Radiation oncology is an important part in the field of cancer treatment. It works with other oncology specialists to deliver best possible treatment for cancer patients today. It handles radiation therapy, as well as associated necessary equipment and techniques. It also have access to groups which assume responsibility for the marketing of the oncology product Sentimag.
But what really awaits a person when pursuing a radiation oncology career? How competitive is its field, especially for new comers? These are important questions to ask to land a good job within the field of radiation oncology after studying.
What to Expect when Pursuing Radiation Oncology?
Radiation oncology circles on treating cancer with the use of ionized radiation. It works with other fields of oncology to obtain diagnosis results, as well as maintain work relationship for coming up with the best treatment plan.
That is because radiation therapy requires high precision during administration to destroy cancer cells while keeping the patient safe. Hence, a radiation oncologist has to choose the best form of therapy depending on the patient, as well as the condition of the tumor.
What it takes to become a Radiation Oncologist
Becoming a radiation oncologist isn’t an easy path to take. A person must first finish the medical school, then enroll in an internship program; either for internal medicine or surgery. Then, they must finish a four-year specialty training course, wherein they’d get enough experience in treating different cancer types. Moreover, advance specialty training are available as well, which often includes the use of advance technologies for cancer treatment.
After studying, training and gaining experience, the person would face a tight competition in the availability of slots for radiation oncologists. All over the USA, only less than 200 residencies are available each year, which may not be enough to cater all new comers. As a solution, students must plan their steps carefully, such as aiming for mentoring, so they can secure a slot.
Usual Work Routines of a Radiation Oncologist
A radiation oncologist has to sit down with patients and their loved ones for a long time, and discuss about the best treatment plan for the cancer patient. This includes consultation, then informing them about the administration method of the radiation therapy. They often build bonds with these families as well, since cancer treatment often takes a long time. Even after treatment, patients must remain under observation after an extended period.
Radiation oncologists also work closely with other cancer treatment specialist. For example, they get diagnosis, test results and treatment plan from a medical oncologist. Then, they also work with radiologists for clear imaging of the cancer cells. This is important to have high precision in delivering radiation therapy to a patient.
Then, a radiation oncologist would sit for long hours while planning for each radiation therapy session of a patient. This includes mapping the cancer tumors with the use of images from radiologist, and results from medical oncologists. Moreover, they plan on how to exactly deliver it for optimal results.
Now, despite of them seemingly working in a busy field, radiation oncologist seldom receive emergency or urgent calls. They always function on schedule, and they receive patients mostly through referrals from medical oncologists. As a result, they often enjoy a weekend, or have enough rest to keep them up at work.
Welfare of a Radiation Oncologist
Obviously, radiation oncologists are handling radioactive materials for throughout their job. Curiously enough, only a minuscule number of these specialists have acquired radiation exposure, and even lesser number have gained damaging effects.
That’s because of the high safety standards in the field of radiation oncology. For example, these specialists work in highly contained rooms with heavy-lead barriers. This stops radiation from going out of control.
Moreover, they use robotic hands in administering radiation therapy. Aside from keeping their selves away from radiation exposure, it also increases precision throughout the procedure. And as previously mentioned, this is an essential key in gaining better cure results.
This is just a brief overview of a radiation oncologist’s career. Yes, it looks demanding and highly complex position. However, it’s worth pursuing for, especially that it allows you to work battling one of the worst diseases among humans. Plan your radiation oncology career accordingly, and you’re off towards big outcome.
David Robson is the founder of Complus Alliance. He has been writing about different topics for almost 10 years. He’s main focus is delivering quality insights to a wide array of audience.