University of Alberta - Radiation Oncology - Edmonton

2024 R-1 Main Residency Match - first iteration
CMG Stream for CMG

Last approved on November 28, 2023

Summary of changes

Approximate Quota:


Accreditation status : Accredited

Provincial Criteria

Dr. Adele Duimering
Cross Cancer Institute 
11560 University Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta, T6G1Z2
(780) 432-8754
University of Alberta Radiation Oncology Residency Program
University of Alberta Department of Oncology

Program Contacts

Dr. Adele Duimering
Program Director

Helena Baines
Program Administrator
780 432 8754

Important Information

​Competence by Design

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada​ (RCPSC)​ has embarked upon an initiative to introduce competency-based medical education (CBME) in Canadian postgraduate specialty training and in professional practice in Canada. This initiative, called Competence by Design (CBD), aims to enhance patient care by aligning medical education and lifelong learning with evolving p​​atient needs.

CBD uses time as a resource rather than the basis for progression. It is not anticipated that the duration of training will change for the majority of trainees. Residency programs are broken down into stages, and each stage encompasses a series of entrustable professional activities (EPAs) and milestones based on required competencies. These EPAs and milestones create more targeted learning outcomes and involve more frequent, formative assessments within the clinical workplace to ensure residents are developing and receiving feedback on the skills they need.

Our program successfully transitioned to CBD in accordance with the national coordinated schedule.​ Our program will continue to undergo the same rigorous accreditation process as traditional programs. All programs, CBD and traditional, will continue to lead to RCPSC-approved certification. ​Within a CBD program, all EPAs (documented within an electronic portfolio), stage promotions and the Royal College examination must be successfully completed to achieve certification. For more information, please contact​

Return of Service

There are no return of service requirements at the University of Alberta.

General Instructions

Program application language: English

The radiation oncology training program at the University of Alberta follows the guidelines of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The program consists of four stages: Transition to Discipline (1 month), Foundations (9-13 months), Core (36-44 months of radiation oncology), and Transition to Practice (3-9 months).

There is an established didactic teaching program covering necessary basic science knowledge such as physics, radiobiology, treatment planning, biostatistics and medical ethics as well as a two year core curriculum in oncology which is shared with the medical oncology program and repeats itself every two years.

Supporting Documentation / Information

Canadian citizenship
CaRMS partners with third-party organizations to verify your citizenship or permanent resident status. If your status is verified by one of these organizations, you will not need to provide citizenship documents in your application. If your citizenship status is not verified, you must provide one of the documents listed below.
Document must be notarized/certified
Submit one of the following documents to verify your Canadian citizenship:
• Canadian Birth Certificate or Act of Birth
• Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
• Passport page showing Canadian Citizenship
• Canadian Permanent Resident Card (both sides of card)
• Record of Landing, clearly showing the date of landing in Canada
Language proficiency
Conditionally required
Submit one of the following documents to verify your language proficiency:
• Occupational English Test (OET) - Medicine
• Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) - General

CMG Stream English Language Proficiency Requirements:

Candidates who attended medical school in Quebec, New Brunswick, or the University of Ottawa (French stream) where the language of instruction or the primary language of patient care was not English, must fulfill the English Language Proficiency requirements. Candidates must complete the academic version of the required/applicable English Language Proficiency test within 24 months of the start date. Please refer to the provincial criteria for Alberta (via the Summary of English Language Proficiency Requirements) for further information.

Reference documents
Number requested: 3

Three (3) letters of reference are required.

Additional documents
Personal Letter 
Word count
Minimum : None
Maximum : None

A personal letter should accompany all application forms. This should outline the reason for the candidate's interest in speciality as well as some background information and an outline of outside interests.

Custom Résumé / CV 

Medical School Transcript 

Your medical school transcript can be submitted through one of the methods below:

  1. Obtain your medical transcript from your school and upload it directly to your CaRMS Online account. Follow your school’s policy regarding accessing or requesting your transcript;
  2. Ask your medical school to upload your medical transcript through their CaRMS Undergraduate Portal account; or
  3. International (IMGs) and United States (USMGs) medical graduates can transfer their transcript from their account.

Medical Student Performance Record 

For current year Canadian medical graduates (CMGs), there is no action required from you. Your medical school will automatically submit your MSPR to CaRMS on your behalf for you to assign.
If your MSPR is in a language other than the program language of English or French, you are required to have the document translated.

[Note: Photograph is used as memory aid only]

Review Process

Applications submitted after file review has opened on December 2, 2023

Supporting documents (excluding letters of reference) that arrive after file review has opened  on  December 2, 2023

Letters of reference that arrive after the unmasking date on December 2, 2023



  • January 29, 2024
Monday January 29, 2024

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
Student Initiated:

Students who have specific questions about the program not addressed by this webpage may contact the Program Director at 

Program Initiated:

Following a review of applications, short-listed candidates will be invited to an interview.

The virtual interview is conducted by two panels (15 minutes each) of 4-6 people, including resident(s) and the Program Director.

A virtual meet and greet session will be organized for applicants to ask questions of our current residents prior to the interview day.

Selection Criteria

Candidates will be chosen on the basis of their:

-Strong academic record, especially in those areas related to our specialty.

-A convincing demonstration of sincere interest in radiation oncology as a career choice. Number of radiation oncology electives will not be considered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on elective rotation scheduling.  

-Empathy, maturity, and communication skills.

-Candidates with a demonstrated interest in clinical or basic science are encouraged.

Program goals

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 excellent training as directed by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and more particularly the Radiation Oncology Specialty Committee.  To oversee these goals an appropriate Residency Program Committee is charged with these duties.

Selection process goals

A potential candidate should be a well-rounded physician with excellent interpersonal and communication skills to be able to deal with the demands of cancer patients.  An aptitude for math and physics is helpful, but more importantly we are looking for physicians who have explored the components of radiation oncology which are not apparent to most medical students in their limited exposure of our specialty.

Candidates require empathy, maturity and communication skills to be able to deal with oncology patients.  A strong academic record and a demonstrated interest in oncology is preferred.  Research and/or teaching experience is an asset.

File review process

Review team composition : The file review is conducted by a panel consisting of: residents, program director, staff radiation oncologists, and possibly physicists or medical oncologists.

Average number of applications received by our program in the last five years : 0 - 50

Average percentage of applicants offered interviews : 51 - 75 %

Evaluation criteria :
File component Criteria
CV Evidence of varied experiences
Electives Number of electives will not be considered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on elective rotation scheduling.
Examinations We do not evaluate this file component.
Extra-curricular Evidence of extra-curricular activities
Leadership skills Evidence of leadership positions
MSPRs Comments from rotations
Personal letters Required - Outline the reason for candidates interest in specialty
Reference documents Required - 3 letters (by practicing physicians, one should be oncology related)
Research/Publications Evidence of research involvement
Transcripts Required

Elective criteria

We do not require applicants to have done onsite electives.

Interview process

Interview format :

We do not re-schedule interviews for applicants after we have completed the scheduling process.

Interview evaluation criteria :
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

Information gathered outside of CaRMS application

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

Ranking process

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

Program Curriculum

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, policies, 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 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 presentations.  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 Lead Resident.

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


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.


Training Sites


-The University of Alberta 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).

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

-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)

-The ratio of residents to faculty is approximately 1:3

-As most rotations are preceptor based, the patient load is divided among a few inpatients, 12-25 patients on active treatment and outpatient clinics, where there might be 15-30 patient contacts per week.

-There is a comprehensive integrated computing network with web access, electronic charts and electronic imaging.

-There is a resident library including textbooks and educational CDs.

Summary of changes

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