According to the American Society of Hematology (ASH), "a hematologist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and/or investigation of disorders of the hematopoietic, hemostatic, and lymphatic systems, and disorders of the interaction between blood and blood vessel wall." The Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS) expects "employment of physicians and surgeons is projected to grow 14 percent from 2006 to 2016, faster than the average for all occupations." It takes extensive education and training to become a certified hematologist.
According to the BLS, common undergraduate majors include physics, biology, mathematics, English, and inorganic and organic chemistry. College graduates applying for medical school need transcripts, scores from the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and letters of recommendation. Though there is not a specific MCAT score that will guarantee acceptance, most medical schools do have minimum cutoff numbers. For example, students accepted to Johns Hopkins University have an average verbal MCAT of 11.1 and average physical and biological science scores of 11.9.
The first two years of medical school are spent working in a laboratory and learning the basics of diagnosing patients and taking medical histories. The last two years are spent working with patients under the supervision of experienced physicians. Medical school students complete rotations in a variety of specialties.
The BLS states, "Most D.O.s serve a 12-month rotating internship after graduation and before entering a residency, which may last 2 to 6 years." ASH recommends that interns find a mentor who will provide support and share expertise. According to ASH, "internal medicine and pediatrics are the typical residency tracks completed prior to specializing in hematology or hematology/oncology, although you may enter hematology after completing other general residency programs as well (e.g., combined internal medicine and pediatrics or family practice)."
Fellowship is typically a three-year period in which a physician completes further training in a subspecialty. Fellows may choose to complete a fourth and/or fifth year of fellowship before seeking independent employment. ASH states that "hematology-related fellowships include adult hematology, coagulation, hematology/oncology, pathology, and pediatric hematology/oncology (there are no pediatric hematology-only programs)."
- Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images