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Dr. Robert Olson prepares to join the Centre for the North

July 19, 2011

Found in General

Near the end of my residency, I was invited to relocate to the BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North as part of a provincial Radiation Therapy Program and be its first radiation oncologist as well an academic physician involved in the Northern Medical Program.

From a personal perspective, the move to Prince George appeals to my wife and I because we have always wanted to raise our family of three children in a smaller community – just as we experienced growing up. Professionally, I see a lot of cancer research interest and opportunity in the northern region, and I want to help make patient care more accessible to some of the remote communities up north.

Since accepting the role, I have also recently completed my Masters of Science in epidemiology from Harvard University. This degree is part of my preparation for moving to the north and will help me expand the emerging academic community there.

Until the centre opens next year, I am based in the Vancouver Centre, and I travel toPrince George each month to conduct regular consultation and follow up visits. In between trips, I continue to build research connections and receive mentorship from other academic physicians. The research connections are essential to have when the new centre opens to help make the transition a smooth one. With the keen intention of expanding the research program in Northern B.C., it is valuable for me to be a member of a large academic network like that of the BC Cancer Agency.

The transition is going well so far, and the visits toPrince Georgeare important — each time I visit I feel more connected to the community and am constantly surprised by how welcoming they are.