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Medical oncology


Medical oncologists are involved in the care of patients with cancer from first diagnosis through treatment to survivorship or transition to palliative care. It is therefore an extremely rewarding speciality where continuity of care means that medical oncologists are able to establish excellent relationships with their patients, often over many years.

Improving the survival of patients with cancer is a key role for medical oncologists and therefore patients will be on novel treatments and clinical trials. This makes clinical research an important feature and a significant proportion of trainees therefore undertake higher degrees. This can take many forms – including lab, translational or clinical trial-based research. As a result oncology is a dynamic and challenging speciality, which brings with it much variety.


Training in medical oncology involves rotating through and learning about the management of all the major types of cancer. This includes becoming competent in the supervision of systemic treatments, which incorporates chemotherapy, endocrine therapy and newer biological agents (such as antibodies and immunotherapy). Furthermore, with the multi-disciplinary approach of cancer care trainees learn the complex care pathways and multi-modality nature of treatments. The new combined oncology curriculum ensures the opportunity to develop skills in acute oncology both at the Cancer Centre and in District General Hospitals.

Trainees in south Wales will rotate between Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff and South West Wales Cancer Centre in Swansea. There are exciting opportunities including rotation through Phase 1 clinical trials unit and opportunities for research.

Trainees in north Wales rotate between Glan Clwyd Hospital, Ysbyty Gwynedd Hospital, Wrexham Maelor and Clatterbridge Cancer Centre (six Months). This is a dynamic rotation offering a wide variety of experience and opportunities for research in regional universities.


Comments from current trainees:

“Supportive clinical environment with plenty of educational opportunities”

“Flexible approach and financial support for oncology specific curriculum courses”

“Lovely in-patient ward in Singleton with sea view!”

“Fantastic opportunities with phase 1 unit clinical trials unit within Velindre Cancer Centre”