Our CAMPEP-Accredited programs have many benefits. Our students work and take most of their classes at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, a tertiary cancer centre treating over 3000 patients a year. Students begin to contribute to the clinical program very early on in their degree. They gain experience working on patient equipment performing quality assurance duties, and as a result, have an advantage when applying for residency positions. They attend Radiation Treatment Program Rounds and the TBCC’s Grand Rounds. Students may also attend tumor group meetings and participate in clinical discussions. Their research often directly impacts treatment decisions while they are still working on their degree.
Our innovative program includes the opportunity for student exposure to clinical medical physics. Students participate in a clinical rotation as part of their coursework. Our students also have the opportunity to work as paid Project Assistants on many quality control and clinical dosimetry activities. Paid training is provided. Past and current student responsibilities include:
- Performing or assisting with monthly and/or annual quality control measurements on:
- CT simulators
- Conventional simulator
- Linear accelerators
- Stereotactic radiotsurgery equipment
- Brachytherapy equipment
- Deep x-ray orthovoltage
- Performing patient-specific quality assurance measurements on intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) treatments.
- Making patient TLD measurements
- Calibrating diodes used for in-vivo dosimetry for total body irradiation treatments
We maintain a small and highly selective program to ensure each of our students has access to the highest quality of education. Students work closely with their supervisors and have access to the many resources in our department. Class sizes are small. Students and professors in Radiation Oncology Physics collaborate closely on research, educational, and clinical projects.
Our students receive a true multidisciplinary education. Depending on their project, supervisory committees typically consist of two radiation oncology medical physicists, a physician-scientist (specializing in e.g. radiation oncology, pathology, etc) and an academic faculty member from a specialization other than radiation oncology physics. In addition to formal credit courses, several other educational experiences are available to students. Physics colloquia are held weekly through the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Grand Rounds are held weekly in the Tom Baker Cancer Centre and these cover a broad range of cancer related issues. Division members, students and staff of the clinical Department of Medical Physics hold an Academic Session once per week during term time. Graduate students frequently present at these informal meetings. The Division of Radiation Therapy also holds rounds which encompass a variety of clinical topics in radiation therapy and allow the participants to appreciate the challenges of providing cancer treatment from the perspective of the physician. Students in this specialization are expected to attend as many of these academic sessions as their schedule allows and to keep a record of their attendance.
All the graduate and post-graduate programs in Radiation Oncology Physics at the University of Calgary are accredited by CAMPEP. Out of over 50 universities in North America which offer graduate programs in Medical Physics, 27 are currently accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Educational Programs (CAMPEP). The radiation oncology specialty in Medical Physics at the University of Calgary is one of thirteen currently accredited programs in Canada.
Appeals to the CAMPEP requirements should be submitted in writing to the Radiation Oncology Physics Graduate Specialization Director or the PHAS Graduate Chair.