What is An Oncologist?
Oncologists are specialist doctors who focus on the non-surgical management of cancer. Generally, Oncologists are either trained in Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy or both methods of cancer treatment.
In Singapore, internal medicine physicians who wish to pursue a career in medical oncology continue with on-the-job specialist training to become ‘medical oncology’ specialists who focus on using chemotherapy to treat cancer patients. They do not provide radiation treatments for their patients.
There are 2 types of Oncology specialists recognized by the Specialist Accreditation Board in Singapore, namely the medical oncologist and the radiation oncologist. The medical oncologist is trained only in chemotherapy and does not provide radiotherapy for their patients. All radiation oncologists are specialists who are at the minimum trained in radiotherapy, while those with the Clinical Oncology qualification are dual trained in chemotherapy as well.
In this era of rapid advancement, a broad-based education coupled with a sub-specialised team approach is the only way cancer patients can receive the most updated treatments for their condition.