Dr Yolanda Surjan

Dr Yolanda Surjan

Lecturer

School of Health Sciences (Radiation Therapy)

Career Summary

Biography

Yolanda Surjan is a lecturer in Radiation Therapy. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion (University of Newcastle) a Masters in Health Science Education (University of Sydney) and a PhD (University of Newcastle). Yolanda has worked internationally in the United Kingdom as a radiation therapist and has extended her expertise and knowledge through international visits and/or training in North America and Europe. 

Dr Surjan has been the recipient of five teaching awards including the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Award for Teaching Excellence (2010); a NSW Minister for Education and Training Quality Teaching Award (2009); a Faculty of Health and Medicine Excellence in Teaching Award (2008) and two Vice-Chancellor's Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (2008 & 2013).

Dr Surjan's program of research focuses on two distinct areas of study; evaluation of teaching and learning practice of undergraduate health professionals (radiation therapists) and research in the area of radiation therapy clinical applications in the context of translational research in veterinary cancer treatments.

Teaching

Dr Surjan's interest in Teaching and Learning research stems from the importance of graduating high-quality health care professionals to improve health care outcomes. Her research includes the following themes: clinical reasoning, effective communication, the first year student experience, interprofessional education and student engagement in learning through the delivery of innovative techniques. In 2013, Dr Surjan was the lead project manager on the development and opening of the Radiation Therapy Simulation Laboratory at a cost of $327,000, jointly funded by The University of Newcastle and Health Workforce Australia. The UON Radiation Therapy Program now boasts a complete suite of clinical applications to mirror current clinical practice; RT Simulation Laboratory, Eclipse Planning Software for treatment planning and the 3-dimensional Vertual (VERT) Training System.

Research

Research stemming from Dr Surjan's PhD studies has identified the critical need for an expert-led movement to translate current evidence based effective treatments for ocular skin squamous cell carcinoma (in humans) to our veterinarian counterparts, with a particular focus on horses. Dr Surjan is committed to collaborative research and has international affiliations with experts in the field of equine ophthalmology in the UK as well as working relationships with multiple experts in the field of radiation oncology and medical physics in oncology. Dr Surjan is committed to supporting research higher degree students and actively recruits current clinicians to contribute to cancer research collaboratively.


Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Med Rad Tech), University of Newcastle
  • Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion, University of Newcastle
  • Master of Health Science (Education), University of Sydney

Keywords

  • Brachytherapy
  • First Year Experience in Education
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Equine
  • radiation therapy

Languages

  • English (Fluent)
  • Spanish (Fluent)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
111208 Radiation Therapy 85
130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified 15

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Health Sciences
Australia

Membership

Dates Title Organisation / Department
30/03/2016 -  Deputy Chair Research Committee School of Health Sciences The University of Newcastle
School of Health Sciences
Australia
1/01/2005 - 1/01/2011 Membership - Australian Institute of Radiography Australian Institute of Radiography

Professional appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/2001 - 1/04/2001 Radiation Therapist Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital
Radiation Oncology
Australia
1/11/1997 - 1/01/2001 Radiation Therapist Prince of Wales Hospital
Radiation Oncology
Australia
1/02/1997 - 1/04/1997 Radiation Therapist Royal Free Hospital, London
Radiation Oncology
United Kingdom
1/01/1995 - 1/01/1997 Radiation Therapist Prince of Wales Hospital
Radiation Oncology
Australia

Awards

Award

Year Award
2013 Vice-Chancellor's Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
The University of Newcastle
2010 Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning - ALTC
Australian Learning and Teaching Council
2009 NSW Premier's Quality Teaching Award
The Australian College of Educators
2008 Faculty of Health Excellence in Teaching Award
University of Newcastle
2008 UON Vice Chancellor's Citation for Excellence in Teaching
University of Newcastle

Research Award

Year Award
2012 Best Research Poster Award - Current use of brachytherapy treatment of periocular squamous cell carcinoma in horses: results of an Australian Survey
Proceedings of the 9th Annual Scientific Meeting of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy (ASMMIRT)

Invitations

Contributor

Year Title / Rationale
2015 Girls Choices Summer School Round Table Dinner

Speaker

Year Title / Rationale
2015 Brachytherapy for ocular and/or periocular squamous cell carcinoma in horses
2011 Leadership Workshop
Organisation: University of Newcastle Description: Leadership Workshop University of Newcastle
2007 Course Coordinator's Workshop
Organisation: University of Newcastle Description: Course Coordinator's Workshop
2007 Sessional Teaching Day
Organisation: University of Newcastle Description: Sessional Teaching Day
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Journal article (7 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Francis A, Hills C, MacDonald-Wicks L, Johnston C, James D, Surjan Y, Warren-Forward H, 'Characteristics of an ideal practice educator: Perspectives from practice educators in diagnostic radiography, nuclear medicine, nutrition and dietetics, occupational therapy and physiotherapy and radiation therapy', Radiography, (2016)

© 2016. Background: Practice education is a compulsory component of health programs with practice educators playing a critical role in the education of students. Practice educato... [more]

© 2016. Background: Practice education is a compulsory component of health programs with practice educators playing a critical role in the education of students. Practice educator characteristics may positively or negatively affect student learning in practice settings. This study aimed to identify characteristics of the ideal practice educator that lead to successful practical experiences as perceived by current practice educators working in the Australian context of diagnostic radiography, nuclear medicine, nutrition and dietetics, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and radiation therapy. Methods: All practice educators (n = 1063) on the University of Newcastle Practice Educator Database were invited to participate in this prospective, cross-sectional, descriptive study via online link or paper format. Results: There was a 52% response rate. The five most valued characteristics were feedback skills, non-judgemental, professionalism, clarity and listening skills. The five least valued characteristics were scholarly activity, respect for students' autonomy, well-prepared, availability and being a role model. Comparisons between disciplines, genders, ages, years in practice and levels of supervisory experience indicated some statistically significant differences, though actual differences were small. Discussion: Overall there was a high degree of agreement within and between disciplines on the characteristics of the ideal practice educator. The top five skills could be classed as generic skills and not specific clinical and practice skills, thus formal training and certification schemes may enhance practice educator competence.

DOI 10.1016/j.radi.2016.04.001
Co-authors Cath Johnston, Helen Warren-Forward, Lesley Wicks
2015 Surjan Y, Ostwald P, Milross C, Warren-Forward H, 'Radiation safety considerations and compliance within equine veterinary clinics: Results of an Australian survey', Radiography, 21 224-230 (2015) [C1]

© 2014 The College of Radiographers. Objective: To examine current knowledge and the level of compliance of radiation safety principles in equine veterinary clinics within Austra... [more]

© 2014 The College of Radiographers. Objective: To examine current knowledge and the level of compliance of radiation safety principles in equine veterinary clinics within Australia. Method: Surveys were sent to equine veterinary surgeons working in Australia. The survey was delivered both online and in hardcopy format; it comprised 49 questions, 15 of these directly related to radiation safety. The participants were asked about their current and previous use of radiation-producing equipment. Information regarding their level of knowledge and application of radiation safety principles and practice standards was collected and analysed. Results: The use of radiation-producing equipment was evident in 94% of responding clinics (a combination of X-ray, CT and/or Nuclear Medicine Cameras). Of those with radiation-producing equipment, 94% indicated that they hold a radiation licence, 78% had never completed a certified radiation safety course and 19% of participants did not use a personal radiation monitor. In 14% of cases, radiation safety manuals or protocols were not available within clinics. Conclusions: The study has shown that knowledge and application of guidelines as provided by the Code of Practice for Radiation Protection in Veterinary Medicine (2009) is poorly adhered to. The importance of compliance with regulatory requirements is pivotal in minimising occupational exposure to ionising radiation in veterinary medicine, thus there is a need for increased education and training in the area.

DOI 10.1016/j.radi.2014.11.007
Co-authors Helen Warren-Forward
2015 Surjan Y, Warren-Forward H, Donaldson D, Ostwald T, Milross C, 'Ocular and periocular squamous cell carcinoma in horses: a short communication of the potential use of brachytherapy', The Australian Equine Veterinarian, 34 47-49 (2015)
Co-authors Helen Warren-Forward
2014 Surjan Y, Donaldson D, Ostwald P, Milross C, Warren-Forward H, 'A Review of Current Treatment Options in the Treatment of Ocular and/or Periocular Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Horses: Is There a Definitive "Best" Practice?', Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, (2014) [C1]

This review examines the most commonly reported treatment options for ocular squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and periocular squamous cell carcinoma (POSCC) in horses and proposes t... [more]

This review examines the most commonly reported treatment options for ocular squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and periocular squamous cell carcinoma (POSCC) in horses and proposes to conclude on the most viable method based on available published studies in terms of treatment outcome, known side effects, advantages, disadvantages, and reliability of available evidence. After a literature search for peer-reviewed published articles, seven most commonly reported on treatments for OSCC and/or POSCC were identified: surgery, photodynamic therapy, carbon dioxide (CO2) laser ablation, radiofrequency hyperthermia, cryotherapy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Combination therapies were supported as a most successful recommendation; however, when considering site-specific outcomes, the following conclusions may be drawn: limbal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) was most effectively treated with surgery and adjunctive therapy including CO2 laser ablation, mitomycin C, and brachytherapy; third eyelid SCC reported good outcomes when treated with surgery alone (clear margins) and in combination with brachytherapy for unclear margins; eyelid SCC, surgical resection was usually limited and most reports supported the use of adjunctive brachytherapy, although photodynamic therapy appeared to be a promising new treatment. It was deemed unreasonable to conclude on the best treatment for cornea, conjunctivae (palpebral and bulbar), and medial canthi in isolation because of lack of evidence. A consistently favored treatment for OSCC and/or POSCC in horses does not currently exist. The presentation of data in the literature and its lack of consistency make it impossible to statistically analyze and make comparative conclusions on treatment outcomes. This review provides a basis for further research to establish a best-practice protocol. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

DOI 10.1016/j.jevs.2014.04.005
Co-authors Patricia Ostwald, Helen Warren-Forward
2011 Surjan Y, Warren-Forward H, Milross C, 'Is there a role for radiation therapists within veterinary oncology?', Radiography, 17 250-253 (2011) [C3]
DOI 10.1016/j.radi.2011.01.004
Co-authors Helen Warren-Forward
2010 Surjan Y, Chiarelli PE, Dempsey SE, Lyall DG, O'Toole G, Snodgrass SN, Tessier JW, 'The experience of implementing an interprofessional first year course for undergraduate health science students: The value of acting on student feedback', Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 7 1-17 (2010) [C1]
Co-authors Pauline Chiarelli, Suzanne Snodgrass, Shane Dempsey, Gjyn Otoole
2008 Lyall DG, Surjan Y, 'Communication and electronic access: Medical radiation science clinical centres' perspective', The Radiographer, 55 18-21 (2008) [C1]
Show 4 more journal articles

Conference (7 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2014 Surjan Y, Warren-Forward H, Milross C, Ostwald T, Donaldson D, 'Brachytherapy treatment of ocular/periocular squamous cell carcinoma in the horse: treatment results in 74 cases (1999-2007)' (2014)
Co-authors Helen Warren-Forward
2013 Donaldson D, Surjan Y, Milross C, Warren-Forward H, 'Brachytherapy treatment of periocular squamous cell carcinoma in the horse: treatment results and recurrences in 42 cases (1999-2007)' (2013)
Co-authors Helen Warren-Forward
2013 Surjan Y, Warren-Forward H, Milross C, Ostwald T, Donaldson D, 'Brachytherapy treatment of periocular squamous cell carcinoma in the horse: treatment results and recurrence in 42 cases (1999-2007)' (2013)
Co-authors Helen Warren-Forward
2012 Surjan Y, Warren-Forward H, Milross C, Ostwald T, Donaldson D, 'Radiation protection in veterinary clinics, analysis of current practice: an Australian National Survey' (2012)
Co-authors Helen Warren-Forward
2012 Surjan Y, Warren-Forward H, Milross C, Ostwald T, 'Current use of brachytherapy treatment in periocular squamous cell carcinoma: results of an Australian survey.' (2012)
Co-authors Helen Warren-Forward
2011 Surjan Y, Milross C, Warren-Forward H, 'Brachytherapy treatment of periocular squamous cell carcinoma in horses: The potential for the application of radiation therapy in the veterinary sphere - Results of an Australian national survey', Proceedings of the UK Radiological Congress 2011 (2011) [E3]
Co-authors Helen Warren-Forward
2010 Surjan Y, Milross C, Warren-Forward H, 'Is there a role for radiation therapists within veterinary oncology?', 16th ISRRT World Congress. Scientific Program (2010) [E3]
DOI 10.1016/j.radi.2011.01.004
Co-authors Helen Warren-Forward
Show 4 more conferences
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 14
Total funding $164,313

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20151 grants / $20,871

Non-Clinical Rapid Arc Upgrade$20,871

Funding body: Faculty of Health

Funding body Faculty of Health
Scheme Faculty of Health and Medicine Teaching and Learning Equipment Round
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2016
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

20141 grants / $1,500

Proceedings of the Italian Society for Equine Veterinary (SIVE). Milan, Italy$1,500

Funding body: The University of Newcastle

Funding body The University of Newcastle
Project Team

Dr Yolanda Surjan

Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2014
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

20132 grants / $37,285

Faculty of Health Capital Equipment Round$35,785

For the purchase of custom-designed patient trolleys for radiation therapy positioning and immobilisation laboratories

Funding body: The University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine

Funding body The University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine
Project Team

Yolanda Surjan

Scheme Equipment Round
Role Lead
Funding Start 2013
Funding Finish 2013
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

ESTRO - 2nd Oncology Forum, Geneva Switzerland, 19 - 23 April 2013$1,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine
Project Team Doctor Yolanda Surjan
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2013
Funding Finish 2013
GNo G1300404
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20126 grants / $80,557

Faculty of Health Capital Expenditure for Teaching$25,000

Funding body: The University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine

Funding body The University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine
Project Team

Yolanda Surjan

Scheme Faculty of Health Capital Expenditure for Teaching
Role Lead
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2012
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

ERF Teaching Relief - Surjan$24,998

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Yolanda Surjan, Professor Darren Rivett
Scheme Equity Research Fellowship
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2012
GNo G1101082
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

Equipment Grant$14,057

Funding body: The University of Newcastle - Facilities Management

Funding body The University of Newcastle - Facilities Management
Project Team

Yolanda Surjan

Scheme Equipment Funding
Role Lead
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2013
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

Faculty of Health Funding for Equipment to Support Research Activities$10,000

Faculty of Health and Medicine Funding for Equipment to Support Research Activities: purchase of medical lasers for Radiation Therapy Simulation Laboratory

Funding body: The University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine

Funding body The University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine
Project Team

Yolanda Surjan

Scheme Equipment Round
Role Lead
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2013
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

Evaluation of current brachytherapy treatment of squamous cell carcinoma in horses within Australia: Development and implementation of treatment and radiation safety protocols$5,002

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Yolanda Surjan
Scheme Equity Research Fellowship (Equipment)
Role Lead
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2012
GNo G1100902
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

European Society for Radiotherapy & Oncology (ESTRO) Barcelona, Spain, 9 - 13 May 2012$1,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine
Project Team Doctor Yolanda Surjan
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2012
GNo G1200489
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20111 grants / $1,500

UKRC Radiological Congress 2011, Manchester, UK, 60-08 June 2011$1,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine
Project Team Doctor Yolanda Surjan
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2011
Funding Finish 2011
GNo G1100287
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20091 grants / $10,000

Supporting commencing students: A university-wide template for the development and implementation of school-specific care packs$10,000

Funding body: Centre for Teaching and Learning, University of Newcastle

Funding body Centre for Teaching and Learning, University of Newcastle
Project Team

Yolanda Surjan, David Lyall, Tony Buxton, Sharmaine McKiernan, Helen Warren-Forward

Scheme Teaching and Learning Project Grants
Role Lead
Funding Start 2009
Funding Finish 2009
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

20071 grants / $9,600

First year experience specific website: supporting and advancing first year student transition into higher education across all Newcastle University campuses$9,600

Funding body: Centre for Teaching and Learning, The University of Newcastle

Funding body Centre for Teaching and Learning, The University of Newcastle
Project Team

Yolanda Surjan

Scheme Centre for Teaching & Learning Research Grant 2009
Role Lead
Funding Start 2007
Funding Finish 2007
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

20051 grants / $3,000

The validation of a Personal Qualities Interview (PQI) in the selection of Medical Radiation Science students at the University of Newcastle$3,000

Funding body: Australian Institute of Radiography

Funding body Australian Institute of Radiography
Project Team Mr David Lyall, Mr Tony Buxton, Doctor Yolanda Surjan
Scheme Research Sponsorship Scholarship
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2005
Funding Finish 2005
GNo G0185606
Type Of Funding Not Known
Category UNKN
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed0
Current3

Total current UON EFTSL

Masters0.2
PhD0.1

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2016 Masters Development and Evaluation of an Education Tool for Standardising Organ at Risk (OAR) Contouring for Head and Neck Cancer Treatment in Radiation Oncology TROG Clinical Trials
M Philosophy (Med RadiationSc), Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
2015 PhD Assess the relationship between imaging measures, and biomechanical/functional & motor impairment measures
Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment - The University of Newcastle (Australia)
Co-Supervisor
2013 PhD Age-Related Differences in Neural Activity and Motor Performance During Upper Limb Coordination
PhD (Physiotherapy), Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
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Research Projects

Radiation Therapy Simulation Laboratory 2012 - 2013

The $327,000 lab was funded by the University and the Australian government (HWA): project manager - Dr Yolanda Surjan.


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Research Collaborations

The map is a representation of a researchers co-authorship with collaborators across the globe. The map displays the number of publications against a country, where there is at least one co-author based in that country. Data is sourced from the University of Newcastle research publication management system (NURO) and may not fully represent the authors complete body of work.

Country Count of Publications
Australia 4
United Kingdom 1
Ireland 1
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Dr Yolanda Surjan

Position

Lecturer
School of Health Sciences
Faculty of Health and Medicine

Focus area

Radiation Therapy

Contact Details

Email yolanda.surjan@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 492 17850
Fax (02) 492 17053

Office

Room HB06
Building Hunter Building
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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