Tell us a bit about your career so far
- MD, Hacettepe University 2013
- Internal Medicine Residency, Hacettepe University, 2013-2018
- Medical Oncology Fellowship, Hacettepe University Cancer Institute, 2018-2022
What is your current activity?
I recently finished my medical oncology residency at Hacettepe University Cancer Institute, and I am currently conducting my obligatory service in a state hospital (Elazığ City Hospital) as a general medical oncologist. My main academic interests are immuno-oncology and palliative care, and I mostly worked on these topics during my residency. Additionally, I worked on gastrointestinal oncology during my thesis period.
I previously served as the Ambassador for Turkey for the European School of Oncology (2020-2022) and gained important insight and experience regarding the importance of multinational organizations in education and career development. I currently serve as the Young Oncologist Representative for the Turkish Society of Medical Oncology.
Future plans in terms of training/evolvement
I aim to contribute to ongoing efforts in immuno-oncology and palliative care. I plan to be involved in the national and international cohorts evaluating the immunotherapy efficacy and side effects and developing models to predict the immunotherapy benefit precisely. I plan to conduct a long-term fellowship on immuno-oncology to improve my knowledge and gain further insights to plan investigator-initiated studies regarding immunotherapy efficacy and toxicity.
Why did you choose to become a medical oncologist?
During my medical school years, I had a significant interest in pharmacology, immunology, and molecular pathology, which are the backbone of medical oncology. After entering the clinic, I also had the privilege of having the content of caring for patients with cancer in our oncology hospital. Due to my interest in oncology and hematology, I entered to internal medicine residency and took a thesis in medical oncology. The residency and thesis period enabled me to see astonishing developments in medical oncology and further boosted my ambition to become a medical oncologist. In hopes of contributing to the ongoing developments in oncology and caring for patients with cancer, I decided to become an oncologist and started my oncology fellowship in 2018.
What does your involvement with ESMO and the Young Oncologists Committee (YOC) mean to you?
Becoming a member of ESMO was a life-changing opportunity for me. I attended my first international congress in ESMO Congress 2019 and was amazed by the support of ESMO for the distribution of high-quality scientific research, education, and networking. Furthermore, the support of ESMO to the young oncologists in all ESMO activities was very encouraging for me.
Becoming a member of the Young Oncologists Committee is an excellent opportunity to develop individually as a key opinion leader and mentor and to spread the knowledge and experience I gained to my younger peers and help others grow. The Young Oncologists Committee is a great way to plan the activities according to the needs of younger oncologists as well as the needs of oncologists from resource-limited backgrounds. I plan to be involved in projects that improve coordination and networking across the oncologists from resource-rich and resource-limited settings.
Do you have some good advice you would like to share with your international colleagues?
The most crucial thing is being brave and looking for opportunities. ESMO preceptorships and the ESMO Young Oncologist Committee activities are great ways of networking and finding these opportunities. Lastly, not discouraging from failures and trying to get better every day in small steps helped me and could help everyone.