Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

Would medical oncology be considered a 'lifestyle subspecialty' within IM?


Recommended Posts

I often hear about the lifestyle subspecialties after IM, such as endo, rheum, geriatrics. And then on the other end something like cardiology of course would not be considered to be a lifestyle specialty. Where would medical oncology fall on this spectrum? I've heard that there generally isn't too much call and cancer wards are often only busy from 8/9-5, so I'm wondering why medical oncology is never mentioned among the lifestyle specialties? Am I missing something there? Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess the difficult part with med onc is the potential emotional burnout aspect. At the end of the day, conversations with patients and their families about terminal illness can be very emotionally taxing. While all of these lifestyle specialties tend to deal with chronic illnesses, compared to rheum, endo, geri, mortality of med onc patients is much higher (of course depends on the cancer type) and treatment course can be very unpredictable. But hours-wise, you are right, it fits the description of a primarily outpatient lifestyle specialty. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

it is a lifestyle specialty in terms of how "busy" your day is and it has a lot of perks to it. For example med onc if one of the few specialties (along with sports medicine) where most of your patients really appreciate your advice, are adherant/want the treatments you recommend (although they may have side effects), and WANT to be at their appointments. For example contrast this with endo/ID or HTN, where you might be trying to convinve your patients to adhere to calorie counting, insulin regimens, HIV/Abx treatments or their BP meds. (I understand this is a generalization and that not all patients are like this, but this is kinda a flavour of the specialty). 

I suspect one reason why medonc isn't touted along with endo and rheum is due to a couple of points:

  1. You can't really set up shop anywhere, i.e. need to be at a cancer centre
  2. a lot of people don't get exposure to med onc (as med students or even residents)
  3. Many people believe that those who are interested in medonc are usually interested in it when they start med school or residency (obviously another generalization based on my experience with my peers -> almost everyone who I know who went into medonc, started residency with an interest in med onc or heme)

Just my 2 cents :P  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...