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About Dr. Robert Olson, Radiation Oncologist, BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North

July 12, 2011

My name is Rob Olson, and I would like start by thanking you for reading my first ever blog post.

From a young age, I have always wanted to pursue medicine – drawn by the opportunity to blend humanitarianism and academic pursuits. I am originally from a small town in Albertaand attended the University of Calgary for my undergraduate and medical degrees. Right from the beginning of medical school I was interested in helping patients with cancer and was originally drawn to the chemotherapy side of care and research. I was then introduced to radiation oncology, where the mix of curative and strong palliative care components of the specialization had me hooked.

As a result, I pursued specialist academic training in Radiation Oncology and chose to do so at the University of British Columbia, mainly because of the world renowned BC Cancer Agency. During my residency, I discovered the strong research potential of the Agency and was given the opportunity to run several trials, which opened the doors for me to become both a clinician and a researcher.

While the research potential and technical side of this field appeals to my academic interests, I find helping people in their greatest time of need to be a rewarding experience. When patients first arrive at the Agency to receive care, they become more at ease knowing we are here to help them in every step of their journey. They are often surprised by the large group of individuals who are here to support them, including clerical staff, nurses, oncologists, oncology residents, radiation therapists, counsellors, and very friendly and capable volunteers. To me, it seems as if the BC Cancer Agency staff and volunteers form a large welcome hug of support. I find that very inspiring.