What does a Medical Dosimetrist do?

Using CT scans and sometimes MRI and PET scanners, Medical Dosimetrists design an individualized plan of treatment for cancer patients who have been prescribed radiation therapy by their oncologist. They use computer sciences and mathematics to calculate an appropriate dosage and position for the treatment and communicate with the patient's oncologist to have the plan of treatment approved. To prevent the surrounding tissue from experiencing the same cellular death as the cancerous cells, the radiation therapist positions the patient in the most advantageous way possible and multiple beams of radiation are focused on the patient from different angles. The beams intersect on the cancerous cells, allowing for a higher concentration of radiation right where it is needed.

Types of Work Environments

  • Hospitals
  • Research laboratories
  • Applications and sales departments for radiological oncology vendors

Education and Training Requirements

Most formal education programs that train medical dosimetrists require applicants to be registered radiation therapists or to have a bachelor's degree with a physical science component. Most programs grant dosimetrists a certificate, however, there are some programs that offer a bachelor of science or master of science with a focus in dosimetry. In some situations on the job training may be possible for radiation therapists looking to become medical dosimetrists.

Salary

According to salary.com, the median salary for medical dosimetrists is between $92,571 and $109,622 per year.

Professional Organization

The American Association of Medical Dosimetrists