What is a veterinary oncologist? – Dr. Renee Alsarraf, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM (Oncology)

Friday, November 3rd, 2017 Vet Care Comments
Dog Oncology

A Veterinary Oncologist is a licensed veterinarian that, after completing a 4-year veterinary medical degree, proceeded on for further training specifically in the field of oncology.  After veterinary school, most Veterinary Oncologists apply for a one-year rotating internship to gain more experience and receive teaching in all aspects of small animal medicine.  Some Oncologists will also complete an Oncology internship, spending a year as an intern to a veterinary oncologist(s).  A veterinarian will then apply to a very competitive selection process in the hopes of doing a residency in Oncology.

Most Oncology residencies are 3 year programs in which the individual is under the tutelage of board certified Oncologists.  During that period, the veterinarian will manage cancer cases, receiving training in radiation therapy, receiving training in pathology, perform cancer research, publish at least one peer-reviewed research article and often present their research data at a veterinary meeting(s).  To become board certified, after meeting all of the credentials, the individual will need to pass a general medicine examination and then an Oncology speciality medicine examination. Each test is given over a 2-3 day period and these exams are often taken over a 2 year span.

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