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DOs in Oncology?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by KrisE24, May 14, 2008.

  1. KrisE24

    KrisE24 2+ Year Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Boston, MA
    Hi -

    I was wondering if anyone could offer any insight as to what sort of opportunities DOs have in oncology. Would they have to apply to allopathic residencies? Does that mean taking the USMLE in addition to the COMLEX? Any input would be most appreciated! Thank you!
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  3. Frank l

    Frank l 10+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2007
    For osteopathic residency programs go here:
    and search for oncology
    There are at least 3 programs, I don't know how many slots.

    For allopathic residencies go here:
    and search for oncology.
    Click on the individual programs and it will tell you if COMLEX is accepted.
    Though your best bet might be to take the USMLE anyway.
  4. spicedmanna

    spicedmanna Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Well, my understanding is that Onc is a subspecialty of IM, so you'd have to first attain an IM residency. To your preference, you can do an osteopathic or an allopathic IM residency. Then after that, you'd have to do a fellowship in Onc. I'm not sure what exists in terms of opportunities for osteopathic Onc fellowships, but my guess is that they exist. If you want to match into an allopathic Onc fellowship, I'm sure you could. It doesn't strike me as a particularly competitive field. If you want to go allopathic for your residency, it wouldn't hurt to take the USMLE Step 1, in addition to the COMLEX, to broaden your options. While allopathic residencies are supposed to take the COMLEX, it is much better to also take the USMLE so that they can better compare you to the predominate pool.
  5. Isoprop

    Isoprop Fascinating, tell me more 5+ Year Member

    Oct 15, 2007
    generally speaking, hem/onc is not a very competitive IM fellowship.
  6. scdocusc

    scdocusc 2+ Year Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    really? I always was under the impression that it was a competitive field. Thats interesting. If someone has any more info on fellowships for this that would be great.
  7. schussboarder

    schussboarder 7+ Year Member

    Dec 18, 2007
    NJ Surgery
    from what i've heard from the residents in the hospital i work at....oncology is up there, but the top three fellowships in IM over these past years have been: cardiology, gastroenterology, and allergy....not sure of the order of these 3 though
  8. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me 7+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2006
    Tally/Willkillya County
    I don't have more info, but it isn't as popular. It is kind of a romantic speciality from the outside. "Oh. I help people with cancer!". The problem is that many people are just so emotionally drained really fast with oncology.

    With the regards to the OP. I really wouldn't worry about it too much. There are just a FEW steps before you start worrying about it. Osteopathic won't hamper you from getting any subspecialty after IM. Your residency determines it more than the letters.
  9. Ki45toryu

    Ki45toryu In this corner... 2+ Year Member

    May 7, 2007
    There aren't many Onco res'...but 2 things should be noted.

    1)There are a ton of AOA and ACGME unfilled IM slots every year...with many of the ACGME taking the COMLEX it isn't too much of an issue getting into IM first.

    2)I was under the impression that if you did a bang up job in res, then it you should be competitive to get into an ACGME or AOA Onco fellowship. I am sure you have to do some extensive research while in school/IM residency to be considered. Someone correct me if I am way off base...its finals week and I am working on no sleep, and may have an electrolyte imbalance.
  10. JMarie

    JMarie 2+ Year Member

    Mar 18, 2008
    New Haven, CT
    I work for a renown osteopathic oncologist and he's done some pretty amazing work in his field. He's the director of the clinical trials program at Yale and he's really inspired me. I'm definitely pursuing oncology as an osteopathic physician and I really have few worries...
  11. KrisE24

    KrisE24 2+ Year Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Boston, MA
    Thanks everyone for all the thoughtful insight! The links some of you provided pointed me in the right direction, and it's VERY encouraging to hear about DO oncs excelling in their field (thanks, JMarie!). Thanks again! :)
  12. MLT2MT2DO

    MLT2MT2DO 10+ Year Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    From what I understand (mind you I'm only a premed so take it with a grain of salt). Hem/Onc tends to be pretty middle of the road as far as Fellows are concerned for IM. Not as tough as Gi/Card but not as easy to get into as endo.

    Check out this great link from the mentor forum
    about IM and the fellowships involved. Alot of IM questions can be answered or even asked in this thread, though the knowledge of DO specific questions usually aren't able to be answered very well.
  13. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna 7+ Year Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    oncology is probably one of the only specialties i could never ever see myself going into. like you said, it seems emotionally draining. i dont think id' be able to handle it day in and day out for the rest of my life.
  14. Isoprop

    Isoprop Fascinating, tell me more 5+ Year Member

    Oct 15, 2007
    well, not as competitive as card, g/i, and allergy as someone else mentioned.

    it's not quite a simple as that. there are two types of IM programs: categorical and primary care. categorical tends to focus more on getting residents into fellowships while primary care residents are more focused on training general internists/hospitalists. not to say that primary care residents don't go on to subspecialize, but the type of IM program you are coming from seems to make a difference in getting into a competitive residency. i'd be pretty surprised if a cardio fellow was trained in a primary care residency program especially if it was at a community-based hospital.
  15. Kateb4

    Kateb4 7+ Year Member

    Nov 28, 2006
    IT IS! I worked in Oncology (in-patient and at the cancer care center) for almost three years and would not go back. It was soo draining to see patients daily, get to know them. See them have positive responses, then see them die, and see really young ones die too. It really takes a special person to be able to work in this field, and I will admit that it is not me!

    I did see one of our residents that was a DO really do great, and she did end up in ONC somewhere on the east coast.

    I must say that if you are interested in ONC, you should have some interest in research. Not that you have to be in the lab, but every one of our docs was involved in some way with clinical trials, and this is only going to increase in the near future.
  16. Lamborghini1315

    Lamborghini1315 Sleep deprived 7+ Year Member

    Jun 7, 2006

    Yes that should be the toughest aspect for physicians..esp a field like oncology with so many terminally ill patients one has to be strong minded.
  17. ViolinCello

    ViolinCello 2+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    Not as many people apply for heme/onc, but it is just as competitive as cards/GI in terms of acceptances. There are very few DO programs sadly enough, so probably better to go allopathic for residency. Your odds are best to do an IM programs where they have heme/onc fellowship. Heme/onc is unique: you either love it or hate it.
  18. PokerDoc

    PokerDoc 2+ Year Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    I love all the info in this post.. unlucky for me my dream specialty is radiation oncology.. thats hard as heck even for an MD to match to

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