What Types of Work Do Medical Dosimetrists Do?

Medical Dosimetrists are involved in several areas of activity in the Radiation Oncology Profession. Although there are many directions a medical dosimetrist can take, below is a list of common positions that medical dosimetrists are involved in.

Clinical Service & Consultation
On a daily basis, medical dosimetrists are called upon to develop a treatment plan to deliver the dose of radiation to the cancer site based on the physician prescription. Being cognizant of normal tissues or critical structures near the area of treatment is a challenge with every patient plan. Medical Dosimetrists are involved with responsibilities in the form of consultation with physicians, physicists, and radiation therapy colleagues in regards to radiation therapy treatment planning. The Medical Dosimetrist is called upon to contribute advice and resources to solve the numerous and 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 in the AAMD journal, 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.

Teaching in a Clinical and/or Academic Environment
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 clinical education regarding procedures, equipment, planning, and treatments. They may also be a Director of a medical dosimetry educational program which involves administration, teaching, and other duties associated with the program.

Locum Tenens
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 and then go on to the next site when the contract is complete or fulfilled.

Vendor Applications/Technical Support/Sales Specialist
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 include remote, on-site, and classroom training, remote support, and assistance in the development of training and application support materials. Sales specialists are involved in the sale of vendor specific radiation oncology equipment.

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 Manager of the Department. Many times, they advance to an administrative role for the department or possibly in the hospital.