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Clinical Oncology

Clinical Oncology involves the use of radiotherapy and chemotherapy to manage patients with cancer.

The Royal Society of Medicine offers a range of events for different medical specialties, including Clinical Oncology – see a full list on our Events page>>


Entry Route into Clinical Oncology

Applicants must have completed the two-year Foundation Programme to be eligible to apply for core medical training. Core training comprises either

Applicants must have gained at least 24 months’ experience in various medical specialties and part one of the MRCP before they can apply for an ST3 post. At least 12 months of their training should have been in Acute Medicine.

Job Progression as a Clinical Oncologist

Higher specialist training in Clinical Oncology takes at least five years (ST3 – ST7). Training is divided into three stages:

There are no sub-specialties in Clinical Oncology but there are several site specialties, of which the most common are breast, lung and genitourinary.

Trainees can apply for consultant positions six months before obtaining their CCT, and there are opportunities to work in management as a clinical lead, or a clinical or medical director. There are also formal opportunities to become involved in the education and training of junior doctors by working as

Academic Clinical Oncology Roles

Trainees interested in an academic career can apply for an academic clinical fellowship. Alternatively, trainees can continue the ST clinical training programme after ST4 level.

Competition for Clinical Oncology Posts

In 2017, the competition ratio at ST3 was 1.6 in the first round, with 115 applications 72 posts.

In December 2017, there were

Salaries in Clinical Oncology

The starting salary for junior doctors in England ranges from £26,614 to £46,208, and from £37,923 to £87,521 for speciality doctors. Consultants can expect to earn between £76,761 and £103,490. There are additional supplements for on-call work, antisocial hours, and other commitments and situations. For additional information, please check our page on pay scales.

A Day in the Life

Clinical oncologists work in specialist cancer hospitals, teaching hospitals, and district general hospitals, during which they will be expected to attend ward rounds, review patients in outpatient clinics, attend multidisciplinary team meetings, and teach junior colleagues. Undertaking research is an important part of the job and may involve running clinical trials or assessing the effectiveness of treatments, however, on-call rotas may be around one-in-eight.

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