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For the most part, people with medical dosimetrist jobs support oncologists by delivering radiation therapy to patients. Medical dosimetrists work under the supervision of medical doctors or medical physicists and are not themselves doctors, though they are involved in the treatment of patients. There are dosimetrists in cancer centers and hospitals as well as in sales. Dosimetrists also train others in the use of the technology.
One of the most common medical dosimetrist jobs is as a member of a cancer patient's medical team. In the treatment of cancer, the dosimetrist is responsible for determining the correct dosage of radiation to administer. The dose needs to be high enough to kill off the cancer, without being so high that it causes severe damage to the patient's systems. Dosimetrists work with computer programs and analyze diagnostic scans in order to determine the proper treatment for each patient. While working in this role, the dosimetrist consults with both doctors and patients in order to advise both parties on the best treatment.
In the treatment of cancer, most medical dosimetrist jobs are found in cancer centers and in the oncology departments of hospitals. Aside from these more permanent positions, dosimetrists may work as locum tenens. These positions are temporary, so the dosimetrist moves to a new location after the conclusion of each contract. This arrangement is analogous to an independent contractor position.
Some medical dosimetrist jobs focus on the equipment used in the profession. These dosimetrists may work for vendors, selling equipment used in the detection of cancer or in the analysis of test results. Dosimetrists also support hospital staff in the use of this equipment by traveling to hospitals and cancer centers to train medical professionals in the proper use of the equipment. Once the technology is in place, a dosimetrist may continue to provide remote support to the hospital staff.
Medical dosimetrist jobs can also be found in education and research. Dosimetrists can work out of universities or teaching hospitals, where they are instrumental in training future dosimetrists. As medical researchers, dosimetrists may work to develop better practices and computer programs that will increase a patient's chances of surviving cancer. They also frequently publish medical papers that inform other dosimetrists and medical doctors about the latest advancements in their field.
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