Director's Message

susan-f.pngSusan Fawcett,MRT(T), BSc,MA
Director, Radiation Therapy

Welcome to the website for the Radiation Therapy program in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta. I am excited to introduce the new Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy degree, which first began accepting learners in September 2014.

During this degree program, learners will learn in traditional, simulation and clinical educational environments. Program design supports learners' progression from knowledge to skill acquisition through to competency and clinical reasoning.

The program consists of a pre-professional year and three subsequent years of professional education. There are three distinct elements to the educational experience within the Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy degree program:

The pre-professional component consists of specific courses that have been carefully selected to prepare candidates for the scientific and clinical nature of the following three-year integrated classroom lecture component and clinical experience.

The classroom lecture component is comprised of mandatory courses covering these topics:

  • Background of cancer and radiation biology.
  • Cancer treatments.
  • Care of patients with cancer.
  • Interactions of radiation with tissue.
  • Medical physics.
  • Radiation safety and protection.
  • Gross and cross-sectional anatomy.
  • Treatment planning.
  • Research methodology.
  • Principles of imaging as related to radiation therapy.

The clinical component consists of both simulation and on-site learning with patients in the clinical cancer care environment. Learners attend clinical placements at the Alberta Health Services CancerControl Alberta sites that provide radiation therapy services.

The practice of radiation therapy is interdisciplinary and collaborative, involving a variety of health care professionals, research scientists, clinical practice leaders and provincial health systems. We have adopted this collaborative educational model to ensure a holistic approach to caring for patients with cancer.

The Radiation Therapy program partners with Alberta Health Services Cancer Care Alberta, to provide a clinical learning experience which promotes the development of competent, critical-thinking radiation therapists who practise in a caring, evidence-based manner. We have a strong commitment to our patients and our community, and we endeavour to foster the development of radiation therapists who are committed to excellence in professional practice and embody life-long learning. Future directions for the Radiation Therapy Program include the development of continuing education modules and a master's degree.

Susan Fawcett, MRT(T), BSc, MA

Director, Radiation Therapy Program

Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry

University of Alberta