This specialization is a great professional challenge, prestige and responsibility. Cancer is a scourge of civilization, thousands of people die from cancer in Poland. Meanwhile, only 39 medical graduates are interested in 200 places in the specialization in clinical oncology.
In Mazovia, only fifteen people declared their willingness to specialize in clinical oncology. However, there is a shortage not only of oncologists, but also of hematologists, radiologists and oncological surgeons. – In general, these specializations are unpopular because there is a belief that they are mentally difficult, burdensome, and thankless – points out Jakub Kosikowski, a resident of clinical oncology.
Kosikowski is currently specializing in oncology and emphasizes that he knows that he will have to see thirty patients a day, that he will have to continue education for the rest of his life because oncology is developing rapidly, and that he will not be able to help many of his patients despite everything.
Videos from the Ministry of Health promoting specialization in clinical oncology have not been able to change the situation, because instead of cheap incentives, a lot of money is needed – doctors point out. – If we do not urgently encourage doctors, we will face a situation where we will suffer from oncological diseases and there will be no one to treat us – emphasizes Łukasz Jankowski, president of the Supreme Medical Council.
There is a shortage of oncologists
Cancer is the second cause of death in Poland after cardiovascular diseases. We currently have one million one hundred thousand patients undergoing, before or after cancer treatment. Among those in the process are Mrs. Małgorzata Drwięga and Mr. Jan Osiński. They both started treatment quickly – Mr. Jan, because he was an honorary blood donor. Doctors diagnosed Mrs. Małgorzata with cancer by accident, when she was in hospital for another treatment.
– We are probably not the best communicators when it comes to the lack of oncologists, but I know that people in my immediate circle waited much longer despite the oncological path provided, and I was simply lucky – says Ms. Małgorzata.
Quick access to an oncologist should not be a matter of luck but standard. However, this will be difficult for a long time, because there is a shortage of at least 506 of them. In a situation where we have about a thousand oncologists, the reality is even worse than the data show.
– We still need to clarify these statistics regarding the number of oncologists, because the fact that there are just over 900, perhaps about a thousand oncologists, does not mean that all of them work full-time. Some of them work one, two or three days, and the rest of the time they work, for example, in clinical trials – explains Prof. Rafał Stec, head of the Oncology Clinic of the Medical University of Warsaw.
Main photo source: Fakty TVN