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Living and Working as an Oncologist in Spain

Facts and Statistics

  • Location: South-western Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, and Pyrenees Mountains, southwest of France.
  • Climate: temperate; clear, hot summers in interior, more moderate and cloudy along coast; cloudy, cold winters in interior, partly cloudy and cool along coast
  • Population: 40.5 million
  • Capital: Madrid
  • Currency: Euro
  • Time Zone: Central European Time (CET)
  • Religions: Roman Catholic (majority)
  • Govenment: Parliamentary Monarchy
  • Languages: Spanish, Catalan and Basque

Studying Medicine in Spain

Studying Medicine in Spain takes six years, including academic theory and clinical practice. The Spanish System has adopted the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) which is based on a definition of credits and procedures widely accepted throughout Europe. Access is high restricted to a limited number of students, through a selection procedure (written examination) which take place on a yearly basis. In Spain, you can study Medicine at several universities, belonged to either the public and private system. Please see below some web site links (not exhaustive list):

What do I need to become an oncologist in Spain?

Medical Oncology has been recognised as a speciality, and it consists of two years education in internal medicine and three in medical oncology. This program has a closed admission process based on an academic university history and the annual MIR examination results. The Schools of Specialisation in Medical Oncology are located in most of the Spanish University hospitals. Each year there is an internal path of evaluation, with a final test to become qualified and practice as a Medical Oncologist.

Are there any Oncology Societies in Spain?

SEOM (Spanish Medical Oncologist Society) is the main Spanish society for clinical oncologists. There is a specific section dedicated to young oncologists (+MIR section). Furthermore, there are several Research Cooperative Groups focused in different tumour types: most of them have members of other specialties and have special commitments with cancer patients associations too. Below are some examples of Spanish societies (not exhaustive list):

Is it possible to do a fellowship in Spain?

There are several fellowship opportunities in Spain. For a pure research fellowship,  good knowledge of Spanish and English is required and job options can be found at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center CNIO. When considering a clinical fellowship dealing with patients, a good knowledge of the Spanish language is mandatory. Fellowship opportunities can be found through the Spanish Medical Oncology Society SEOM, or directly through University hospitals web sites (see above).

Society & Culture

Spain is famous worldwide for its culture, art and way of living. It has won global multicultural fame for the variety of languages between regions and Latin influences. The country has produced world famous artists such as Goya, Picasso and Dali. Spaniards enjoy the good life: they love parties and mid-day siestas, dressing up in traditional costumes, and enjoy going out for tapas with friends and family. Family is the centre of a person’s social life and supportive network.

Where can I find useful information about living in Spain?

The official but independent internet portal www.livinginspain.org offers useful information and facts about Spain.
You can also get interesting data from the Official Spanish Tourist Office (in most languages) and the Spanish Government Information Website for Foreigners (in Spanish only).

We hope that you enjoy discovering our country!

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