Medical dosimetrists have the ability to work in different types of environments and choose different roles in the radiation oncology profession. Although there are several career paths a medical dosimetrist may take, the list below includes the most common.
Clinical medical dosimetrists design treatment plans and accurately calculate a radiation treatment plan based on the radiation oncologist’s prescription, being cognizant of normal tissues and critical structures in the treatment vicinity. Medical dosimetrists work closely with physicians, physicists, and other members of the radiation oncology team to implement each treatment plan. The medical dosimetrist provides assistance and support to solve diverse physical and technical problems that arise in the clinical environment.
Medical dosimetrists play a vital role in the research aspect of radiation oncology. Their activities include participation in research protocols, publishing articles, assisting in research for computer treatment planning systems, development of new patient treatment devices, and various other activities that serve an important role in advancement within the radiation oncology profession.
Many medical dosimetrists have faculty appointments at universities and colleges where they help educate future medical dosimetrists and other radiation oncology professionals. They may be involved in guiding students during clinical education rotations that include training with specific clinical procedures, equipment, treatment planning, and treatment delivery. They may also be a director of a medical dosimetry educational program which involves administration, teaching and other duties associated with the program.
Medical dosimetrists may decide to work in an independent or contract-type temporary position at various facilities throughout the nation. They practice clinical medical dosimetry duties at various sites for specific lengths of time until contract is complete or fulfilled.
Medical dosimetrists often accept positions with radiation oncology vendors as an application or sales specialist. Clinical applications specialists are responsible for consulting, training, and supporting oncology professionals in the effective use of radiation oncology products.
Responsibilities of a clinical applications specialists include phone support, on-site support and assistance in the development of training and application support materials. Sales specialists are involved in the sale of vendor specific radiation oncology products. Sales specialist responsibilities include delivering sales presentations, performing onsite demonstrations of the radiation oncology products and developing and maintaining good customer relations.
Medical dosimetrists may transition into an administrative position within radiation oncology. This may be in the form of a chief medical dosimetrist, chief radiation therapist, or director/manager of the department. Many times, dosimetrists advance to administrative roles in the department or hospital.