What to Consider When Choosing a Right Oncologist?

Aug 14, 2023 | 3 min read

A cancer diagnosis demands expert care, making it crucial to find the best oncologist who can provide a personalized treatment plan tailored to the specific type and stage of cancer for the best possible outcome.

What to Look for when Choosing an Oncologist

When choosing an oncologist, consider the following:

  • Experience and Specialization: Ensure the oncologist is well-versed in treating your specific type of cancer and has extensive experience.
  • Type of Oncology: Determine if your case requires a specific type of oncologist, such as medical, surgical, or radiation, to ensure the best treatment plan.
  • Credentials and Certification: Verify that the oncologist is board-certified and maintains relevant qualifications and continuing education.
  • Hospital Affiliation: Check if the oncologist is affiliated with a reputable hospital or cancer treatment center, providing access to advanced resources and treatment options.
  • Treatment Approach: Understand their approach to treatment, whether traditional, experimental, or a mix, and ensure it aligns with your preferences.
  • Communication Style: Choose someone who communicates clearly, answers your questions, and involves you in treatment decisions.
  • Supportive Care Services: Look for the availability of nutritionists, counselors, and other supportive care professionals as part of their team.
  • Research and Clinical Trials: An oncologist involved in research may provide access to cutting-edge treatments and clinical trials.
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How Can Docus Help With Choosing The Best Oncologist?

Docus.ai has simplified this process of choosing an oncologist by assembling a base of over 300 top doctors, including the best oncologists from 15+ countries, who are ready to provide you with a consultation and promptly validate your diagnosis.

Whether you seek a second opinion in writing or prefer a personal touch through video calls, Docus ensures you're connected with the world's best oncologists, no matter where you are.

choosing an oncologist


Do I need a referral to see an oncologist?

Whether you need a referral to see an oncologist depends on your health plan. If you are enrolled in an HMO, a visit to your primary care physician (PCP) for a referral is mandatory. The same applies to most point-of-service (POS) plans.

On the other hand, with most PPO or Indemnity plans, prior consultation with your family physician or PCP isn't necessary. To be certain, consult your member summary in the benefits booklet.

Why would you see an oncologist?

An oncologist is a physician with expertise in diagnosing and treating cancer. When one encounters symptoms like pronounced fatigue, unintended weight loss, unexplained pain, or a lasting lump, it's recommended to visit a medical expert immediately, beginning with a primary care provider.

Upon detailing the symptoms, the provider will administer a physical examination and might request diagnostic measures like blood tests or scans.

If preliminary results hint at a tumor, the individual will be referred to an oncologist. This referral is to ensure the patient receives specialized care based on the type of cancer suspected.

What questions to ask when choosing an oncologist?

When trying to find an oncologist, the search can be overwhelming. It's crucial to have a clear understanding of their expertise and approach. To assist those choosing an oncologist, here are a few key questions to ensure you make the best decision:

  1. What are their qualifications and experience?
  2. Do they specialize in my type of cancer?
  3. How often do they treat patients with my diagnosis?
  4. What treatments do they offer and recommend?
  5. Can they provide references or testimonials from previous patients?
  6. How do they stay updated with the latest research and treatments?
  7. Are they affiliated with any renowned cancer centers or hospitals?
  8. What's their approach to patient care – are they holistic, focused solely on medical aspects, or a combination?
  9. How do they handle communication and follow-up?
  10. Will they coordinate with other medical professionals involved in my care?

How to prepare for an appointment?

To prepare for an oncologist appointment, gather all pertinent medical records, including imaging tests like MRIs, CT scans, and X-rays. Compile a list of medications you're on or, as some oncologists prefer, bring the actual medications, encompassing supplements, vitamins, and herbs.

Consider having a family member or close friend accompany you for note-taking and emotional support, as appointments can be information-heavy. Prioritize listing down questions to ensure you cover essential topics during your visit.


With this comprehensive guide in hand, the quest to find an oncologist becomes less daunting, empowering you to make choices tailored to your needs. Armed with knowledge, you can navigate your cancer journey with greater confidence and clarity.

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