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Rad Onc: Patient Contact, Lifestyle?

5 posts in this topic

How much patient contact is there in Rad Onc? Is there more or less patient contact vs. general surgery or diagnostic radiology for example?

 

Where does the salary rank against other specialties in Quebec?

 

Patient contact is very important for me, I enjoy something complex (neurology, physics), but I'm also looking for good lifestyle/work-life balance.

 

Thank you

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Most rad oncs would have around 5-6 half day clinics a week, where they could see new patients, follow-ups and patients on treatment. Depending on what setting, academic vs community it varies. The rest of the time its treatment planning, admin, research, QA etc. You interact with surgeons and med oncs, and radiation therapy quite a bit as well.

 

I would say there is far more patient contact than in radiology or gen sx (as its either 5 min at 6 am or the pts under anesthesia) 

 

I cant comment on Quebec specifically, but in the rest of Canada, rad onc is well renumerated with a good lifestyle. 

 

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Last time I checked the numbers directly from the governement budget papers, the average was about 440 000$ with pretty much no overhead (a total of 92$). That was for 2015-2016 I believe and that ends up as being roughly 10% above the average for specialists.

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I would agree with above. Remuneration is really good for the lifestyle and hours, though depends on province (eg Ontario is FFS whereas other provinces are salaried). Patient contact is key to RO, and that combined with treatment planning means that no day is the same and there is enough variety and challenging cases to keep me on my toes!

 

I would postulate that RO as a career has what you would be looking for in terms of a good mix of challenging cases, good/very good remuneration, and can be thought of as a "lifestyle specialty" if one chooses to look at it that way.

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How much patient contact is there in Rad Onc? Is there more or less patient contact vs. general surgery or diagnostic radiology for example?

 

A good amount. Generally 5-6 half-day clinics, including 1 half-day per week where you review all patients currently on treatment to manage any side effects. In Ontario, this results translates ~8 new patient consultations per week and ~24-30+ follow-up visits per week (highly variable).

Where does the salary rank against other specialties in Quebec?

 

I can't speak for Quebec, but it is more than comfortable.

Patient contact is very important for me, I enjoy something complex (neurology, physics), but I'm also looking for good lifestyle/work-life balance.

 

Radiation oncology is a complex specialty. Patients rarely follow a true 'flow chart', and individualizing treatment decisions/volumes is routine. There is little differential diagnostic work, and little acutely unwell patient care, but it also qualifies for a good lifestyle specialty.

 

Most rad onc staff I've worked with debate the 'lifestyle' aspect, especially in Ontario, but objectively speaking it is quite reasonable. The cancer centre is usually a ghost town before 8am, unless there are multidisciplinary rounds happening ;)

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