What Is the Process for Becoming a Pediatric Oncologist?


Quick Answer

The process of becoming a pediatric oncologist requires first becoming a doctor by acquiring a bachelor's degree, passing the Medical College Admission Test and attending medical school, states Study.com. After becoming a doctor and obtaining a license, a doctor then specializes in pediatric oncology by completing a residency in pediatric care, becoming board certified in pediatrics and completing a fellowship in pediatric oncology.

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While pursuing a bachelor's degree, no specific degree is required; however, premed students need to take classes in biology, physics, microbiology, chemistry and organic chemistry, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Premed students then must pass the MCAT, which is a multiple-choice test that assesses an individual's verbal reasoning and knowledge of the physical and biological sciences, informs Study.com. The next step requires applying to medical school, which is usually done through the American Medical College Application Service application process. After graduating from medical school, an individual must either take the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination test if she completed the M.D. program or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination of the United States test if she completed the doctor of osteopathic medicine program in order to become licensed to practice medicine.

A residency in pediatrics is three years long, and doctors typically complete rotations in cardiology, oncology, hematology and ambulatory care, explains Study.com. Becoming board certified through the American Board of Pediatrics is voluntary but recommended, and it requires passing a certification exam. After becoming certified, a pediatrics doctor may narrow her field down to a fellowship in oncology, which generally includes training in research, outpatient care and clinical services. A doctor may then choose to become voluntarily certified in pediatric hematology-oncology with the American Board of Pediatrics.

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