What is a hematologist?
This is a medical doctor who has specialized in hematology, which is the study of the white and red blood cells and diseases that are caused by the imbalances between the two. If you are squeamish around blood then this is not a medical field that you should pursue. A hematologist prevents, diagnoses, and treats disorders and diseases of the blood and other related systems of the body. Many times a hematologist spends a lot of time on research so they can use their expertise, abilities, and skills in order to care for their patients. In most countries hematology is a medical specialty that requires a lot of training but when finally becoming a hematologist it does have its rewards.
Job description of a hematologist
Being a hematologist you will spend most of your time doing research about disorders and diseases that are either transmitted through or carried by fluid exchanges and treating blood conditions. Preventative care is a big part of a hematologist’s job along with treatment, management, and identification of blood disorders. Prevention of these blood disorders can include everything from the administration of supplements that are designed to fend off mineral deficiencies to genetic testing of patients who are believed to be carriers of blood diseases. Another important part of a hematologist’s job is early diagnosis and treatment of any blood diseases or disorders along with managing blood conditions that may require action before any complications can develop.
Although most medical professionals have a little understanding of how important blood is important to a person’s overall health a hematologist is the only one who has the expertise to cure most of the blood conditions that are life-threatening. They deal with genetic blood disorders like thalassemia, which is a serious blood disorder that affects the composition and physical presentation of hemoglobin in the blood, or hemophilia, which is a blood disease that is inherited and results in your blood’s failure to clot normally. They also deal with issues like stem cell transplants, bone marrow transplants, and blood transfusions.
How to become a hematologist?
As with all medical jobs you should take as many math and science classes possible while in high school. Before you can become a hematologist you will need to become a Doctor of Medicine but before you get to that point there is other schooling that you must have along with exams to pass. Once you graduate from high school you need to attend 4 years of college getting your bachelor’s, or undergraduate, degree. When getting your bachelor’s degree you need to make sure that you are including classes such as math, biology, physics, organic and inorganic chemistry, and English. Before you can be admitted to a medical school you need to have a high GPA in the classes you took to get your bachelor’s degree and a high score on your Medical College Admission Test. In addition you will need your transcripts along with letters of recommendation. Because the competition is so stiff to get into medical school some medical schools will also look at a perspective student’s leadership skills, their personality, any extracurricular activities they may have participated in that is related to the medical field, and their character. There are some medical schools that even require that a perspective student have an interview with members of the medical school’s admission committee.
Once you are accepted into medical school you will work in laboratories and classrooms for the first two years taking classes in medical ethics, biochemistry, physiology, and anatomy. They will also work with supervising physicians to learn how to diagnosis illnesses, take medical histories, and examine patients. In the last two years they will work with patients while under the supervision of licensed medical doctors. They will also complete rotations in a variety of specialties.
Before they begin a residency that can last from 2-6 years they must also serve a 12 month internship that rotates among different specialties. During their residency they will work in internal medicine. After finishing up their residency they must pass the American Board of Internal Medicine Exam before they can continue the additional training in hematology that they need to practice as a hematologist. The next thing that must be done is to take a hematology fellowship, which can last 3 years after their residency.
During the fellowship their study and work will cover all the different parts of hematology which can include adult hematology, hematology/oncology, coagulation, pathology, and pediatric hematology/oncology. Once they become a licensed hematologist they must complete continuing education classes in order to keep their licenses and certifications. They must also stay up-to-date on any current advancements in the field of hematology.
Work environment and schedule
A hematologist may find work in private clinics, hospitals, pathology laboratories, blood banks, nonprofit organizations like cancer centers, and there are some who even have their own private practice or work as part of a large group practice. They may also work for a university as a research hematologist or in government institutions like the Centers for Disease Control. Where they work will have some effect on what their work schedule and work environment will be.
Generally speaking a hematologist will work with patients who have everything from anemia to sickle cell disease to cancer, and every other blood disease or disorder in between. If they have their own private practice they will begin the process of finding out what is wrong and treatment needed by having a consultation with the patient so they can understand the symptoms they are experiencing along with other valuable information that can help them to diagnosis their patient’s problem. Many time a hematologist will see a patient that has been referred to them by their primary care physician because the primary physician feels the patient’s problems is with their blood.
When working with a referred patient they might perform different procedures, blood work, and tests in order to get an adequate diagnosis so either the hematologist or primary care physician can form the correct treatment plan for the patient and let the patient know what the correct diagnosis it. If a hematologist works in a laboratory they may be responsible for looking at various blood samples from different patients to try and find the diagnosis for the patient’s problem so they can let the primary care physician know the test results. If they work for a hospital or a large group practice they could be involved in research initiatives or committees. If they work in a blood bank they may collect the blood, label and prepare plasma, blood, and other components that are needed for transfusions. Also when working in a blood bank they may be responsible for making sure that the supplies accessible and safe. They may also supervise labs that analyze samples of blood, work with government agencies on education campaigns to inform the public about common health issues like anemia, or provide advice to advocacy groups for patients that have genetic blood disorders.
Other things that a hematologist might do could include looking at bone marrow and blood slides along with interpreting hematology test results, prescribe oral medications, prescribe bone marrow transplants, prescribe blood transfusions, etc. They also have to work with other health care professionals so must have good communication skills and good people skills, patience, and understanding when it comes to talking to patients as some of the news you have to tell them may not be good news.
Most hematologists work a normal work day Monday-Friday but if they work for a hospital a hematologist may be on call. Even working in a private practice or with a group practice there may be times that you will also be on call. When working as a researcher a hematologist may not have a set work schedule. In the beginning of the research they may work longer hours trying to find the answer for what they are researching and at the end also as they try to get their research published or doing clinical studies.
Depending on where they are working most will wear business or casual clothes and a white lab coat. Because hematology deals with the study of blood, most hematologists will be working with bodily fluids, blood, so they will wear protective gear such as gloves, face mask, in labs they will wear robes and booties to protect their clothes and shoes, and some may even wear a head covering. Even ones who have a private practice or work in a group practice will run tests themselves on their patients so they will need to protect themselves also.
Pros and cons of being a hematologist
Your work as a hematologist plays an important part in the healthcare system and many times like in any other job this duty line is filled with advantages and disadvantages, with pros and cons.
The pros, which are mentioned, are related with the field and the career itself. You’ll get a great salary, and your work is very enjoyable and rewarding at the same time. You’ll find many different positions from which you can pick, and with various locations but the same work to be done.
The cons will start with the career and since it is specialized your future is assured so there is no place where to go from here, and the hourly schedule of a daily work is more hours than the normal rate of hours per week. However, career growth can be found in this area of specialization as well as the fact that this field is highly on demand.
Another pro, which you’ll benefit from is a very good salary and the opportunity to help others that are in need. The annual salary for a hematologist is estimated at $269,657 per year many of them will earn from their career more or less. This will depend more on the years of experience developed at work, and the necessary skills, that combined, will get you to an increase in your salary.
Working with people is not perpetually an easy job to do, and you’ll deal with plenty of stressful circumstances. You’ll also encounter cases in which you’ll have to keep the circumstances under control and preserve a calm and relaxing atmosphere. Other cons are linked with the educational training that you’ll need to fulfill. In order to work as a hematologist, you’ll need a licensure but at the same time you’ll need to study hard and extensive education will be required.
You’ll also have to handle many administrative matters as well as clerical ones and spend time to do some extensive research when required.
Hematologist job growth
For the next ten years, the interest for hematologists is expected to have a job growth with 23%-24% that is above the average for all job occupations. The prospects presented for these professionals should be quite good due to the nature of the job and the continuous number of growing population.
The future in this field looks bright since after becoming a hematologist there are good chances of advancement. This will lead gradually to an increased income. Another great news is the fact that various working sites can be found for these jobs, such as laboratories, clinics, hospitals, government agencies, private practices and other.
Hematologists are typically in very high demand because of all the training they have to complete to become one. Because of the high demand for their expertise their salaries are usually high. On average the yearly salary of a hematologist in the United States ranges from $160,000 to $200,000 (that means almost $97 per hour). There are even some hematologists with a lot of experience that are earning on average more than $600,000 a year. If a hematologist works in a private clinic they will usually earn more than if they worked in a public sector. What exactly a hematologist can earn does depend on where they are working such as a government agency, private company, private clinic, blood bank, private practice, in a laboratory, group practice, etc. When a hematologist starts out they may only be making an average yearly salary from $90,720 to $136,000 but it depends on not only where they work but also the geographical location, years of experience, any specialized training, and more.
Hematology is a very specialized field and after becoming a hematologist many do not see getting out of that field in the future but there is the potential for advancement which means that your salary will increase as you advance in your job. In addition to the salary there are also the benefits that go along with it. Benefits such as vacation days, sick days, personal days, pension, social security, 401K, bonuses, cell phones paid for if they are on call, travel expenses if they travel between hospitals or clinics, uniforms, life insurance, health insurance, malpractice insurance, etc.
According to research done it is shown that a hematologist who practices in the Virgin Islands have the highest average yearly salary at $339,000 a year followed by Mississippi at $324,00 and Washington D.C. at $313,000. The state with the lowest average yearly hematologist salary is Maine at $197,000 and Utah at $198,000. Working in a large city a hematologist will usually earn more than working in a rural area. The study also showed that men who worked as a hematologist made on average $19,997 a year more than women did in the same field.
Salary of a hematologist in 2015
In the US, the salary of a hematologist is estimated between $160,010 and $200,010 per year being among the highest salaries in the medical field. With the years of experience, a hematologist can receive a salary that reaches more than $600,000 per year. The division in which you are working as a hematologist makes the difference. For instance, those, who work in the private sector, make more than those working in the public sector, even though the payment is very good compared to other medical fields.
The outcome for 2015 is really a good one for everyone who is employed in this sector due to the number of people who need to be treated by these professionals. It is also due to the continuous education requirements that these professionals need to accomplish this leading them to combine the theoretical part with the practical one. The experience that you’ve gained and that you have in this sector will determine a lot the earning that you’ll receive.
Hematologist Salary in 2016
In the medical field the income of a hematologist, for the year 2016, in the US is considered to be among the highest paid salaries. The average earnings for these professionals are estimated to be between $160,140 per year and up to $200,140 per year.
One of the influential factors that contribute to the earnings are the years of experience that often lead to an income that usually reaches at $600,100 per year and even more. Another factor is the employer, one that is working in the private system is well known to earn more than other that is working in the public system. Still the payment resulted is very good compared with other healthcare fields.
The economic flux of salaries for hematologists depends on various aspects, except those reminded earlier, including according to various locations in which one individual has found work, the level of education, the industry and also the company size.
Let’s not forget that besides the salaries, Hematologists according to their employer also receive salary benefits. These benefits will include social security, pension, paid sick days, vacation days, 401K, bonuses, travel expenses that are given when one Hematologist has to travel between medical facilities such as hospitals and clinics, life and health insurances and other as well.
When it comes to the geographical location, the earnings vary as well. For instance, a hematologist that found work in a larger city will earn more than a hematologist, who has found work in a rural area. The difference can also be seen according to states and cities. As an estimation working in Maine, the income is estimated to be reaching only at around $198,010 per year while working in Virgin Island you can easily expect to take home around $339,890 per year or even more.
There are higher and lower points in the economic market, and in the salaries due to the costs of living, the living expenses and other factors that have an impact such as the kind of the job, the number of cases. People that usually get sick with diseases of the blood- when it appears an imbalance between the white blood cells and the red blood cells, or with other related systems of the body will always be in need for these professionals.
These professionals are also presented with high salaries because of the high expertise that they are required to possess, this leading to the point that they are very searched for in the medical industry.
Hematologist salary in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom
As with any medical field in the United Kingdom the salary is based on your age.
- In your twenties the average yearly salary is $48,000
- In your thirties the average yearly salary is 62,720
- In your forties and fifties the average yearly salary is 74,240
In Canada the average yearly salary is from $140,000 to $214,957 CAD and in Australia the average yearly salary is from AU $40,268 to AU $196,484.
Conclusion on hematologist salary
The average yearly salary for a hematologist is very high but how high depends on many different factors. It depends on how many years’ experience they have, the geographical location where they work including the state and whether it is a rural area or large city, who they work for such as a group practice, private practice, hospital laboratory, etc. It is a field where you have to go to school, do a residency, and fellowship which adds up to over 10 years but when you look at the average yearly salary it is well worth it.
The one drawback that no amount of money can compensate for is that when working with other people’s blood a hematologist may or may not know if the patient has any disease that could be life-threatening or even cause the hematologist’s death such as HIV/AID, hepatitis, etc. Yes, being a hematologist they do take precautions but accidents still can happen so this is something that needs to be taken into consideration when looking at the average yearly salary that can be over $100.000 a year.
- First Published Date: 13 June, 2014
- Last Updated Date: 20 June, 2016