How Do You Become an Oncologist?


Quick Answer

The road to becoming a practicing oncologist begins with earning a bachelor's degree, with courses that focus heavily on the sciences. Aspiring oncologists then complete medical school and a medical residency, in which they receive specialized training in oncology.

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Full Answer

Someone who wishes to become an oncologist must choose college courses in biology, chemistry and science, which are prerequisites for gaining entrance to medical school. Getting good grades in these courses is helpful if a student wishes to get into a top medical program. All applicants to medical school are required to pass the Medical College Admissions Test to be considered for admission. Many aspiring doctors take the MCAT during their junior year in college. Medical school typically lasts four years. The first two years are devoted to classroom study, while the remaining two years are spent working in a clinical environment.

After successful completion of the medical degree, the next phase is working in a residency program at a hospital or medical clinic. The residency gives doctors training in their chosen specialty and is required for board certification. A residency program typically last two to five years. The final step is state certification and licensing. Becoming licensed to practice requires passing the United States Medical Licensing Examination

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