What Does It Take to Become an Oncologist?

Paulette Potter
October 8, 2021 0 Comment

Are you thinking about a career in oncology after high school? Well, you know you have to pass exceptionally on your final high school exam. Joining Med School is no joke. After high school, you will need to pass the MCAT, the Medical College Admission Test, to enter Med school.

You might also be wondering whether you can join an oncology program straight from high school or have to enroll in a pre-med program first. Before we check on the process for you to become an oncologist, who is an Oncologist?

Oncologists are specialist doctors who deal with cancer patients. They can either be Medicine, surgeons, or radiation oncologists. Medicine oncologists treat cancer through hormonotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted or biological therapy.

Some specialize in a specific field. For instance, pediatrician oncologists deal with cancer. Hematologist specializes in the bone marrow and blood therapy. Surgeon oncologists operate on patients to remove tumors or perform biopsies while

What should you do to become an oncologist?

Prep early in high school

Becoming a doctor isn’t something you think overnight. It is a sensitive and complex career. That is why you need to plan and focus on your academic performance and passion while still in high school. If you aren’t ready to commit to long working hours for patients and dealing with depressing situations in the future, forget oncology all together.

Med school usually requires a strong grade in maths, physics, chemistry and biology, and physics. The overall score should also be high.

Besides academics, you also need to check other requirements for med school. For instance, candidates planning to join med school direct from high school in Australia need to sit for the UCAT test in their final year.

In the USA, you must pass the MCAT and complete an undergraduate degree before joining the med school. Planning will help you decide on the undergraduate degree to consider to earn your GPA points for med school.

Earnbachelor’sr’s degree

In the USA, you cannot join med school fresh from high school. So if you are planning to study Oncology there, complete an undergraduate degree first. An undergraduate degree will enable candidates with a low atar to qualify for med school.

Sit for Medical School Admission Test

Students aspiring to study oncologists need to sit for the UCAT, Medical school admission test preferably in their final high school year for early admission to Medical school. In the USA, the standard Medical school entry exam is MCAT.

Go to Med school

In most countries, med school is a four-year program. The first two or three years consist of coursework, with the last years engaging students in rotational clinical practice. In some schools, coursework and clinical rotations are covered interchangeably from the first final year of study. Courses covered in med school usually are anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, ethics, and psychology.

Specialize in Oncologists

In Australia, oncologists should become doctors before specializing for 5 to six years. Oncologists can become MOGA, Medical Oncology Group of Australia, and the Royal Australian College of Physicians and Members.

In the USA, medical graduates need to get licensed with USMLE, United States Medical Licencing Examination. To specialize in oncology, Medical school graduates need to go through a 3 to 8years residency program. They also take the American Board Internal Medicine examination that qualifies them for certification as oncologists.

Start practicing

Practice starts in undergraduate school with clinical rotations in local hospitals. In some countries, you need to undergo a one-year internship after graduating and before starting practicing in oncology.


The duration needed for one to become an oncologist will differ from one country to another. It depends on several factors. For instance, an oncologist in the USA will take longer before becoming recognized than in most countries. When? Because you need to attend pre-med first, complete med school, and enroll in a residency program. However, the training here is competitive than in some countries in the world.