What makes a paediatric oncologist?
A paediatric oncologist is a doctor with specialist expertise in managing children with cancer. The cancer may be in any location or system, including the blood (leukaemia), brain or body. They care for children and young people and their families at all stages of treatment, from diagnosis to long-term follow-up or palliative care, and often maintain support for many years.
Paediatric oncologists work closely with haematologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, endocrinologists, and other oncologists, nationally and internationally, to ensure therapies are appropriate and effective. They work locally with psychologists, social workers and teachers to support patients and their families, ensuring that the burden of treatment is contained and that the long-term effects of treatment are minimised.
Evidence-based medicine is at its core, and oncology is characterised by the expectation that patients will be treated according to clinical trials whenever possible.
Training in this sub-specialty
Paediatricians in the UK start their training in general paediatrics, and at the final level of training (level 3), some choose to train in a paediatric sub-specialty, such as paediatric oncology.
The RCPCH Progress curriculum provides a framework for paediatric training, and outlines the Learning Outcomes and Key Capabilities required at each stage before attaining the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT).
The syllabi support the curriculum with further guidance on how the Learning Outcomes can be achieved and demonstrated. Those in sub-specialty training use two syllabi, which are part of the RCPCH Progress curriculum:
- Level 3 generic syllabus (for all level 3 trainees)
- Sub-specialty syllabus.
You can download all syllabus documents below