Resources for Medical Students

ASCO Membership

ASCO Membership Free for Medical Students

ASCO Membership will provide the following benefits:

  • Publications:
    • Free: JOP (online only), Cancer in the News, ASCO Connection, ASCO Post, ASCO Express and monthly ASCO 101 email
    • Discounted: JCO ($50), JOP (print - $50)
  • Discounts:
    • Discounted registration fee for Annual Meeting and Symposia
    • 20% discount for ASCO University Bookstore products
    • Discounted image use from ASCO University
  • Meetings:
    • Advanced housing and registration for Annual Meeting and Symposia
    • Advanced access to Ticketed Sessions for Annual Meeting
    • Can submit one abstract as presenter and first author  (must have a sponsor signature from Full Member)
  • Other:
    • Access to online research tools (AIA, ACT, FDA alerts)
    • Access to Oncology Career Center
    • Eligible for Conquer Cancer Foundation grants and awards
    • Access to patient resources on Cancer.Net
    • Access to ASCO Member Directory, ASCO LinkedIn group, ASCOConnection.org and other networking tools

What to Look for in a Residency Program

Ideally, you will find a residency that affords ample opportunity for hands-on clinical training, along with a supportive environment that allows and encourages continued learning and performance improvement.

Consider a program at a cancer center with well-developed multidisciplinary programs and specialists who focus on specific diseases. If you are interested in academics, you should find a program in which the oncologists are actively involved in clinical or translational research that you might participate in during their residency. Academically oriented students should also be encouraged to explore taking time during medical school to participate in summer research programs or even full-year research programs, such as are available at NCI.

Oncology Specialties

Oncology: The Highest Stakes and the Greatest Rewards

No matter which area of medicine you are drawn to, there is an oncology specialty for you to consider:

  • Internal Medicine, subspecialty of Medical Oncology
  • Pediatrics, subspecialty of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
  • OB/GYN, subspecialty of Gynecologic Oncology
  • Radiation Oncology specialty
  • Surgery, specialization in Surgical Oncology
  • Urology, specialization in Urologic Oncology

The areas listed above range from specialties to subspecialties to specializations that don’t include a board examination. Depending on which area you pursue, training (including residency) will range from 5-8 years.

A career in oncology provides the opportunity to be involved in relatively young but rapidly evolving specialties, which are continuing to deliver new developments for cancer patients. Oncology blends important health care advances in a setting of committed cancer nursing, psychology and modality specialists. It is the model of multidisciplinary care where the oncologist plays an increasing leadership role in managing the cancer research and care team. And as such, oncologists have the opportunity to form the most intense, personal relationships with patients of any field of medicine.

In 2007 ASCO published a report on the oncology workforce that predicted a shortage of up to 4,100 oncologists by 2020, when an aging population and increased cancer survivorship will increase the demand for oncology visits by 48%.

Oncology Practice Settings

Oncology practice can be applied in three general arenas: academic practice, community practice, or practice in industry or government.

Academic practice is a practice closely aligned with a university or medical school, whose stated goals are generally three: education, research, and patient care. Academic physicians, in their professional lives, may emphasize one of these areas over the other two, but always endeavor to carry out the tripartite academic mission.

A Day in the Life of an Academic Oncologist

Community practice generally refers to either “private practice” or practice within large organizations for which care of patients is the primary goal. This includes multispecialty medical groups, staff-model HMO’s, and employment by government agencies (federal, state, county, or city) in positions where day-to-day care of patients is the primary occupation.

A Day in the Life of a Community Practitioner

Industry or government practice is closely tied to the overall mission of the organization. Many industrial firms view their mission as performing research to expand knowledge and create new products as much as any academic organization. However, such firms tend to be organized to develop or support a commercial product, so it’s fair to differentiate practice within their structure. Physicians who practice in government generally work to develop or support the development of public policy primarily through implementing or developing regulations, or by supporting lawmakers.

A Day in the Life of an Industry Oncologist
A Day in the Life of an Oncologist in Government

Past Annual Meeting Sessions

ASCO Resources