Oncoloman

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Any other pre-meds interested in this specialty? Any current/former med students here that would like to share their experiences or opinions on the specialty?

Thanks.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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I'm going to have to say that oncology is the most depressing field ever.
 

Appless

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currently its what i see myself doing but who knows...in 3 more years after M3 ill probably have a more realistic idea:p. Though the 6 yrs of post grad training makes me :( lol
 

Geekchick921

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Nope, that distinction would fall to the pediatric burn ward.
You're absolutel right, but I think it's up there.

1. Pediatric burn ward.
2. Ped-onc. (<~~ close second)
3. Hem-Onc.

JMHO.
 

turkaglew

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Definitely one of my top interests. I have volunteered in onc for a year now and i really enjoy it.
 

mvenus929

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You're absolutel right, but I think it's up there.

1. Pediatric burn ward.
2. Ped-onc. (<~~ close second)
3. Hem-Onc.

JMHO.
You know, I thought that people who went into ped-onc were absolutely crazy for going into such a depressing field, but kids tend to be more resilient than adults, so I could see Hem-Onc being more depressing. At least in the long run.
 

roseglass6370

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My #1 as well. Cancer sucks. :(
 
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The pediatric heme-onc physicians I shadowed all seemed very happy.. but that could be because the hospital had a palliative care guy to deal with the cancer kids who weren't going to make it. :(
 

Oncoloman

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You know, I thought that people who went into ped-onc were absolutely crazy for going into such a depressing field, but kids tend to be more resilient than adults, so I could see Hem-Onc being more depressing. At least in the long run.
Hmm. Interesting. I've just been so interested in the specialty since my freshman year in college. Oncology/Hematology shadowing opportunities in Nebraska are pretty limited and pretty tough to obtain though. I think I might try to get one when I move back to Texas so ill know what I'm truly getting myself into. :)
 

Oncoloman

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Thanks for the feedback guys!:thumbup:
 

Oncoloman

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TheMan21

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Would someone be able to confirm my suspicion that this is a research-heavy field?
 

obiwan

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Hem/Onc is probably the 3rd most competitive medicine subspecialty after cards and GI -------- it is definitely a very challenging, rewarding, and emotionally charged specialty all at the same time -------- lots of bench and clinical research opportunity in this field particularly with all the different drug trials that are available and will continue to grow as more anti-tumor agents are being implemented
 

ILikeDrugs

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Appless

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id assume its pretty research heavy. I was just bored looking around one day and it seems the heme/onc fellowships have 2 years clinical and 1yr research built in to the 3 yr program.
 

Geekchick921

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You know, I thought that people who went into ped-onc were absolutely crazy for going into such a depressing field, but kids tend to be more resilient than adults, so I could see Hem-Onc being more depressing. At least in the long run.
Yeah, I know, but I think having a child patient that's slowly dying from cancer is 1000x worse than an adult that's slowly dying from cancer, even if you have a lot more of those patients.

I'm saying this as a mom, though. I have no idea if you have kids. I just could NOT handle that specialty, at all. BTW, is 929 your birthday? That's my husband's birthday, too.
 

rem6775

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Yeah, I know, but I think having a child patient that's slowly dying from cancer is 1000x worse than an adult that's slowly dying from cancer, even if you have a lot more of those patients.

I'm saying this as a mom, though. I have no idea if you have kids. I just could NOT handle that specialty, at all. BTW, is 929 your birthday? That's my husband's birthday, too.
True, but they get to see lots of successes, too. I had cancer as a little kid and was cured, and they get to see a lot of that. Of course, if you ask my parents, they will have a different take on the whole matter.
 

DrSmooth

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I'm very interested in hem/onc, adult or peds. I've been told by a couple oncologists though that hours are exceptionally bad compared to other specialties, since patients want THEIR oncologist to come to the hospital at all hrs, and it's tough to even take vacations, etc. Is this true? But they also said it was very rewarding. Again this was only a couple docs, I figured I would look into it more once I'm in med school. I'm also curious why virtually all peds specialties pay a bit lower than IM specialties according to salary websites, any ideas???
 

Phosphorus Ylide

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I'm very interested in hem/onc, adult or peds. I've been told by a couple oncologists though that hours are exceptionally bad compared to other specialties, since patients want THEIR oncologist to come to the hospital at all hrs, and it's tough to even take vacations, etc.
Really? I didn't know that. In the ER that I work at, I almost never see oncologists at the bedside when cancer patient's come in, although phone consultations are very common. Also, the main oncologists in the area are part of a group, so if the patient's oncologist is unavailable, the on-call doc has access to the pt chart. I wonder if it really just varies.:shrug:
 

WhizoMD

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I'm very interested in hem/onc, adult or peds. I've been told by a couple oncologists though that hours are exceptionally bad compared to other specialties, since patients want THEIR oncologist to come to the hospital at all hrs, and it's tough to even take vacations, etc. Is this true? But they also said it was very rewarding. Again this was only a couple docs, I figured I would look into it more once I'm in med school. I'm also curious why virtually all peds specialties pay a bit lower than IM specialties according to salary websites, any ideas???
I'd say yes......This is anecdotal, but If I were to get sick right now (~3:30 a.m.), the second person to get a call (after 911) would be my hematologist (he's a hem/onc), and, based on prior experiences, he'd return the call within five minutes, and have an active role in instructing the E.R. physician on the best course of action. That's all done by phone though; it's kinda necessary because some (most?) E.R. docs aren't too familiar with the acute complications of some of the hem/onc diseases, so they can end up doing things that are counter-productive if they don't have the right information.
 

mmmcdowe

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Anyone interest in onc I recommend go to a palliative care clinic/hospital and spend some time there. If you are in the NYC, definitely recommend Calvary Hospital. It'll give you such perspective.
 

LizzyM

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I'm also curious why virtually all peds specialties pay a bit lower than IM specialties according to salary websites, any ideas???
:hijacked:

I suspect that this is because a greater proportion of children, as compared to adult patients, are covered by Medicaid and other government health coverage. In comparison to private health insurance, government coverage doesn't pay well.
 

nogolfinsnow

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I'm very interested in hem/onc, adult or peds. I've been told by a couple oncologists though that hours are exceptionally bad compared to other specialties, since patients want THEIR oncologist to come to the hospital at all hrs, and it's tough to even take vacations, etc. Is this true? But they also said it was very rewarding. Again this was only a couple docs, I figured I would look into it more once I'm in med school. I'm also curious why virtually all peds specialties pay a bit lower than IM specialties according to salary websites, any ideas???
At our hospital the 4 peds heme/onc attendings rotate call, so each week a different one covers the hospitalized patients, allowing the others to see patients in clinic, take vacation, go to conferences, etc.

As for pay, one aspect may be that many peds sub-specialists are hospital-based whereas the adult sub-specialists are more likely to be able to venture into private practice. In heme/onc, our area has 4 peds heme/onc attendings who are all hospital employees but a large private practice adult heme/onc group with almost 50 physicians, and that's just one group! A lot more adults have cancer, heart conditions, diabetes, etc so there is much more demand for the adult sub-specialists (this is just an idea, it could be completely false).
 

niblet

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id assume its pretty research heavy. I was just bored looking around one day and it seems the heme/onc fellowships have 2 years clinical and 1yr research built in to the 3 yr program.
Aren't most IM subspecialties like that? And I'm sure you'd be able to do a lot of research, none at all, or some amount in between depending on the type of job you take.
 

tlaloc87

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You're absolutel right, but I think it's up there.

1. Pediatric burn ward.
2. Ped-onc. (<~~ close second)
3. Hem-Onc.

JMHO.
After working/researching at the ped-onc department in a less than well-funded hospital in Mexico City, I have to say ped-onc is the most rewarding field at times and the most depressing at others. I'd actually prefer ped-onc over hem-onc just because the patients are infinitely more resilient and won't give up the fight.