Last Updated:
April 27, 2023

Job Description Overview

An oncologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Their job involves working with patients to develop personalized treatment plans, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. They monitor patients' progress throughout treatment and adjust the plan as necessary to ensure the best possible outcomes.

Oncologists also work closely with a team of healthcare professionals, including nurses and radiation therapists, to provide comprehensive care to their patients. They may collaborate with researchers to develop new cancer treatments or participate in clinical trials to test the effectiveness of new cancer drugs.

To become an oncologist, individuals must complete a medical degree, residency training in internal medicine or pediatrics, and a fellowship in oncology. They must possess exceptional communication skills, attention to detail, and compassion for their patients.

Overall, an oncologist job description involves diagnosing and treating cancer, working with a multidisciplinary team, and providing compassionate care to patients.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Examining patients and determining the presence and extent of cancer
  • Ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests such as CT scans and blood work
  • Developing a treatment plan based on the patient's diagnosis and medical history
  • Administering and overseeing chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy
  • Monitoring the patient's progress and adjusting treatment plans as needed
  • Collaborating with other healthcare professionals, such as surgeons and pathologists, to provide comprehensive care
  • Providing emotional support and counseling to patients and their families
  • Conducting research and participating in clinical trials to advance cancer treatment and care.

Experience and Education Requirements

To be an Oncologist in the healthcare industry, you need to complete a lot of education and gain plenty of experience. First, you need to attend medical school and get a degree in medicine. Then, you'll need to complete a residency program in internal medicine or radiation oncology. This will give you hands-on training and prepare you for the job. Next, you'll need to complete a fellowship program in oncology, which can take up to three years. During this time, you will work with patients under the supervision of experienced doctors. Finally, you will need to pass a licensing exam and become board certified in oncology to practice as an Oncologist.

Salary Range

Oncologists are medical professionals that focus on the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients. If you're wondering about Oncologist salary range, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for oncologists in the United States is around $281,100, with the top 10 percent earning more than $413,000 per year. Factors such as geographic location, work experience, and employer type can impact Oncologist salaries. For instance, those working in metropolitan areas tend to earn more than those in rural areas. In the United Kingdom, the average salary for an Oncologist is around £80,000 to £180,000 per year.


  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics - https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physicians-and-surgeons.htm
  2. PayScale - https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Oncologist/Salary
  3. Prospects - https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/oncologist

Career Outlook

If you're thinking about becoming an oncologist, then the good news is that the demand for this specialized medical professional is increasing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physicians and surgeons is projected to grow 7% from 2018 to 2028, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Oncologists treat cancer patients through a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. As the baby boomer population continues to age and face higher cancer risks, the demand for oncologists is expected to increase. Furthermore, with advancements in cancer treatments and technology, the role of oncologists is becoming even more crucial in the fight against cancer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is an oncologist?

A: An oncologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Q: What training is required to become an oncologist?

A: To become an oncologist, one must complete four years of medical school, followed by a residency in internal medicine or pediatrics and a fellowship in oncology.

Q: What does an oncologist do?

A: An oncologist works with patients to diagnose, stage, and treat cancer. They also provide ongoing care and management, such as monitoring progress and adjusting treatment as needed.

Q: What are common treatments for cancer that an oncologist may prescribe?

A: Oncologists may prescribe a combination of treatments including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and targeted therapy. The specific treatment plan depends on the type and stage of cancer, as well as the patient's overall health.

Q: What skills are necessary to be a successful oncologist?

A: Successful oncologists must have strong communication skills to effectively interact with patients, as well as critical thinking skills to diagnose and treat complex medical conditions. They should also have compassion for their patients, as cancer treatment can be emotionally and physically taxing.

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