Certificate in Medical Dosimetry
- Certified Medical Dosimetrist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA
Why did you choose to study Medical Dosimetry?
I had friends who were pursuing medical physics and medical dosimetry, so I learned about the job in detail. The moment I heard about it, I knew it would be a perfect career for me. About 4 years ago when I moved to the US, I thought it would be a perfect chance for me to change careers and I also wanted something that could also utilize my academic background in computer engineering. At that time dosimetry fulfilled all those things while helping people undergoing radiation treatment. Medical dosimetry is also a challenging career which will keep me motived. It’s been almost a year and a half, and I have no regrets.
How did your Suffolk experience prepare you for your career after graduation?
I create patient specific treatment plans using knowledge from radiation physics, radiation biology and understanding the dosimetric limitations for site specific treatments. I currently work on 3D conformal, IMRT and VMAT planning for all sites. I work with a team of Medical Physicists, Radiation Oncologists, Radiation Therapists, and Nurses. We communicate and work together to provide patients with the highest level of care and service during their treatment.
I was able to be prepared both didactically and clinically. I rotate through small, medium, and large clinics and could see how the clinical setups and workflows were different to maximize the functionality.
I was also able to learn many different treatment planning systems and record and verifier systems which gave me an insight of how things were organized. Working with different professionals with very high standards gave me something I could look up to as role models. My classmates were from many different backgrounds as well, which enabled us to share different thoughts and perspectives on many things.
What does a typical day in your job look like?
I go to 1-2 CT simulations a day to co-work with physicians and simulation therapists to come up with the best patient position, setup reproducibility, and provide physics consult when needed. Once the CT simulation is done, physician might ask, based on the site or disease, to perform image fusions which overlays two different imaging modalities i.e MRI, CT/PET in the region of interest to better delineate the treatment targets. Once the physician finishes the contours and prescription, I start working on the treatment planning. I carefully choose which techniques to use and generate patient specific optimal plan that can deliver the most prescribed dose to the target and minimize the dose to organs at risk. Sometimes when the target [tumor] disease is located nearby critical organs, you might have to modify the radiation dose and will have to communicate this with the physician, therapist, and physicist throughout the process.