Monica Caggiano standing in the right of the photograph with bookshelves behind her.

At Suffolk

Since Suffolk

  • Certified Radiation Therapist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA

Why did you choose to study Radiation Therapy?

When I attended an open house at Suffolk University, I spoke to Jessica Mak, the program director of the Radiation Therapy program, and she explained to me the role that a radiation therapist plays in cancer care. At the time, a close family relative recently passed away from an aggressive form of Lung Cancer. I distinctly remember how he told me that the team of therapists taking care of him during his radiation treatments made his experience day to day much easier and even enjoyable. From that moment, I knew that being a Radiation Therapist was the career path for me. I wanted to be able to provide patients going through the hardest time of their life with positive energy and hope. Being a part of curing their cancer is what I wanted to do every day. 

How did your Suffolk experience prepare you for a career after graduation?

Suffolk University offers a rigorous program in radiation therapy that includes classroom courses and clinical rotations at some of the largest hospitals in Boston. Outstanding and dedicated professors truly care about preparing you for your career and teaching you the fundamentals of working in healthcare. Not only did I take classes specific to Radiation Therapy, but I also took classes in Psychology and Management to broaden my education. As a radiation therapist you interact with patients all day long and having a background in psychology can help you work effectively with a diverse range of people. Being able to take classes in Suffolk’s Business School also provided me with a unique perspective on the inner workings of businesses and the people who run them.

Suffolk University’s Journey Program was one of the best organizations I became a part of during my time at Suffolk. This four-year program helps you build your leadership skills and teaches you how to work in teams successfully. Overall, I feel like Suffolk not only offered me exceptional academics, but many hands on learning opportunities that helped build interpersonal skills necessary for my career. 

What does a typical day in your job look like?

A typical day at my job consists of treating anywhere from thirty to fifty cancer patients a day. Each patient has a specific set up and prescription of radiation that needs to be delivered throughout the course of their treatment. Our department treats a variety of cancers with curative intent, but also offers palliative care. We use Varian Linear Accelerators to effectively deliver external beam radiation to our patients. Brachytherapy procedures are also common forms of High Dose Rate (HDR) treatments preformed in our department. I work in a team that consists of three or four radiation therapists. Within our department, we interact closely with a staff of nurses, physicists, dosimetrists, administration, and doctors.