August 17th is National Medical Dosimetrist Day. A medical dosimetrist is part of the radiation oncology team. They work closely with your physician and the physics teams to create a treatment plan customized for your particular situation. While you may never meet a dosimetrist, their role is critical in your treatment.
What does a Medical Dosimetrist do?
After your simulation or “planning” appointment where a CT scan is usually performed, your dosimetrist works with your doctor to plan your radiation. Your doctor will contour, or outline, the area where you need treatment for your tumor specifically. Then, the dosimetrist uses his or her deep knowledge of math, anatomy, and physics, along with special computer software to develop a treatment plan. Their job is to ensure the target your doctor outlined gets the radiation intended and other nearby organs are not injured. This is often a process of refining the plan to develop the safest and most effective treatment. Then, your doctor will review the plan created by the dosimetrists. If the doctor has suggestions for improvement, the dosimetrist will try to incorporate those into a new treatment plan. Once your doctor approves your treatment plan, the dosimetrist also facilitates your treatment starting. They communicate the treatment plan to the radiation therapists who deliver the treatment.
Our Alliance Cancer Care Dosimetry team has six members who together have over 65 years of certified experience. Today, on National Medical Dosimetrists Day, we are proud and grateful to work with this skilled team of dosimetrists. They help our doctors deliver radiation with state-of-the-art technology, including IMRT, VMAT, SBRT, and SRS treatments. Please join us in thanking them for their important role and continued excellence in the field of medical dosimetry.