A Career in Radiation Oncology

What does a radiation oncologist do?

A radiation oncologist is a specialist doctor who uses radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer patients. Radiation oncologists work in teams with other doctors to create and deliver radiation therapy programs.

Why become a radiation oncologist?

Radiation oncology is an intellectually challenging and exciting career at the cutting edge of patient care, technology and research.

It gives you the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of cancer patients while working with a fascinating, technologically advanced, constantly evolving form of treatment.

Is radiation oncology for you?

Radiation oncologists will generally have:

  • An interest in the sciences of biology and physics
  • An interest in health care
  • Logical thinking
  • Problem solving skills
  • Good communication skills
  • A focus on patient care in both children and adults
  • An enjoyment of working in a team environment
  • An interest in using state of the art technology.

How do I become a radiation oncologist?

To become a radiation oncologist, you must complete the training program administered by The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR). The program runs for a minimum of five years and gives you broad experience across the full variety of skills that radiation oncologists need to be familiar with.

What are the prerequisites?

To be accepted in the RANZCR training program, you must:

  • Have MBBS or equivalent medical qualifications as recognised by the registering authority of the country in which the RANZCR training program is conducted and the Board of the College
  • Be registered as a medical practitioner by the registered authority recognised by the Board of the College in the state or country where you are training (Australia, New Zealand or Singapore)
  • Have completed at least two full years in an approved hospital as an intern or resident.

What do I need in order to be successful?

As well as meeting the prerequisites, you must also be able to demonstrate:

  • Dedication to pursuing a career in radiation oncology
  • Good interpersonal and professional communication skills
  • A high standard of academic performance.

Other desirable qualities are:

  • Commitment to continuing professional development
  • Good professional referee reports
  • Good reports from previous and current employers
  • A demonstrated interest in research.

What are my career options?

Radiation oncology offers a range of opportunities in the public and private sectors as well as in the academic sphere.

Find out more

Take a look at the videos and websites listed below to find out more about the radiation oncology profession.

A Career in Radiation Oncology

The Radiation Oncologist

The Radiation Therapist

The Radiation Oncology Medical Physicist

Targeting Cancer - Consumer Campaign 

See also: Applying to Applying to Radiation Oncology Training Programs