The radiation oncologist is the medical doctor who oversees the care of each patient undergoing radiation treatment. The physician develops, prescribes and verifies each patient's treatment plan. In addition, the physician monitors the patient's progress and adjusts treatment to ensure quality care to the patient. Radiation oncologists also help identify and treat any side effects of radiation therapy. The physician leads the multi-disciplinary radiation oncology team.
Medical Radiation Physicist
The medical physicist works directly with the physician and verifies the work of the dosimetrist to complete a unique treatment plan for each patient. In addition, the physicist is responsible for developing and directing quality control programs for equipment and procedures to ensure all equipment is working properly. On a routine basis, the physicists take precise measurements of radiation beam characteristics and perform other safety tests.
The dosimetrist carefully calculates the dose of radiation to ensure the tumor is receiving the accurate amount of radiation to destroy the tumor but spare the normal surrounding tissue. Most treatment plans are very complex so the dosimeters supports the doctor and the medical physicists to develop a plan that is specific for each patient.
Radiation therapists work under the direction of the radiation oncologists to administer the daily radiation treatments.