Oncologist

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Radiation Oncologist
 

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Helping or advisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5Skill Level 6

Oncologists are physicians who manage patients with cancer.

Cancer is a term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. FutureGrowthModerate
Oncologists diagnose and assess stages of cancer, recommend and implement appropriate treatment plans and continually monitor progress.

ANZSCO description:
Investigates, diagnoses and treats patients with
cancer using chemotherapy and biological therapy. Registration or licensing is required.

Alternative names:
Clinical Oncologist, Medical Oncology Physician, Oncologist

Oncologist with patient
(Source: Health Care Workers Salary)

Specialisations: Gynaecological Oncologists, Haematologists, Paediatric oncologists, Radiation Oncologists, Surgical Oncologists

Knowledge, skills and attributes

An oncologist needs:

  • high levels of intelligence and self discipline
  • expert knowledge in the areas of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, immunotherapy and targeted treatments
  • to be able to make good clinical judgements under difficult and emotional circumstances
  • to be able to effectively counsel and advise patients
  • to work as part of a multidisciplinary team and in some cases, manage that team
  • a willingness to continue to engage in professional development, study and training
  • excellent communication skills
  • to be able to work under pressure
  • sensitivity, understanding and to be trustworthy

 

Duties and Tasks

The primary role of the Indigenous Community Worker is to identify and assist in the development and improvement of the quality of life for Indigenous Australians.

  • To identify the needs and aspirations of the Indigenous Australian community and ensure honest and open relationships with members of this community.
  • To build strong community relations.

Working conditions

Most oncologists start their careers in hospitals and clinics, eventually moving into private practice.
Oncologists usually work long hours and at times are on call.

Oncology work can be emotionally draining as a lot of time is spent dealing with patients who have a serious disease - frequent time-out is a must.


Tools and technologies

Oncologists are expected to be familiar with a variety of medical equipment and instruments associated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy and other cancer treatment.


Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a medical oncologist, you must first become a qualified medical practitioner and then specialise in oncology.

To become a medical practitioner, you need to study a degree in medicine. Alternatively, you can study a degree in any discipline followed by a postgraduate degree in medicine.

To specialise in medical oncology, doctors can apply to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) to undertake further training and ultimately receive fellowship.

To be eligible for this specialist training, on completion of your medical degree, you must work in the public hospital system for a minimum of two years (internship and residency).

To work as a medical oncologist in Australia, you will need to obtain registration from the Medical Board of Australia.


Oncologist
(Source: UWA)

Did You Know?

Oncologist and writer Dr Ranjana Srivastava shares what she wish she had known earlier about her career choice and the challenges it presented along the way.

Books by Ranjana: A Better Death: Conversations About the Art of Living and Dying Well and What it Takes to Be a Doctor

Listen to Ranjana (7mins 37secs) - Wednesday 29 July 2020

This Working Life



Radiation Oncologist
Community and Health

Helping or advisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5Skill Level 6

Radiation oncologists are medical specialists who use radiation therapy (also known as radiotherapy) to treat and manage cancer in patients.

Radiation oncologists work with and assess patients with cancer and plan the course of best treatment for them. Radiation oncologists may remove the cancer, or where that is not possible, Future Growth Strong alleviate pain to improve the quality of life of a patient. They determine and prescribe the most suitable dose of radiation using high energy X-rays, electron beams or gamma rays to treat their patient.

ANZSCO description: Provides medical care and management of patients with cancer and other medical conditions through the conduct and supervision of radiation treatment; and advice on the provision of palliative and other supportive care of patients with cancer. Registration or licensing is required.

Radiation Oncologist
(Source: Siteman Cancer Centre)



Knowledge, skills and attributes

A radiation oncologist needs:

  • the ability to cope with the physical and psychological demands of the job
  • to be accurate and have an eye for detail
  • problem solving skills
  • understanding, patience and empathy
  • excellent communication skills to liaise with other physicians and provide clear information to patients
  • to be able to work well within a team


Working conditions

Radiation oncologists work for public and private hospitals. They may supervise and teach medical students and trainees. Radiation oncologists may also perform research and conduct clinical trials. They may be required to be on-call in case of an emergency.
Most radiation oncologists in Australia work in the metropolitan areas. They must wear personal protective equipment and adhere to strict safety requirements when performing procedures with radiation.


Tools and technologies

​Radiation oncologists work with radiation therapists and medical physicists to deliver radiation treatment with a radiation machine called a linear accelerator (linac). Radiation oncologists usually use external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) techniques, but may also use intraoperative radiotherapy, total body irradiation, or brachytherapy, where radiation is delivered inside the patient. They may be required to wear lead aprons or thyroid shields if they are performing a procedure near radiation.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To work as a radiation oncologist in Australia, you will need to obtain registration from the Medical Radiation Practice Board.

To become a radiation oncologist, you must first become a qualified medical doctor and then specialise in radiation oncology.

To become a medical practitioner, you need to study a degree in medicine. Alternatively, you can study a degree in any discipline followed by a postgraduate degree in medicine.

To specialise in radiation oncology, doctors must apply to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) to complete the Radiation Oncology Training Program.
To be eligible for this specialist training, on completion of your medical degree, you must work in the public hospital system for two years (internship and residency).

 


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Material sourced from
Jobs & Skills WA
[Oncologist; Radiation Oncologist];
JobOutlook [Medical Oncologist; Radiation Oncologist; ]


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