Brigham & Women's Hospital(BWH)

Boston, Massachusetts

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General summary:

Medical dosimetrists and per diem dosimetrists are trained to work as team members in managing cancer patients going through radiation treatments. They are trained in all areas of basic medical physics with special emphasis in treatment planning. The primary role is to understand and integrate the clinical information specified by the radiation oncologist for each patient. They then utilize departmental resources to design optimal treatment strategies and to ensure that such treatments are properly delivered. They work closely with physicists, physicians, therapists, nurses and engineers.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities for per diem medical dosimetrist

Treatment Planning (per diem)

The routine treatment planning activities are usually carried out by medical dosimetrists. Irradiation modalities may include both external (IGRT, IMRT, hypo-fractionated and stereotactic treatments) and brachytherapy sources. The tasks of a per diem dosimetrist include:

1. Collection and analysis of patient data; interaction with radiation oncologists to define target volumes and critical structures.

  • Design of an optimal approach and calculation of the corresponding dose distributions for the treatment.

  • 3. Design of immobilization device(s) or other accessories to ensure reproducibility of the treatments and conformation to the plan and/or the simulation.

    4. Design of custom shielding blocks, compensators and other beam modifying devices to optimize dose distributions. When necessary, they also may fabricate these devices.

    5. Radiation dosage calculation and documentation of radiation beam output according to the plan and the physician's description.

    6. Implementation of the treatment plan in the clinic.


    A. Education

    Minimum formal education is a Bachelor's degree. Preferably, the area of concentration in college is science, mathematics, or engineering. Ideally, the candidate should have a Bachelors degree in Radiological Sciences with a good computer programming experience.

    Preference will be given to applicants with bachelor's degrees including courses in anatomy & physiology, clinical oncology, atomic & nuclear physics, radiation protection, diagnostic physics & nuclear medicine techniques, radiation therapy physics, computer programming, calculus and analytic geometry, linear algebra & vector analysis, statistics, basic electronics.

    B. Experience and certification:

    Several months of clinical rotation or clinical experience are required. Applicants should be certified by the American Medical Dosimetry Board (CMD) or be eligible for CMD certification.

    C. Other skill requirements

    The per diem dosimetrists must be familiar with all aspects of radiation therapy, both biological as well as physical concepts. They must understand the treatment protocols and have a basic understanding of the diseases encountered. Certainly, the dosimetrists should be well versed in basic anatomy.

    One of the basic skills needed in treatment planning, is a good understanding of analytic geometry. The ability to think and express in three dimensional terms is very helpful. One must be able to convey these spatial concepts to the physicians and technologists. Another essential skill is the competence in applying mathematics and physics principles in their daily work. Other skills used by the dosimetrists include, ability to use different computers, laboratory skills to allow for accurate testing of machines and equipment, design skills to change ideas into usable products, manual dexterity to sometimes allow fabrication of devices for better treatment, mould room techniques to insure accurate and reproducible treatments.

    The dosimetrists must be mature, considerate and honest individuals as there are many types of people involved in their daily routines. Professionally, they should have the ability and the desire to provide competent and efficient health care. Because of the multitude and diversity of treatment data involved in their daily work, they should have the ability to attend to details in complex matters. Furthermore, they should be eager and have the capacity to learn and expand their knowledge.

    EEO Statement
    BWH is an Affirmative Action Employer. By embracing diverse skills, perspectives and ideas, we choose to lead. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, age, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, military service, genetic information, and/or other status protected under law. We will ensure that all individuals with a disability are provided a reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment.

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