Medical physicists work directly with the radiation oncologist during treatment planning and delivery. They oversee the work of the dosimetrist and help ensure that complex treatments are properly tailored for each patient. Medical physicists are responsible for developing and directing quality control programs for equipment and procedures to ensure maximum treatment safety. Their responsibility also includes making sure the equipment works properly by taking precise measurements of the radiation beam and performing other safety tests on a regular basis. They are trained with advanced degrees and are appropriately credentialed to provide this important service.
Medical physicists follow college with additional graduate training in medical physics to receive a master’s or doctoral degree. In some cases, a medical physicist will complete a one- to two-year program at a hospital after receiving a graduate degree for more training. Medical physicists are often certified by the American Board of Radiology or the American Board of Medical Physics.
For more information on medical physicists, contact the American Association of Physicists in Medicine at www.aapm.org.