Maria Najim

Radiation Oncologist Trainee
Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre, Westmead NSW

I always wanted to study medicine from a very early age. At school I chose science based subjects including maths, physics, chemistry, but also took up French and Italian as languages. I have worked at a number of different hospital including St George, Wollongong, Westmead and Nepean, but I really enjoyed my rural rotations which included Taree, Wagga Wagga and Bowral.

I have always had an interest in oncology and found Radiation Oncology different to “usual” medical terms. I discovered Radiation Oncology as part of my general rotation as a resident medical officer in oncology. I was fascinated by what the radiation oncologist had to offer patients. Radiation Oncology includes clinical work, mainly in the outpatient setting, which is good for patients and their families as patients can be managed and treated close to home. It also makes great use of modern technology which allows delivery of treatment in a very accurate and precise manner.

Good communication skills are essential which is not only important when dealing with patients and family but also with other health professionals. You also need to be caring, compassionate and empathetic.

I enjoy the clinical work in assessing and managing oncology patients as well as planning their treatment. I also enjoy the multidisciplinary approach to management and working closely with other health professionals as well as the perks of international and local travel to meetings and conferences.

I recommend Radiation Oncology as a career as it is very rewarding to look after oncology patients both in the curative setting, and it has an important role in the palliative setting.