Why choose Clinical Oncology?
Clinical Oncology is an exciting and stimulating specialty focusing on the care and treatment of cancer patients with radiotherapy and systemic treatments with curative or palliative intent.
An integral part of training and assessment is progression through the examinations for the Fellowship of the Royal College of Radiologists. Training is across all tumour types, however, consultants sub-specialise. Involvement in clinical trials research is integrated into training rotations.
The specialty is predominantly out-patient based and clinical oncologists are core members of cancer multi-disciplinary teams. If you have excellent communication and team working skills and a desire to care for oncology patients with a range of treatment modalities then this is a great career choice.
As a trainee what can I expect from my training programme?
Clinical oncology is a 5-year training programme and in the North East it is based at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care in Newcastle upon Tyne and the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
It comprises 4-monthly rotations ensuring each trainee will have worked in each tumour site at least twice as a junior and senior trainee. This offers excellent clinical experience and sound preparation for the FRCR examinations.
Trainees are expected to attend study leave-funded mandatory training courses to underpin learning in the biology of cancer, pharmacology, physics for radiotherapy planning and medical statistics. This ensures registrars develop a solid knowledge base to support them as effective future consultants.
The training programme director is sensitive to individual’s training requirements and ensures that they receive the necessary support and experience to achieve their learning goals. We have protected structured monthly Oncology teaching and weekly FRCR focused training.
What our trainees say:
The best thing about my job is the novelty at becoming an expert in the delivery of radiotherapy with the ability to cure patients’ cancers. I can also use the full range of systemic treatments available including immunotherapy, targeted agents, hormones and chemotherapy.
Each day consists of a variety of clinical challenges from reviewing patients both on the wards and in clinics and consequently formulating management plans with the support of consultant colleagues when necessary.
There are scheduled times within the week to plan and evaluate radiotherapy treatments. This develops a good knowledge of anatomy, radiological interpretation but also requires a touch of common sense.
I also get training in cutting edge radiotherapy delivery techniques including TomoTherapyTM based IMRT and am looking forward to working on the newly commissioned TrueBeamTM stereotactic radiotherapy machine.
The necessity to review patients receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy who become unwell on treatment is also something to factor into a typical day. This leads to strong working relationships with allied professionals including radiographers, nurses and physicists.
Current vacancy information (links to HEE website recruitment page)
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