, Tunisia
  27. Helwan University, Egypt
  28. University of Lagos, Nigeria
  29. Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  30. University of Ghana, Ghana
  31. Hassan II University of Casablanca, Morocco
  32. Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
  33. University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
  34. University of Khartoum, Sudan
  35. Sohag University, Egypt
  36. University of Limpopo, South Africa
  37. University of Sfax, Tunisia
  38. German University in Cairo, Egypt
  39. University of the Western Cape, South Africa
  40. University of the Free State, South Afric

In conclusion, a career as an oncologist offers excellent growth potential as well as potential financial rewards. Furthermore, because of the high rise of cancer, this career will allow you to make an impact on the lives of people. Aspiring oncologists can have a rewarding career with hard work and dedication to the field.

Good luck!

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