According to the reports of Payscale.com in September 2014, oncologist salary was around $217,865 per year. This was the median annual salary of these healthcare professionals. The basic salary of them ranges from $56,000 to $220,000 per year. As per the US salary statistics, the median salary of an oncologist is around $235,929 per year.
Average Salary of An Oncologist
The income of an oncologist varies widely depending on various factors such as work experience, geographical location, work setting, qualification, specialization, etc. However, the highest income of an oncologist is around $685,000 per year. According to the 90th percentile, the median salary of these professionals is around $414,305 per year. The lowest paid 10 percent receives around $101,388 per year.
The average annual salary of these professionals in Canada ranges from C$40,725-C$235,072 per year. Oncologists working in United Kingdom can earn around £58,125 per year. If you are above 50 years, you can earn around £67,245 per year. Average annual salary of oncologists who work in Australia is around AU$200,000 per year. Your starting salary in this country will be around AU$45,000 per year. However, you can earn up to AU$350,000 in Australia, if you are a specialized oncologist and have a few years of experience.
Who is an Oncologist?
Oncologists are specialized physicians who work in oncology field. It is a branch of medicine that deals with cancerous tumors. As an oncologist, you can seek employment in three fields, radio therapy (radiation), medical and surgical oncology. To destroy cancer cells, radiotherapy oncologists use high energy x-rays. They provide radiation as a curative treatment. It can be done alone or a combination of chemotherapy or/and surgery. To get relief from symptoms, patients with incurable cancers also consult radiation oncologists.
Surgical oncologists specialize in the surgical treatment of malignant disease and cancers. These professionals need to work closely with medical oncologist before or after the removal of tumors. The training of surgical oncologists is different from non-surgical oncologists. They need to undergo general surgery residency training.
Medical oncologists deal with chemotherapy to treat cancers. They oversee and coordinate cancer care. They are specialized in the use of medications such as analgesics, hormones and chemotherapy to manage diseases. They coordinate care with surgical and radiation oncologists.
Other sub specialists in the field of oncology are pediatric oncologists and gynecologic oncologists. Lung, prostate, breast, rectum and colon are the most common areas affected by cancers.
At first, oncologists need to recognize cancer by using various tests such as biopsy, PET scan, MRI scan, CT scan, X-ray, ultrasound, endoscopy and other radiological methods. Tumor markers and blood tests can also be used for diagnosing the disease. Once the disease is diagnosed, these professionals discuss various aspects of disease including stages with the patients. Dictating the stage is essential to determine the type of cancer treatment.
Life Of an oncologist
First of all, an oncologist needs to find out the type and aggressiveness of cancer. So, they start with bone and blood marrow tests to determine the health of immune cells. After obtaining diagnostic details, these professionals prepare a treatment plan including chemotherapy and drugs.
Chemotherapy is used for shrinking tumors before surgery, improving effectiveness of radiation therapy or killing stray cancer cells after an operation. Some oncologists use patients as clinical trials to test the effectiveness of cancer drugs that are not introduced in the market.
A medical oncologist needs to offer therapies to cancer patients beyond they can provide. You must also be able to work as a team with other healthcare professionals. To remove tumors, patients must be transferred to surgical oncologists or radiation oncologists. Medical oncologists also need to work with pharmacists, oncology nurses, dieticians, pathologists and home health workers to provide better care to the patients.
Medical oncologists need to consult with rehabilitation therapists to recover the ability of patients to speak, breath or move. It is the responsibility of these professionals to consult with genetic counselors while dealing with people who have family history of cancer.
Typical duties of oncologists include:
* Diagnose cancer
* Keep records of patients
* Write prescriptions
* Provide specific cancer information to patients
* Monitor treatment plans
* Improve quality of life of patients
Irrespective of specialization, all oncology physicians must complete an undergraduate degree program to enter in this profession. Four years of medical school, 2-4 years of fellowship or residency program, etc are the other career requirements. To get a license for practice, you must pass a board certified exam.
According to the predictions of BLS, there will be 18 percent increase in the oncology career field. So, the future for these professionals is very bright. If income is your major consideration, you should select a sub specialty carefully because it is one of the major determining factors in oncologist salary.