Gynecologic Oncology Training Program and Career Information

Sep 26, 2019

Gynecologic oncologists require a significant amount of formal education. Learn about the career information, degree programs and licensure requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

To become a gynecological oncologist it is necessary to graduate from medical school, complete a residency in obstetrics and gynecology and finish a fellowship an gynecologic oncology. Gynecological oncologists can also be certified in obstetrics and gynecology.

Essential Information

Gynecologic oncology is a highly specialized field of medicine dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancers of the female reproductive system. It is a recognized subspecialty of obstetrics and gynecology. Medical school graduates can train in gynecologic oncology through residency and fellowship programs. Licensure is required for all gynecologic oncologists.

Required Education M.D.
Other Requirements Residency in obstetrics and gynecology and a gynecologic oncology fellowship
Licensure and Certification License required in all states; board certification in obstetrics and gynecology recommended
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 2% for all obstetricians and gynecologists
Mean Annual Salary (May 2018)* $238,320 for all obstetricians and gynecologists

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Training Program Information

Training in gynecologic oncology starts after graduation from medical school. Medical students interested in gynecologic oncology should consider residency programs in obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN). After completing an OB/GYN residency, students can apply for a gynecologic oncology fellowship program.

Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Programs

Lasting four years, OB/GYN residencies may include rotations in gynecologic oncology. First-year residents can learn the basics of obstetrics and gynecology through observation of uncomplicated cases. They also provide general care with direct supervision from a qualified physician.

As residents progress through the second through fourth years, they take on increasing responsibility and independence, doing rotations in surgery, labor and delivery, reproductive endocrinology and gynecologic oncology. After completing a residency program, doctors become certified OB/GYN specialists by passing the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) exams.

Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Programs

Fellowship programs in gynecologic oncology are typically open to physicians who have completed a 4-year OB/GYN residency. Gynecologic oncology rotations in a residency aren't required for admissions eligibility.

Fellowship programs are three years in length and can include research, or they may only involve clinical training. Fellows circulate through rotations of different aspects of gynecologic oncology, such as surgery, chemotherapy, pathology and radiology. Fellows assume more responsibility with patient care as skill and experience increases. When a fellowship is complete, official certification in the subspecialty of gynecologic oncology can be obtained by passing the ABOG written and oral exams.

Career Information

Gynecologic oncologists work in hospitals or specialized cancer clinics, diagnosing and treating reproductive system cancers in women. They can act solely as physicians or take part in research or teaching by working at research hospitals or medical schools.

Employment and Salary Statistics

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for OB/GYN specialists was $238,320 in May 2018 ( The expected job growth rate from 2018 to 2028 for the employment of obstetricians and gynecologists was 2%.

Gynecological oncologists focus on preventing and treating cancer in women's reproductive systems. They are required to be licensed medical doctors and complete a residency and fellowship in their field. The 2018-2028 job outlook from the BLS projects an 2% rate of job growth for obstetricians and gynecologists, and they may be employed by hospitals, clinics or cancer treatment centers.

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