Gynecological Oncology Careers: Job Options and Requirements

Degrees in gynecological oncology typically prepare graduates for work in obstetric-gynecological disciplines. Read on to find out about the requirements of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary information for gynecological oncology graduates.

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A career in gynecological oncology includes physicians and nurses with specialty education in obstetric-gynecology (OB-GYN) and oncology relating to women's health. These medical professionals diagnose, treat and care for female patients with cancer of the reproductive organs. Education requirements vary for oncologists or nurse practitioners, but requires significant education for either path.

Essential Information

Gynecological oncology is a sub-specialty of women's health or obstetric-gynecological disciplines. Gynecological oncology physicians and nurses work specifically with cancers of the female reproductive organs. OB-GYN physicians who specialize in gynecological oncology may do so through residency and fellowship programs. Registered nurses or nurse practitioners may earn a master's degree in women's health and a post-master's certificate in oncology.

Careers Gynecological Oncologists Gynecological Oncology Nurses
Education Requirements Doctoral degree; Certification in gynecological oncology Master's degree; Certification in cancer care and women's health
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 14% for physicians and surgeons* 35% for nurse practitioners*
Median Salary $243,317 for oncologists (2016)** $98,190 for nurse practitioners (2015)*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; **PayScale.com

Career Options

Graduates with degrees in gynecological oncology have the skills and the background to perform in a variety of careers in this discipline. Certification in the specialty is available through fellowship programs and the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation for professionals looking to continue advancing their career and understanding the most current medical issues. Below are career options that utilize the skills learned in gynecological oncology.

Gynecological Oncologists

Gynecological oncologists are OB-GYN physicians who diagnose and treat cancers specific to female reproductive organs through surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Work settings vary, though most physicians in this specialty work in a clinical practice, academic research, or as faculty at a teaching hospital or university. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job openings for physicians, including specialists, are expected to increase 14% between 2014 and 2024, which is faster than the national average. Additionally, Payscale.com reports that the median annual salary for oncologists as of 2016 is $243,317.

Gynecological Oncology Nurses

Gynecological oncology nurses play a vital role in a medical oncology team. Trained in the specialty of women's health, as well as an oncology sub-specialty, a gynecological oncology nurse provides surgical, treatment and patient care support to a physician. Nurses in this capacity often work in private clinics and hospitals. BLS predicts that jobs for nurse practitioners will increase by 35% between 2014 and 2024, and the median salary as of May 2015 was $98,190.

Gynecological Oncologist Career Requirements

The academic career of a gynecological oncologist includes several years of medical school, internships and residencies in the specialization, leading to a doctoral degree. New medical doctors must become licensed and participate in several years of residency training in one or more discipline. Fellowship programs exist in the specific field of gynecological oncology, providing doctors with the most relevant training for a chosen career.

Gynecological oncology nurses may follow an academic path including a bachelor's degree in nursing followed by master's studies to become a nurse practitioner. Master's degree programs offer the option to specialize in women's health and oncology. Nurses must become licensed or registered with the state, and a post-graduate certificate program may prepare a nurse for advanced practice licensure as well as professional certification.

Certification in Gynecological Oncology

Gynecological oncologists may become board certified through the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. A credential in the sub-specialization of gynecological oncology is offered to physicians who have completed a recognized 3-year fellowship program and demonstrated sufficient competence through extensive testing. Board certification requires physicians to test and renew certification annually.

Nurse practitioners and specialized nurses may also earn professional certification in cancer care and women's health care through organizations, such as the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation or the National Certification Corporation. Maintenance of the credential is subject to a combination of continuing education, practical experience or retesting.

Gynecological oncologists are physicians with specialty training in the OB-GYN and oncology fields. Working in this career requires completing medical school in addition to residency and fellowships for specialty training. Nurse practitioners typically have a master's degree, and some programs offer the opportunity to specialize in women's health or oncology. OB-GYN oncology nurses assist and work with oncologists in treating patients.

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