A radiation oncologist is a doctor who specializes in the treatment of cancer patients. Radiation oncologists play a role as both primary oncologist to cancer patients and as consultants to other physicians.
Radiation oncologists work side by side with other members of the radiation oncology treatment team such as radiation therapists, dosimetrists, physicists, nurses, tumor registrars, and quality assurance personnel. Residency in radiation oncology requires a total of 5 years of postgraduate training. There are currently 78 accredited programs in the United States.
It is the responsibility of the radiation oncologist to prescribe the proper dose of radiation. Radiation oncologists also require a solid understanding of the histology and pathology of cancer; they must communicate effectively with patients and their caregivers.
Certified radiation oncologists can decide among the three standard choices of practice: salaried academic jobs, community/private practice positions, or freestanding practice centers.
Radiation Oncologists median annual income = $303,750