Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dosimetry

I've had many of my friends and family ask over the past few months what dosimetry is. Since I am hoping to go to UAMS to become a dosimetrist next year, I thought I would share a little bit more about dosimetry with you guys.



This is what a typical dosimetrist does (on varying parts of the body) in their workday. They use physics, computers, and computer imaging to preserve the life of organs while their patients undergo treatment.

Medical dosimetrists work primarily in radiation treatment centers and comprehensive cancer centers. Radiation dosimetry is the calculation of the absorbed dose in matter and tissue resulting from the exposure to indirectly and directly ionizing radiation. It is a scientific subspecialty in the fields of health physics and medical physics that is focused on the calculation of internal and external doses from ionizing radiation.

Medical dosimetrists work with the radiation oncologist and the medical physicist on the oncology team to develop a plan that will administer the correct dose of radiation to each patient for his/her radiation treatment. Since all the calculations are derived from diagnostic scans (X-ray, CT, MRI, PET) the medical dosimetrist works primarily with computers to develop the treatment plans which once approved are delivered to the patient usually over a period of several weeks. This profession has emerged because of the increased need for high precision in the planning of radiation treatment for cancer.


Highly trained professionals with strong backgrounds in physics and computing and with good communication skills make the best dosimetrists.

Medical dosimetrists work very closely with the medical physicists and typically function as a member of the medical physics division, reporting to the chief of that service. As members of the medical physics team, they are often involved in radiation safety training, patient education, and the education of radiation therapists.

Clear as mud???? Well, maybe that helps a little, anyway.

2 comments:

Leigha said...

That is pretty cool! Our son had lots of scans, xrays, chemo, etc.. I'm sure we met a dosimetrist and didn't even realize!! Good Luck, sounds like a pretty cool job!!

How's the house coming along?

Leigha said...

That is pretty cool! Our son had lots of scans, xrays, chemo, etc.. I'm sure we met a dosimetrist and didn't even realize!! Good Luck, sounds like a pretty cool job!!

How's the house coming along?

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