Mark Mackin walked across the stage at Suffolk University commencement one day and then embarked on his career as a radiation therapist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital the next.
Mackin is a 2008 graduate of a rigorous and comprehensive medical sciences program in the College of Arts & Sciences, which integrates the study of physics, radiation, biology, chemistry and mathematics.
Suffolk’s radiation science and therapy program also placed Mackin in student internships at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
“My clinical internships were life changing,” says Mackin, who recently was honored at a “10 Under 10” alumni reception.
“The program provided me with the best of both worlds – learning in the classroom and being trained in the hospital. It was a beautiful hybrid between studying science and medicine and practicing it by working in the field.”
After three years at Brigham and Women’s, Mackin went from radiation therapist to senior therapist, and in 2012 he was promoted to lead therapist.
One of Mackin’s main responsibilities is helping to “map out” the areas of a patient’s body to be treated by radiation. He also trains staff, analyzes and improves processes and procedures, and works on departmental projects.
Yet working with cancer patients is by far the best part of his job.
“In many cases, our patients’ radiation simulation is their first real experience with the treatment of their cancer, and it’s very rewarding to be on the team trying to help shape their care and support them through a difficult time,” he says.
Mackin has continued his involvement with the University as an alumnus. He has been a clinical mentor to radiation biology program students completing internships at Brigham and Women’s, and he is his department’s clinical liaison to Suffolk’s radiation science and therapy academic program.
“I like to help in any way possible to see the program’s continued success,” he says.
Mackin’s story was shared with other young alumni who were recognized for their career accomplishments at a “10 Under 10” reception hosted by the Alumni Association in April. All 10 of the alumni honored earned their Suffolk University degrees within the past decade.