Radiation physics is a formal science that measures and calculates the dose and format of radiation to be used in radiation treatment. Your radiation therapy team plays an important role in your care plan.
Once your radiation oncologist has decided that radiation therapy will be part of your treatment regimen, the physicist and dosimetrist work together to design and implement precise radiation dosages that target your particular cancer type.
The Medical Physicist
The medical physicist works closely with the radiation oncologist and dosimetrist to develop the best treatment plan for each patient. They are responsible for the implementation and quality control of all the specialized therapy types. The medical physicist ensures that all of the equipment is functioning properly and maintains all of their calibrations. They also implement and maintain the Radiation Safety Program for each department. A master’s degree level of education is required for this position, and can entail up to five years of clinical experience and a series of examinations for board certification.
Dosimetry is a highly specialized field that deals primarily with the computer-based treatment planning process. Dosimetrists work under the supervision of the medical physicist and the radiation oncologist to develop the best complex plan for each patient. They are also involved in the simulation planning process, and ensure that the patient is properly immobilized throughout the course of radiation therapy treatments.