her emotions in check to be able to provide sound medical advice and make critical decisions.
Work hours are determined by the hospital or practice. Within state hospitals overtime will be factored into your contract. You may also get to travel to meetings and conferences around the world.
Negative news and positive rewards
Delivering sad news can be challenging for the oncologist, especially when the prognosis is poor. “Human beings are inherently good people who want to spare others suffering,” she says. “Seeing people hurt and their families suffer because of this disease can be quite a challenge.”
If there’s one thing that Dr Keo enjoys about her work, it’s seeing the strength of human nature prevail. “It’s a good feeling when patients get through their treatment, do well and get cured,” she smiles. “The way they reclaim their strength and their lives are amazing and humbling to witness!”
She recalls an especially touching story of two pregnant patients who were both diagnosed with cancer during their pregnancies. With the right treatment and Dr Keo’s dedication and expertise, they were both cured and delivered healthy babies. “The contrast of potential death and new life side by side, with life emerging victorious in the end was very special,” she adds.
Following in her footsteps
Work prospects in oncology across the globe are excellent, with other opportunities in non-profit organisations and cancer education. Dr Keo says that what makes oncology a different area of medicine to pursue is the vast amount of ongoing research and development in the field. “It’s also a personal journey of growth, bolstered by the interaction with patients, and journeying with them in a difficult period in their lives,” she notes.
Says Dr Keo on the challenge of choosing a career: “Choose what you are passionate about, because then success is guaranteed. Never settle for what someone else wants you to do, but what you love to do. Remember we spend so much of our adult lives working, why not do what you love and love life in return?”
Published By: Bronwyn Kemsley