Youth Cancer

Who's Who in Hospitals

There are lots of wonderful medical and non-medical people in hospital who are there to look after you during (and after) treatment.

They could be involved in:

  • Administering treatment
  • Giving you information and advice
  •  Or simply supporting you and your family during this time

The Medical Team

This is the group of people who make decisions about treatment, and they’re also the ones responsible for giving the treatment.

You’ll find that you are regularly in contact with them, in particular your oncologist right after diagnosis, and the nurses when you are in hospital getting treatment.

A quick break down of the different titles:

  • Medical Oncologist – A doctor specialising in diagnosing and treating cancer patients.
  • Radiation Oncologist – A doctor specialising in radiation to treat cancer. This doctor will decide if radiation is an appropriate treatment, will choose the best form of radiation treatment and then administer it.
  • Surgical Oncologist – A surgeon who specialises in removing cancers via an operation.
  • Radiologist – A specialist doctor who interprets X-rays, MRI scans and CAT scans to get pictures of the body.
  • Oncology Nurse Specialist – A registered nurse with additional education and training in cancer.
  • Registered Nurse – A nurse who provides regular care in the hospital or outpatient clinic.
  • Registrar - A doctor completing their specialist training who will normally see you every day while in hospital. They see you more often than the specialists and help manage patients on the ward and in clinics.
  • Resident / Intern - A junior doctor who normally works with a registrar and is involved in looking after patients on the ward.

The Multidisciplinary Team

Basically, the multidisciplinary team complement the work that the medical team do.

You may not come into contact with them for a little while after diagnosis and treatment, but they have a wide range of skills that can help you on the road to recovery!
Members of the multidisciplinary team you might meet:

  • Social Worker – A trained professional who helps patients and their families adjust to life with cancer and treatments.
  • Dietician – A professional who provides information to patients and their families about nutritional needs related to their cancer and treatment.
  • Clinical Psychologist – A professionally-trained therapist who helps with emotional and intellectual wellbeing during cancer diagnosis and treatment.
  • Pharmacist – A professional who is knowledgeable about drugs and medications that may form part of your cancer treatment.
  • Physiotherapist – A professional who deals with recovering physical movement and may help with your recovery after surgery.


TIP: Some people you come into contact with might have the word ‘paediatric’ in their title. This just means that they specialise in treating children.