LIDO

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I was wondering if anybody had some information/opinion on a DO becoming an oncologist. I have a passion for oncology and feel that a DO would provide much to the field. Any feedback on this ...or better yet information on the DO route in becoming an oncologist? Thanks for the help ;)
 

DireWolf

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LIDO said:
I was wondering if anybody had some information/opinion on a DO becoming an oncologist. I have a passion for oncology and feel that a DO would provide much to the field. Any feedback on this ...or better yet information on the DO route in becoming an oncologist? Thanks for the help ;)
Unfortunately there is only one DO oncology position in the country (UMDNJ). As you will find out, this is the case for most of the IM subspecialties. Therefore, you would have to go the allopathic route. This means 3 years of IM residency at an allopathic program, then 2-3 years of an Oncology fellowship at an allopathic program.

Despite rumors that you can complete an osteopathic IM residency and then complete an allopathic fellowship, this is not the case. While you may technically be able to do this, you will not be eligible to become board-certified in that fellowship. Years ago, not being board-certified wasn't a big deal. Now, you almost have to be board-certified to get a job in private practice, get hospital privileges, and get insurance reimbursement.

good luck. :thumbup:
 

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If you mean an Osteopathic Oncology fellowship then there might be only one (although I thik that theres one in Tula as well). But if you are asking if it is possible for a DO to become an oncologist...the anwser is an resouding yes. You many have to do an allo IM residency. An allo residency is the route that 2/3 of osteopahtic students take. If you want more info I'd do a google search for DO and oncology or Osteopathic and Onclology and see if there's a DO oncologist near where you live and give them a call and see if you can pick their brain.


good luck.
 
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Pilot

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I did a third year rotation with Steve Buck, DO in Tulsa. He is an outstanding oncologist, and if I had cancer I would drive cross country to see him. He might be a good contact for you to get information from. Works at Cancer Care Associates.
 

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Pilot said:
I did a third year rotation with Steve Buck, DO in Tulsa. He is an outstanding oncologist, and if I had cancer I would drive cross country to see him. He might be a good contact for you to get information from. Works at Cancer Care Associates.

There's another good DO oncologist in that practice, too. Her (yes, her) name is Kevin Weibel.
 

LIDO

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Is it difficult to become an oncologist as a DO? That is in regards of taking the allo-path. I know that oncology is meant for me (for many reasons) and osteopathic medicine is very attractive as well. I simply want to do my research so that I do not disable my chances of becoming an oncologist....mmm feels like I am rambling now... :cool:

Thanks for the replies so far!
 

DireWolf

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LIDO said:
Is it difficult to become an oncologist as a DO? That is in regards of taking the allo-path. I know that oncology is meant for me (for many reasons) and osteopathic medicine is very attractive as well. I simply want to do my research so that I do not disable my chances of becoming an oncologist....mmm feels like I am rambling now... :cool:

Thanks for the replies so far!
It is difficult to become an oncologist regardless of whether you are a MD or DO. As I stated before, there is only one osteopathic spot. However, you are not limited to osteopathic programs. The goal is to get into a good allopathic university-based IM program. This can definitely be done with a DO degree. It happens quite frequently.

The real hardship comes with trying to land a fellowship spot. Browse through the IM forums. There is a great discussion on how competitive oncology has gotten in the past two years due to strong residents seeking lifestyle/money specialties. Not to mention the fact that oncology is challenging and rewarding as hell.

Once you have gotten into a decent IM program, you will be judged on research, LORs, and connections when it comes to fellowship applications.

DO or MD will have nothing to do with it.
 

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LIDO said:
Is it difficult to become an oncologist as a DO? That is in regards of taking the allo-path. I know that oncology is meant for me (for many reasons) and osteopathic medicine is very attractive as well. I simply want to do my research so that I do not disable my chances of becoming an oncologist....mmm feels like I am rambling now... :cool:

Thanks for the replies so far!
My family physician (DO) who was in IM....just got a hemo (something) oncology fellowship at Rush....
 

LIDO

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DireWolf said:
It is difficult to become an oncologist regardless of whether you are a MD or DO. As I stated before, there is only one osteopathic spot. However, you are not limited to osteopathic programs. The goal is to get into a good allopathic university-based IM program. This can definitely be done with a DO degree. It happens quite frequently.

The real hardship comes with trying to land a fellowship spot. Browse through the IM forums. There is a great discussion on how competitive oncology has gotten in the past two years due to strong residents seeking lifestyle/money specialties. Not to mention the fact that oncology is challenging and rewarding as hell.

Once you have gotten into a decent IM program, you will be judged on research, LORs, and connections when it comes to fellowship applications.

DO or MD will have nothing to do with it.

DireWolf,

Would you consider NYCOM a firm place to begin this path towards oncology? I feel that the rotations in NYC are awesome but outside opinion would be great. :rolleyes:
 
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DireWolf

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LIDO said:
DireWolf,

Would you consider NYCOM a firm place to begin this path towards oncology? I feel that the rotations in NYC are awesome but outside opinion would be great. :rolleyes:
To be honest with you, I think you can get into a great allopathic IM program from any of the DO schools. The general rules apply: good board scores, great LORs, good 3rd-year grades, etc.

Rotating at big-name hospitals and getting great LORs from these places can only help you. I've also heard good things about NYCOM's clinical rotation sites.

Once again, your focus should be on landing a solid IM residency, preferably one that has an oncology fellowship program. That way you can do oncology research and make connections with the oncology faculty at your program.

Any DO school will provide you with the opportunity to match well in allopathic IM.

For IM, your school name/reputation and degree will not keep you out of 99% of the programs. It will be up to you to work hard and get it done.

take care.
 

LIDO

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DireWolf said:
To be honest with you, I think you can get into a great allopathic IM program from any of the DO schools. The general rules apply: good board scores, great LORs, good 3rd-year grades, etc.

Rotating at big-name hospitals and getting great LORs from these places can only help you. I've also heard good things about NYCOM's clinical rotation sites.

Once again, your focus should be on landing a solid IM residency, preferably one that has an oncology fellowship program. That way you can do oncology research and make connections with the oncology faculty at your program.

Any DO school will provide you with the opportunity to match well in allopathic IM.

For IM, your school name/reputation and degree will not keep you out of 99% of the programs. It will be up to you to work hard and get it done.

take care.
When attempting to get an allopathic residancy what boards must be taken? Do you take step one and two of the USMLE ...or just step two (which I have read about ppl. doing)? Or would one only take the COMLEX? I realize you need to take the entire COMLEX. Thanks.
 

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can anyone answer LIDO's last question about COMLEX vs. USMLE for an allopathic IM spot? I'd like to know the answer to that too! Also, is it true you HAVE to report your USMLE score now if you take it. Say your a DO student who takes it and doesn't do that well, have taken the COMLEX (and done well), the residency program (MD) your applying to accepts the COMLEX, but since you took the USMLE you have to report it. Is this the case??? I think you used to be able to not report your USMLE score if you didn't want to.
 

DireWolf

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It is highly recommended but not required that you take USMLE Step 1 if you want to land any allopathic residency.

Notice how I said highly recommended but not required.

As far as I know, you do NOT have to report your USMLE score if you don't want to. This is one of the few advantages that DO students have.

The only downside is if an interviewer asks if you have taken USMLE. Your response would be a personal decision.
 

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DireWolf said:
It is difficult to become an oncologist regardless of whether you are a MD or DO. As I stated before, there is only one osteopathic spot. However, you are not limited to osteopathic programs. The goal is to get into a good allopathic university-based IM program. This can definitely be done with a DO degree. It happens quite frequently.

The real hardship comes with trying to land a fellowship spot. Browse through the IM forums. There is a great discussion on how competitive oncology has gotten in the past two years due to strong residents seeking lifestyle/money specialties. Not to mention the fact that oncology is challenging and rewarding as hell.

Once you have gotten into a decent IM program, you will be judged on research, LORs, and connections when it comes to fellowship applications.

DO or MD will have nothing to do with it.
Heme/Onc is moderately competitive. It is definitely not on par with Cards or GI. In next few years Heme/Onc will probably decrease in competitiveness due to the Federal Government cutting reimbursement rates for chemo. Do a descent allopathic IM residency and you should have no problem getting a fellowship somewhere. Our oncologist here at UHS, a D.O., did his fellowship at MD Anderson which is considered one of the best. So, being a D.O. shouldn't hold you back.
 

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sloan kettering in nyc has a summer oncology research program for first year med students, its a nice way to get your foot in the door. we have some DOs on staff.
 
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I shadowed an oncologist DO here in LA,CA. He went to DO school in CA and did fellowship at city of hope cancer center. He is an excellent Oncologist, in my opinion, better than MD oncologist which i have encountered during my mom's treatment at USC.So it is possible!!!!
 
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