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what is the demand for rad/onc?

Discussion in 'Radiation Oncology' started by bustbones26, Aug 7, 2003.

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  1. bustbones26

    bustbones26 Senior Member

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    Okay being in medical school I have learned about three things thus far. Diagnostic radiology, Dermatology, and ER are the residency programs in highest demand.

    A lot of people want to do ER or Derm because those are two fields were wearing a pager as an attending is virtually non-existant. and the hours are good.

    Radiology is big now because thanks to invasive procedures, radiologist are making big $$$$$.

    It is very unfortunate that people choose to go into those professions for those reasons; however I do have one question about rad/onc.

    Although Rad/onc itself is competitive, and you have to be a top notch student to get a residency, is there a large flock or students tearing down the doors to get into rad/onc programs? Would I be up against thousands of people for a PGY spot as I would be if I applied for diagnostic radiology?

    I do enjoy physics. I was and engineer and scientist long before I ever went to medical school. Radiology and Rad/Onc are appealing to me because there are both fields where I can combine physics and medicine together.

    Problem is, I am not your top notch, perfect board score, 4.0 GPA student. that now makes if a problem to get into radiology since it is now so competitive. Do I stand a snow balls chance in h@ll for a rad/onc program?
  2. cancer_doc

    cancer_doc Member

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    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Radiation Oncology has become one of the hardest residencies to get into. I don't think it's the most competitive. If you base it on the applicant pool and scores, I think the average person applying to Derm or ENT may have better academic scores. But because Rad Onc has the lowest spots available per year among all the residency choices(correct me if I'm wrong), and with increasing numbers of applicants (last count was around 350-450 for 100-or-so spots), the odds of getting in is becoming more daunting.

    The bottom line, however, is WHO CARES. If you feel Rad Onc is your calling, go for it. Don't let fear get in your way. I know many people who are far from being the perfect candidate make it into this field, myself included.
  3. stephew

    stephew SDN Super Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    For some reason, in the past on other boards when the issue of "which is the most competitive residency" comes up, people come out of the woodwork to defend their specialty as THE most competitive; I could have attacked their mother with less of a hystrionic responce.

    Rad on is one of the most competitive for the first time in history becuase of the relative small number of spaces and in the last few years high number (very high) of appliants. If you want to know THE most competitive I suppose you woant the applicant to seat ratio and I just dont care enough about the issue to do that leg work. I dont care if rad onc is the most or least competitive (well only insofar as its good to have good people in the field).

    Having said that, ER and rads are not in highest demand nowadays; They are competitive but not as much as they were a few years ago. Please no flamming me on this issue. I dont care if they are or arent, but I do know that IMGs are getting plenty of spots in these fields and they havent totally filled in the match as they used to. Derm is a perinneally hard thing to get.

    Radiology and invasive radiology are not the same, just fyi.


    Now to answer your question: yes, there is a tremendous number of people trying to get rad onc. But someone has to get it so why not you? Why has it become competitive; its always had decent hours and a good lifestyle, so why now? I think becuase we are graduating our first generation of docs who not only are familiar with technology but enjoy it.


    Radiology and rad onc are very different so I reccomend a rotation in both to see which you like better.

    Telling me only that you dont have a 4.0 doesnt give much info-(your basic sci grades dont matter anyway).

    If you want to go into the field why not try? Do well, get good letters do as wella s you can on your boards and try some research in the field.

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