What is the role of a Medical Dosimetrist

What is the role of a Medical Dosimetrist

Dosimetrists are critical members of the radiation oncology team. Dosimetrists focus on creating custom radiation treatment plans for every patient. Dosimetrists design radiation treatment plans with the intention of delivering the Radiation Oncologist’s radiation prescription dose to the tumor while also sparing surrounding healthy tissue and organs.

What is the process before the plan?

Patients receive a CT simulation scan prior to the creation of their radiation treatment plan. The CT scan gives three-dimensional information about the anatomical features of the patient’s body. The Radiation Oncologist uses the CT simulation images along with other diagnostic scans to delineate the location of the tumor. The Radiation Oncologist determines a radiation prescription dose appropriate for the disease site.

What is the process of creating the plan?

The Dosimetrist delineates the healthy organs that are in proximity to the tumor site. The Dosimetrist then creates a radiation treatment plan by utilizing a variety of treatment techniques best suited for the disease site. The commonly utilized techniques for external beam radiation include three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3DCRT), volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT), stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

What happens after the plan?

The Radiation Oncologist reviews the treatment plan with the dosimetrist. The Radiation Oncologist ensures appropiate tumor dose coverages are achieved and also ensures healthy organs and tissues are spared appropriately. After physician approval, the dosimetrist prepares the plan for treatment delivery. Lastly, a Medical Physicist is responsible for reviewing all of the information regarding the treatment plan to ensure accuracy and safety of the plan.

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