Aspiring dosimetrists take courses in medical terminology, radiobiology and radiation safety. Medical dosimetry training programs also teach students to use medical technology, manage patients and participate in medical diagnoses. Graduate certificate programs in medical dosimetry usually last one year; degree-completion programs might take longer.
Training programs in medical dosimetry that have been accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiation Technology (JCERT) are geared toward experienced and educated professionals. Most programs are open to individuals currently working as radiation therapists, as well as applicants with a bachelor's degree in a physical science- or healthcare-related field.
These educational training programs are designed to prepare students to test for the Certified Medical Dosimetrist (CMD) designation. Voluntary certification in the field is offered through the Medical Dosimetry Certification Board (MDCB). Continuing education is required to retain certification.
Medical Dosimetry Education and Training Programs
Medical dosimetry programs incorporate subjects in physiology, instrumentation and radiation oncology. A training program in medical dosimetry might include courses in:
- Brachytherapy treatment planning
- Teletherapy dose calculations
- Stereotactic radiosurgery
- Radiological imaging
- Medical management
While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't provide data for dosimetrists, it does report figures for the closely related field of radiation therapy. According to the BLS, the number of jobs available to radiation therapists should increase 9%, much faster than the average for all occupations, between 2018 and 2028 (www.bls.gov). As of May 2018, radiation therapists earned a median annual salary of $82,330.
After completing a JCERT-accredited medical dosimetry training program, students typically must complete a specified number of clinical experience hours before they can test for MDCB certification. The CMD credential must be renewed annually, and Certified Medical Dosimetrists must amass at least 50 continuing education credits every five years.
Education and training in the medical dosimetry field is available to students in the form of degree-completion or graduate certificate programs. This training can prepare graduates to gain the clinical experience required for certification.