Schools for Medical Dosimetrists
Medical dosimetrists work on radiation therapy teams calculating appropriate radiation doses for the treatment of diseases. Continue reading to find out more about the field of medical dosimetry. Learn how to choose a degree program in this subject, and review what you'll learn during your classroom and clinical training.
Medical dosimetry can be studied at the undergraduate or graduate level. Master's degree programs generally require the student to be a registered radiation therapist.
How Could I Become a Medical Dosimetrist?
As a medical dosimetrist, you'll use your expertise in radiation treatment technology to provide patients with the radiation dose prescribed by a radiation oncologist for a cancer treatment plan. You'll use advanced computer and imaging technology to accurately direct radiation into a patient's tumor, avoiding damage to the surrounding tissue and organs.
To prepare for this career, you can complete a bachelor's or master's degree program, or you can learn on the job from a certified medical dosimetrist or certified medical physicist. You may need to be a certified radiation therapist to be eligible for a certificate or on-the-job training program. Clinical training programs may result in a certificate of completion, but may not result in college credit.
Which Schools Offer Bachelor's Degrees for Medical Dosimetrists
Thomas Jefferson University's program in medical dosimetry will stress goals like communication skills, professional growth, and critical thinking. Coursework for the Gwynedd Mercy University program includes radiation biology, medical dosimetry principles, and a capstone research project.
- Bellevue College offers a BAS in Radiation and Imaging Sciences Medical Dosimetry concentration
- Thomas Jefferson University offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Medical Dosimetry
- Gwynedd Mercy University offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Radiation Therapy
Which Schools Offer Master's Degrees for Medical Dosimetrists
The Medical Dosimetry program at the University of Wisconsin is a 46-credit degree. The University of Oklahoma's program is designed specifically for registered radiation therapists with an appropriate bachelor's degree.
- South Illinois University offers a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Medical Dosimetry
- The University of Wisconsin offers a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Medical Dosimetry
- The University of Oklahoma offers a Master of Science (M.S.) degree program Allied Health Sciences with a specialization in Medical Dosimetry
Where Can I Find a School?
The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) accredits medical dosimetry programs as well as radiography, radiation therapy and magnetic resonance programs. If you plan to seek board certification in medical dosimetry from the Medical Dosimetrist Certification Board (MDCB), you'll need to graduate from a JRCERT-accredited program. As of January 2012, JRCERT listed 16 accredited programs, including on-the-job training programs, on their website.
If you are just starting out, you might choose a school with a bachelor's degree program. If you have some experience, or if you are a certified radiation therapist, you may choose to enroll in a clinical training certificate program or a master's degree program. Admissions selections for most programs are very competitive, so you may want to consider submitting applications to several schools.
Are Distance Programs Available?
Very few distance-education programs are available in medical dosimetry. If you choose a distance program, you'll likely take courses synchronously via video conference and you'll need to complete a clinical internship at an approved site.
What Courses Will I Take?
Common course topics for a bachelor's degree program include computers and networking in radiation oncology, radiobiology, anatomy for radiation oncology, introduction to medical dosimetry and clinical orientation.
Master's degree programs include courses in research methodology, patient care, radiation dose calculations, operational issues in radiation oncology and seminars in medical dosimetry. Degree programs include both didactic and clinical training.
Students who want to study medical dosimetry can do so at the bachelor's or master's degree level. Coursework in these programs include radiobiology, radiation oncology, and clinical work; though rare, some programs might allow you to complete certain courses online, with the clinical components completed at approved health facilities.