Cancer is often approached by a multi-disciplinary team : medical oncologist, surgical oncologist, and radiation oncologist. Radiation oncologists are different from radiologists and medical oncologists. These are physicians trained in treating cancer with radiation. Different residencies and skillsets needed.
Just how much do radiation oncologists make?
The median expected salary is $329,784 with the majority making between $255,706 and $408,520. If you’re just starting out, you might make $241,000 to start but quickly rise to the median after a couple years. The maximum reported salary is $787,000!
The total residency training required to become a radiation oncologist is 5 years. The first year is usually a preliminary or transitional year in adult medicine followed by 4 years of training in radiation oncology. There are a couple fellowships available for further experience in the field.
The field is competitive as there are only 87 residency programs offering about 200 spots.
Patients with cancer need compassionate and caring physicians helping them. Radiation oncologists receive this training on top of their training in using radiation to treat cancer. There’s a lot of physics involved but if you enjoy learning about it and helping others with some of the most devastating, life-altering diseases, you should consider this field.