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Radiology onc referral & does gender matter?


After a brief discussion, my medical oncologist hurriedly set up a consultation with a male RO. Said he was detailed, a little OCD (joking)… inferred I would like him because, dunno, I ask technical questions. He named a female RO “if that would make you more comfortable.” I went with the male. Now I am mulling it over. The female doc has a side practice helping patients practice mind-body connection as part of their healing. I like my MO so far, but he doesn’t know me. How did you choose your RO?


  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,947

    My mo simply set an appointment for me with an ro. While I did like him quite well, in the whole scheme of my treatment, it was a limited relationship. Once rads actually started*, I saw him briefly once a week. Had I not felt comfortable with him I could have easily switched. In terms of male vs female, I didn’t care. The rad techs are the ones present during rads tx, not the doctor. Sometimes they were make, sometimes female. I have confidence in their professionalism but if more modest and/or feel more comfortable with a female than choose a women. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable! Take care.
    * My rads were to my bone met (stage IV de novo) which was near my femoral head. My left side groin area was exposed but the techs, male and female, were very discrete tried to maintain my personal privacy as much as possible.

  • salamandra
    salamandra Member Posts: 745

    When my biopsy came back malignant and I called to set up my first appointment at my cancer center, they asked if I had a preference for a male or female doctor. I went with female even though it was a couple of extra days for my first appointment, which pretty much felt like an eon. I'm glad I did and she was great. Both my medical oncologist (f) and my radiation oncologist (m) were internal 'referrals' by my surgeon. I saw the RO for a total of about 2.5 months, and I've been seeing the MO for almost 5 years now.

    In general I prefer women doctors, but my RO was fine, especially for such a short medical relationship. I think if you generally like your MO (even if you don't know each other well), I wouldn't hesitate to go with his referral. If you're happy with a male MO (which is a much longer term relationship), I think a male RO would be even less of an issue.

  • bakemeacake
    bakemeacake Member Posts: 10

    Thanks for your responses. Food for thought. I think he’s good—not sure how one really knows until you try. It makes sense that you spend more time with the techs anyway & what’s modesty?;) I usually prefer female docs for female issues.

  • AJ
    AJ Member Posts: 219

    My radiation oncologist is a male and he’s wonderful. Very good at explaining things.

  • ratherbesailing
    ratherbesailing Member Posts: 124

    I think we have no real way of knowing if a RO is “good.” It is pretty technical and the fact of the matter is that the dosimetrist and resident are the ones actually devising the plan. Also, designing what to radiate (nodes, e.g.) is largely determined by studies that may not directly reflect your particular profile. With that in mind, I wouldn’t mind having a RO who is a little OCD!