How to ace career as a Pediatric Surgical Oncologist

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  • The Pediatric Surgeries involved more than 550 operative and several hundred additional procedures per year.
  • Malignancies of childhood include neuroblastoma, Wilms tumours, hepatic tumours, extremity, and central sarcomas, head and neck tumours, etc.
  • IPSO is an international society of surgeons organization which is an educational forum for surgeons who treat children and young adults with cancer.

In today’s world where the ozone layer is disappearing and environmental factors such as pollution, high-intensity sunlight, contaminated/ unhygienic food, and drinking items are prevailing, in the same way, all these factors also harm humans in and out, especially newborns or children. 

As we all know that children are so sensitive that little carelessness can lead to great loss. Pediatric surgical oncology is a relatively new and rapidly evolving field related to child-growing cancer and its medication, therapy, and surgical treatment.

The pediatric surgical oncologist works closely with specialists in hematology, oncology, and radiology departments, as well as bone marrow transplant services to give complete care.

What is Pediatric surgical oncologist?

Most cancers that are usual in children are different from those seen in adults.

Pediatric oncology concentrates on cancers in infants, children, and teens while Paediatric Surgical Oncology is a subspecialty of Paediatric Surgery that specializes in surgically treating cancer in adolescent patients. 

They are typically trained to understand the basic biology of tumors/malignancies affecting children and the ability to deal with the complications of the treatment be it medical or surgical in the high-risk group of oncologic and hematologic patients such as hemophilia, leukemia, bone tumors, brain and spinal cord tumor, and more.

pediatric surgical oncologist

Sometimes surgery plays a critical role in a child’s cancer treatment. Before surgery pediatric surgeons collaboratively work with pediatric oncologists and other specialists to evaluate a child’s unique needs and develop a cohesive, complete, and thoughtful approach to their care.

How to be a pediatric surgical oncologist [5 Steps]

The pediatric surgical oncologist may take several years beyond earning a medical degree. Steps to become a pediatric surgical oncologist are;

Step 1 → Every specialization begins with a bachelor’s degree. Although it is common for the students to take a pre-med program or choose a major in science(MSc) or health-related field.

At the undergraduate level of undergraduate, the doctors must take it. The doctors must take knowledgeable courses in biology, math, English, chemistry, and other sciences with gaining clinical experience through volunteering or participating in internships.

Step 2 → To get an MBBS degree to apply for medical school, At this level students have to make a decision that can either pursue a Medical Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree.

This program ordinarily takes 4 years to complete and allows students to explore medical subfields through clinical rotations.

Step 3 → In the third step, physicians must achieve a residency program in their desired area of expertise.

For pediatric oncology, the person may first explore the field during clinical rotations in medical school and then again as a subspecialized doctor in a pediatrics residency program.

To become a pediatric oncologist must complete a pediatric hematology and oncology fellowship program after their 3-year pediatric residency.

Pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship programs normally take 3-years to finish and provide experience in clinical and laboratory research. During the residency program, students work with pediatric cases of different stages of care, including relapses and end of life.

Step 4 → To be a practicing physician, doctor, or surgeon, students must pass a national licensure exam and fulfill their state’s licensing requirements.

For the national licensing exams, medical doctors demand to pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), while Doctors of Osteopathic must pass the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA).

License requirements vary from state to state but typically include graduating from an authorized medical school and finishing a residency program.

Step 5 → Although becoming certified is not usually required, but some pediatric surgical oncologists may choose a board certification from the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP).

The ABP awards a Certification in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology that demands candidates to have completed a 3-year fellowship program in the field and obtain a Verification of Competence Form, and pass a subspecialty certifying exam to gain the certification.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), adolescent cancers tend to respond better to specific treatments, such as chemotherapy. Because of this reason, a pediatric oncologist will most usually treat first with medications and chemotherapy to treat child cancer patients, instead of surgery or radiation therapy.

Aims and objective of  IPSO for Pediatric Surgical oncologist

IPSO is an international society of surgeons organization that provides fellowship and membership programs to young surgeons. They give an educational forum for surgeons who treat children and young adults with cancer. And their aim and objectives are;

  •  To promote and support joint projects with other professional organizations, such as co-operative clinical trials, to enhance the care and outcome of cancer children and young adults.
  • To clear general concepts of the biology and pathology of childhood tumors and their clinical pathways of the various solid tumors of childhood, clinical presentation, imaging, tumor markers (which help monitor the disease process), the up-date protocol in treatment both medical and surgical according to information.
  • To raise the best care for cancer children in developing countries where resources are limited.
  • To support those who care for cancer children by providing specialists in the fields of oncology to interact at masterclasses and courses.
  • To provide support of experts pediatric oncologist who can offer help in difficult areas of pediatric oncology.
  • To enhance the knowledge of the science of pediatric oncology worldwide.

Other pediatric surgical oncologist fellowship programs

The pediatric surgical oncologist program are usually last for 2-3 years, and medical centers that offer fellowships are;

Pediatric surgical oncologist salaries

According to the web, The estimated salaries of Surgical Oncologists in the US range from $57,820- $799,405, with a halfway salary of $310,789. The average 57% of Surgical Oncologists earns between $310,800- $473,614, with the top-ranking (86%) making $799,405.

And on Mar 14, 2021, ZipRecruiter estimated the average annual pay for a Pediatric Hematologist Oncologist in the United States is $277,224 a year. This suggests that there will be many opportunities and advancements increased in pay based on skill level, location, and years of experience.

Pediatric Surgical Oncologist Responsibilities

Having enthusiastic nature towards responsibilities is passion. Some of the pediatric surgical oncologist responsibilities are;

  • Examining patients
  •  Directing diagnostic tests.
  • Analyzing a patient’s symptoms and test outcomes and making a diagnosis.
  • Prescribing medications, developing treatment / surgical plans, and coordinating with other doctors to treat or manage side effects.
  • Using suitable methods of treatment according to patients, such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, stem cell transplants, radiation therapy, and surgery.
  • Counseling pediatric family members and serving the well-being of patients and their long-term survival.
  • Managing patient records.
  • Conducting clinical, transitional, and science-based research to remain up to date and to find new ways to treat cancer and blood disorders that possibly lead to a cure.

Pediatric surgical / physician Oncologist Job Requirements

Being a pediatric oncologist is not an easy job, here are some job requirements include;  

  • A successful  Medical degree with the completion of a residency in Pediatrics and a fellowship in Oncology / Hematology.
  • A license and certification of training Pediatric Oncology.
  • Could have strong leadership and teamwork skills.
  • Should be competent enough to counsel and communicate with children.
  • A caring and sympathetic nature toward children.
  • Having Good perception, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills.
  • Have In-depth knowledge and the ability to remain up to date.


The Pediatric Surgical Oncologist will typically treat cancer and blood disorders more with medications and chemotherapy than with surgery or radiation therapy depending upon the patient and case.

To be a successful Pediatric Surgical Oncologist, a person should be caring and have compassionate nature towards children, and be hardworking and dedicated toward their job.