MEDICAL ONCOLOGY TRAINING PROGRAMS IN THE UNITED STATES

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Abstract

Specific training in the field of medical oncology is available to physicians who have completed their residency training in general internal medicine. The objective of medical oncology fellowships is to train general internists to become well-rounded medical oncologists who can deal with many different types of cancer using multi-modality approaches. At the completion of the fellowship program, these physicians are expected to be board-eligible for medical oncology and board certified in internal medicine. We expect that many graduates of fellowship programs will work in community settings rather than at academic institutions. Nevertheless, given the rapid pace at which the medical knowledge base is expanding, part of the fellowship training process involves teaching fellows how to conduct, evaluate, and interpret advances in biomedical science, with the goal of applying that knowledge in their practices. Fellowships also offer the opportunity for direct experience in cancer prevention, treatment, and palliative care; particular attention is given to the psychosocial and medical effects of cancer and its treatment on quality of life. Medical oncology fellowships are generally offered in combination with fellowship training in hematology. The fellowship period usually lasts for 3 years. The major advancement of science in the field of medical onclogy requires a team medicine and a team science approach. Therefore, the requirement to etablish yourself as a medical oncologist is not simply about obtainging knowledge skill set but to have a strong communication or leadership skills.

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