Brigham & Women's Hospital(BWH)

Job Info

General summary:

Medical 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.

*A requirement for this position, which is intended to address the treatment planning needs for our Network Facilities (South Shore/Weymouth/Libbey Park, Mansfield, Milford), is the ability to perform occasional travel for work between the sites (Mansfield, SSH and Milford) and occasionally to the Boston site.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

A. Treatment Planning

The routine treatment planning activities are usually carried out by medical dosimetrists. Irradiation modalities may includes both external (IGRT, IMRT, hypo-fractionated SBRT, stereotactic treatment, MR-linac-based treatment) and brachytherapy sources. The tasks include:

  • 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.
  • Design of immobilization device(s) or other accessories to ensure reproducibility of the treatments and conformation to the plan and/or the simulation.
  • Design of custom shielding blocks, compensators and other beam modifying devices to optimize dose distributions. When necessary, they also may fabricate these devices.
  • Radiation dosage calculation and documentation of radiation beam output according to the plan and the physician's description.
  • Implementation of the treatment plan in the clinic.
  • Verification of the doses delivered to the patient. When necessary, the dosimetrists may be required to perform dose measurements on a patient or in a physical object simulating the patient and interpret the results.
  • Besides planning for brachytherapy, dosimetrists may also be required to assist in the loading and removal of sources from patients.
  • Dosimetrists may need to assist in all aspects of radiation safety, including ordering sources, inventory control and maintain documentation to meet regulatory requirements.

  • B. Quality Assurance of Patient Treatments
  • Routinely, dosimetrists check calculations performed by the therapists.
  • Dosimetrists check current treatment charts to verify that the treatment plan and the physics-related data are used and recorded properly by the therapists.
  • Dosimetrists attend New patient conference General Chart Rounds to review selected cases.

  • C. Participation in Special Treatments

    When a specific treatment is complicated, they may have to participate and monitor these treatment deliveries. Dosimetrists maybe trained to participate in special treatment techniques. These may include stereotactic irradiation, high dose rate brachytherapy, intravascular irradiation and MRI guided prostate implants.

    D. Radiation dose measurements and physical quality assurance

    They are knowledgeable in the field of basic radiation measurements as they will use various dosimetric equipments to determine the radiation dose to the patient on site. They will also participate in routine physical quality assurance and machine data acquisition program.

    E. Teaching

    Dosimetrists participate and assist in the teaching programs covering the Therapist training program, occasionally the resident training program, and the physics post doctoral training program

    F. Other duties as assigned


    A. Education

    Minimum formal education is a Bachelor's degree. Preferably, the area of concentration incollege is science, mathematics, orengineering. Ideally, the candidateshould have a Bachelor's degree in Radiological Sciences with a good computer programming experience.Alternatively, experienced registered therapists with an Associate Degree mayalso be considered.

    Preference will be given to those who havetaken college level courses in anatomy& physiology, clinical oncology, atomic & nuclear physics, radiationprotection, diagnostic physics &nuclear medicine techniques, radiation therapy physics, computer programming, calculus and analytic geometry, linear algebra & vectoranalysis, statistics, basic electronics.

    B. Experience and certification:

    Severalmonths of clinical rotation or clinical experience are required. Registered radiation therapists with several years of experiencein treatment or simulation is considered sufficient for entry positions.

    C. Other skill requirements

    The dosimetrists must be familiar with allaspects of radiation therapy, bothbiological as well as physical concepts. They must understand the treatment protocols and have a basic understanding of the diseasesencountered. Certainly, the dosimetrists should be well versed in basicanatomy.

    One of thebasic skills needed in treatment planning, is a good understanding of analyticgeometry. The ability to think and express in three dimensional terms is veryhelpful. One must be able to convey these spatial concepts to thephysicians and technologists. Another essential skill is the competencein applying mathematics and physics principlesin their daily work. Other skills usedby the dosimetrists include, ability to use different computers, laboratory skills to allow for accurate testing of machines and equipment, designskills to change ideas into usableproducts, manual dexterity to sometimes allow fabrication of devices for better treatment, mould room techniques to insure accurate and reproducibletreatments.

    The dosimetrists must be mature, considerateand honest individuals as there aremany types of people involved in theirdaily routines. Professionally, theyshould have the ability and the desireto provide competent and efficienthealth care. Because of the multitudeand diversity of treatment datainvolved in their daily work, they should have the ability to attend to detailsin complex matters. Furthermore, they should be eager and have the capacity to learn and expand theirknowledge.

    EEO Statement
    Brigham and Women's Hospital is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Allqualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regardto race, sex, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, protectedveteran status, or on basis of disability.

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