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Becoming a hematologist oncologist does not happen overnight. As a matter of fact, it takes about 13 years of education and training to become a fully licensed doctor in this field. This is why before you can even consider becoming a hematologist oncologist, you have to complete 8 years of undergraduate work, 4 years of medical school and 3 years of graduate training.
It takes a minimum of 8 years and 5,000 hours to become a hematologist oncologist. The first 6 years are spent earning your medical degree and learning how to diagnose and treat diseases. During this time, you will also complete rotations in internal medicine, surgery, and family medicine.
The next 2 years are spent in an internship. This is when you get specialized training in hematology-oncology by working with other doctors who specialize in this area of medicine.
After your internship comes residency training at a hospital affiliated with your medical school. The length of time you spend here depends on the specialty you are training for—for example, it takes 5 years to earn a degree as a trauma surgeon.
As part of your residency training, you will work closely with experts at the top hospitals across the country who can offer guidance on both clinical practice and research skills. It is during this time that you will get hands-on experience working alongside patients who have various types of cancerous tumors in order to learn how best to treat them effectively so that they can recover quickly once treatment has been administered successfully without any complications arising from improper treatment plans being implemented by inexperienced doctors trying their best but lacking sufficient knowledge about what works best when treating
How long does it take to become a hematologist oncologist
To become a hematologist oncologist, you must complete medical school. Medical school is typically four years long and includes general requirements, prerequisites like biology and chemistry classes, and a duration of study. To apply to medical school, you must take the MCAT entrance exam and submit an application protocol with your transcript and letters of recommendation.
The minimum GPA required for admission varies based on each institution; however, it’s typically around 3.5 or higher (on a 4-point scale). The MCAT entrance exam measures knowledge across topics in biology; physical sciences; verbal reasoning; writing sample (essay); psychology & sociology; as well as biochemistry & organic chemistry sections.
The first step in becoming a hematologist oncologist is to complete a four-year residency. During this time, you can specialize in hematology oncology.
Your final year of the program will be devoted to clinical experiences and research projects, so that when you graduate as a doctor, you have enough experience under your belt to start practicing right away—or go back to school for more schooling!
Fellowship: 2 Years
A hematologist-oncologist’s fellowship is similar to medical residency, except that it focuses on the treatment of blood cancers. During your research, you will learn how to work with patients who have been diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma and need personalized treatment plans. Your training will also prepare you for leadership roles in the field as well as other careers connected to health care.
To become board certified in hematology and oncology, you must:
- Pass the examination administered by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).
- Have completed an accredited residency program in internal medicine and at least two years of practice as a general internist.
The ABIM issues certificates for five-year periods. Candidates who pass their examinations within three attempts are eligible for certification. The certifying exam has four sections: chemical pathology; clinical science examination; medical knowledge and clinical judgment; and history taking skills assessment (HKSAS). It is taken in multiple choice format with one hour per section and can be taken on paper or online if you prefer using your computer instead of writing out answers by hand.
It takes about a decade of hard work to become a hematologist oncologist.
Becoming a hematologist oncologist takes about a decade of hard work.
- Medical school is four years.
- Residency is three years.
- Fellowship is three years (or more for subspecialty fellowships).
- Certification takes one year and can be done after residency or during fellowship, depending on the certification board in question. You don’t have to finish medical school before starting your specialty training; if you want to get certified before finishing medical school and continue working toward becoming an MD/DO, it’s possible to do that as well!