Radiation


Oncology

 

Welcome to the Radiation Oncology Residency Program at the University of Alberta.

  • One of the oldest Residency Programs in Canada

  • unique One-on-One preceptor training model

  • Access to Alberta’s first Gamma Knife Clinic 

Interview/CaRMS Specific Information 

Panel

We will only be offering panel interviews this year with Zoom.

INTERVIEW COMPONENTS

CRITERIA

Collaboration skills

Evidence of prior collaboration

Collegiality

Awareness of collegiality

Communication skills

Demonstration of communication skills

Health advocacy

Awareness of health advocacy issues

Interest in the discipline

Understanding of discipline

Interest in the program

Understanding of program

Leadership skills

Evidence/examples of leadership

Professionalism

Awareness of importance of professionalism

Scholarly activities

Evidence of scholarly involvement

We do not consider any information gathered outside of the CaRMS application and local interview processes.

The behavior(s) exhibited below during the interview process may prevent an applicant from being ranked by our program:

  • Unprofessional or inappropriate behavior
  • Did not attend interview
  • Interview performance was not competitive

Contact Us

Dr. Adele Duimering
Program Director, Radiation Oncology
Email: adele.duimering@ahs.ca

Vacant
Program Assistant
Email:

Phone: 780-432-8754


Program Director Adele Duimering

Dr. Adele Duimering
Program Director

Welcome to Our Program

This training program is dedicated to ultimately produce well trained Radiation Oncologists who can provide exemplary care to cancer patients.

Thank you for considering the Radiation Oncology residency program at the University of Alberta.  

Our program is one of the oldest in Canada and is well-known for producing excellent well-rounded radiation oncologists. We have a second-to-none supportive learning environment, and access to the latest treatment technologies.  

Goals of the Program

This training program is dedicated to ultimately produce well trained Radiation Oncologists who can provide exemplary care to cancer patients. As well, the graduates should be able to promote the academic aspects of our discipline as well as be involved in teaching and be prepared to participate in healthcare administration. To reach these goals our program must promote the discipline to medical students through involvement in the undergraduate curriculum. Once appropriate candidates have been accepted into our program it is our goal to provide an excellent five-year training period as directed by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and more particularly the Radiation Oncology Specialty Committee.

Please take a look around our site, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the program pirector, Dr Adele Duimering.


Our Program

Our program is friendly and easy-going. The residents enjoy excellent learning without compromising on time available for individual pursuits.

Program Highlights
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We offer one-on-one rotations with preceptors, which allows time for non-service activities, such as research, education and leadership activities.

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There is excellent work-life balance. Call is very light and there is no in-house call after the first year of training.

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Residents are funded for four international conferences, two review courses, a radiologic anatomy course and a radiobiology course.

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Career planning starts in PGY 1. The staff and program director have a network of connections to help you get the job or fellowship you want.

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Access to state of the art technology such as the MRI-LINAC at the Cross Cancer Institute.


Residency at a Glance

Learn about each year of the program with an overview of each year. This residency program is for 5 years. Program length of training does not exceed the Royal College or College of Family Physicians of Canada standard.

Transition to Discipline (TTD) (1 month)
This stage will introduce residents to the Radiation Oncology specialty.  Residents will have a comprehensive orientation in Radiation Oncology, which will include: clinical experience (outpatient and inpatient), safety principles, introduction to the practice of medicine (access to patient records, polices, and knowledge centre), formal instruction in difficult conversation and best practices for handover, as well as attendance at multidisciplinary and peer reviewed rounds.
Foundations of Discipline (F) (9-13 months)
The Foundations stage will provide the resident with the knowledge and skills to provide care to patients in various settings, as well as a broad exposure to specialties which will help with their ability to qualify for the LMCC part-two examinations.  Currently there are 10 four-week rotations, as well as a four week vacation block.  These rotations are as follows:  Internal Medicine (2 blocks), General Surgery, ENT, Emergency Medicine, Palliative Care, Medical Oncology (2 blocks), Diagnostic Radiology, and Respiratory (ATOP).
Core of Discipline (C) (36-44 months)

The Core stage of training will focus on the resident’s clinical skills in radiation oncology. The resident returns to Radiation Oncology/Cross Cancer Institute for the remainder of their training. The next 36-44 months are preceptor based two-month blocks in which the resident is exposed to all tumor sites.

During this stage residents are expected to provide Radiation Oncology home-call for the Cross Cancer Institute approximately 7 days per block (no more than 9).  The expectation is that all decisions and advice given by a Junior Resident (PGY2-3) is reviewed with the Staff Radiation Oncologist on-call prior to any actions being taken. After the PGY3 year the necessity to review advice/decisions with the Staff member immediately will be left at the discretion of the resident.

It is during this stage the didactic course work occurs. Early in Core stage courses start in with Basic Physics and Treatment Planning, with weekly lectures from the physicists.  The Radiobiology course is also provided early in Core stage, given by members of the Division of Experimental Oncology. Written exams are given for each of these courses.  

One month is set aside as a Clinical Physics Month where in depth training and exposure is provided by the Medical Physicists and Dosimetrists in applying the basic knowledge learned previously to clinical treatment planning, this is done after the completion of basic physics and treatment planning.

At the midway point of Core preceptor block rotations are lengthened to three months to allow a more longitudinal exposure to patients through their consultation and course of treatment.  At this time residents may also consider clinical electives relevant to the specialty or completion of a research project.  There is some flexibility in the timing of electives and research.

A series of treatment planning seminars which are case oriented are given by Radiation Oncologists to senior residents in their final year of the Core stage (after completing their clinical physics month and prior to RC exams).

Mock oral examinations are given with increasing frequency over these years to help prepare residents for the Royal College Exams.

Written exams are done yearly.

There are three sets of rounds in which residents are expected to make presentation.  These are the Thursday Resident Rounds, Journal Club as well as M&M Rounds.  The schedule for these rounds and the resident participation is coordinated by the Chief Resident.

The Royal College Certification Exam will be written at the end of the Core stage training.

Research
Residents are required to complete a scholarly project during their training. A research project is encouraged.  The opportunity exists to participate in clinical or basic science research in conjunction with other members of the Department of Oncology through individually sponsored projects supplied and supervised by Faculty members. The Department of Oncology includes a full contingent of basic scientists doing research in radiobiology, physics and molecular oncology as well as in clinical research. This ensures a broad and varied spectrum of research through internal collaborations with expertise readily available in many areas. For individuals wishing to pursue an academic career the Department of Oncology has sponsored MSc and PhD programs which can be integrated within the 5-year residency and is organized under the University of Alberta Clinical Investigator Program.
Transition to Practice (TTP) (3-9 months)

Transition to Practice will refine the residents’ skills as a Radiation Oncologist.  Residents will manage a radiation oncology practice at a consultant level for at least four tumor sites.


Our Teaching Sites Include:

The University of Alberta Hospital and other Alberta Health Services Hospitals


Community Based Cancer Centres

  • Grande Prairie Cancer Centre
  • Central Alberta Cancer Centre (Red Deer)
  • Jack Ady Cancer Centre (Lethbridge)

The Cross Cancer Institute

The Cross Cancer Institute is a freestanding cancer clinic on the campus of the University of Alberta. There are 45 inpatient beds and comprehensive outpatient facilities. The division of Radiation Oncology serves a population base of 1.5 million and treats more than 3,900 patients per year. The division is well equipped for the delivery of standard radiotherapy as well as conformal radiotherapy, SRS/SBRT, intensity modulated radiotherapy and both low and high dose rate brachytherapy. A Centre for Biological Imaging and Adaptive Radiotherapy includes PET imaging, and a 3 Tesla functional MRI unit. New technologies include a GammaKnife ICON unit, and a MRI-Linac. The division is actively involved in international and national clinical trials.


Interprovincial and international electives are available only if arranged by the resident and approved by all involved parties (Residency Program Committee, Postgraduate Office, Alberta Health Services)


A one month mandatory community based rotation has been introduced as of July 1, 2014

UAH and STARS helicopter

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you look for in a resident applicant?
Someone who is well-rounded and will contribute to the resident group and program.
Do you need a lot of physics knowledge?
No, our physics teaching is excellent and if you can do high school physics, you can do radiation oncology physics.
What is a week like in the life of a resident?

Most residents will attend three to five half-day clinics per week. The rest of the time consists of treatment planning (contouring), research, teaching and leadership activities.

Do your graduates get jobs?
Yes. All of our residents from the past 10 years are employed. Residents can either work straight out of residency or do a fellowship in an area of specialization.
How much do you make?

Radiation oncologists in Alberta make about $450,000 a year.


Resident Testimonials

We asked our residents what they like about Edmonton, their highlights of the program, and one piece of advice for applicants about the interview process. Here is what a few of them had to say.
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A s a med student, Edmonton hadn’t been on my radar as a place where I might want to do residency, but when I visited for elective I realized it was the program and city I wanted to be in. The CCI is uniquely a stand-alone cancer centre, so coming to work you feel like you’re part of a big team, where everyone from the volunteer way-finders to the occupational therapists are working together to do their best for our patients. The ROs are friendly and approachable and the one-on-one preceptor model optimizes learning. It’s cheesy to say, but the residents are one big family; if you’re moving to Edmonton from elsewhere you’ll for sure feel welcome in this program. There is ample time for studying and research, as well as extracurricular activities like volunteering for PARA or moonlighting if you choose to. You’ll be well-supported by our program director in whatever you might wish to pursue; it’s nice to have someone batting for you all the way through.

Dr. Adele Duimering
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R esident life at the Cross Cancer Institute is bar none, A resident's life here is really focused on meaningful clinical experience (really minimal paperwork), leaving a lot of time for self directed research and studying. Additionally, the people are what make the experience, and the people at the Cross Cancer Institute are fun! The pictures say everything. Life in Edmonton includes summertime festivals every weekend, kilometers of trail biking through the infamous river valley, and skating amongst the ice castles in Hawrelak park.

Dr. Andrew Lim