The specialty of clinical oncology involves all aspect of the management of patients with malignant disease, from diagnosis through treatment with both radiotherapy and systemic therapies to management and symptom control in advanced and recurrent disease. Managing cancer in all its various forms requires an enquiring mind, a strong general medical background, good practical skills and full commitment to patient care.
A clinical oncologist requires excellent clinical skills and should be conversant with the basic sciences relevant to both radiotherapy and systemic therapy of malignant disease, the pathological and functional aspects of disease and the basic elements of research in clinical oncology. It is a very clinically focused specialty, with much of the working week spent in direct patient contact in outpatient clinics and on the wards.
Teamwork is very important. Most clinical oncologists work in multidisciplinary teams of oncology-trained nurses, radiographers, physicists, surgeons and other clinicians, all of whom must integrate and communicate effectively. Good communication skills are important, both to patient management and to team working.
Cancer incidence is on the rise and has rapidly become one of the major causes of mortality among Malaysians. Due to increased disease burden and shortage of oncologists, there is a high demand for specialists in this area.
This is a clinical coursework programme for qualified doctors who wish to specialize in the field of Clinical Oncology. It is a four year-programme which covers basic oncological sciences, clinical training in all aspects of non-surgical management of cancers with emphasis on radiation oncology and use of systemic therapy, and research.