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Medical Oncology Questions

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Hi All,

I've recently developed an interest in medical oncology and I was hoping some of you on the boards would be able to share your experiences. I've done a few weeks of elective time and really enjoyed the clinic component, but I was curious about how competitive the MO subspecialty match is, how lifestyle/compensation is as a staff, and how the job market is. I've been told the the med onc job market is better than radiation oncology, but that really doesn't seem to be saying much. Is a fellowship a requirement for a job in most larger cities? I was a little concerned as I saw that the CAMO website only currently has 2 active job listings. Any further information would be much appreciated. 

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  • 1 month later...

I'm not in oncology, but had a lot of interest in it during med school. Below information pertains to large, urban, academic sites.

A lot of jobs won't be posted publicly, so don't feel too worried about that. Best advice would be to talk to soon-to-graduate residents or fellows about what their plans are, but I'm sure you know that already. ;)

In large cities, you'll likely want to work at an academic site, so fellowships are often necessary. You can expect to be doing a fellowship or some sort of Masters degree. I'm told that research opportunities are more...prolific, in med onc. So there should be some interest in doing research if you're considering the field. There's tons of research opportunities in rad onc also, but in med onc there's just a lot more drugs, etc.

As staff, your time is likely going to be divided between clinical and administrative (incl teaching, research, faculty/ meeting type stuff). It's not uncommon to travel a fair bit to attend conferences/ research meetings several times a year. Also, since a lot of administrative work happens outside of "regular hours", you can expect your typical 9-5 pm day to run into the evenings if you have to write a paper/ grant.

After hours/ weekends, you can be on call, but at an academic site, it's usually not onerous due to residents/ fellows covering.

Unlike other specialties, there aren't many ways to "increase" your income since you can't "recruit" more work. Many are under salary, which can be good or bad depending on how you view it (another topic of debate).

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