Nuclear Medicine Physicist

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Nuclear Medicine Physicists work as part of a multidisciplinary team that includes clinicians, technologists, pharmacists and nurses; and are responsible for the design and delivery of nuclear medicine diagnosis and treatment. Some of the key areas in which Nuclear Medicine Physicists have a distinct role include:

  • Radiation Protection;
  • Scientific integrity and accuracy of radionuclide counting and imaging systems;
  • Quality control, safety and maintenance of nuclear medicine equipment;
  • Unsealed radionuclide therapy including the scientific integrity and accuracy of radiation dosimetry and the radionuclide administration processes;
  • Equipment procurement, acceptance and commissioning;
  • Clinical computing and networking;

Nuclear Medicine Technologists play a key role in optimising the radiation dose to ensure the dose is kept low without compromising the diagnostic information obtained from the test. There has been considerable concern about the radiation dose received by patients from diagnostic imaging and over exposures during diagnostic imaging, which is why Nuclear Medicine Physicists must take into account the radiation protection of patients and others.

Nuclear Medicine Physicists must have a sound scientific background and in particular will need to apply their knowledge of mathematics, physics and technology. To gain accreditation, Nuclear Medicine Physicists should have a basic degree in physics or engineering, or equivalent, and should then complete the coursework component of an accredited Medical Physics Master’s Program, which is normally assessed by formal examination. It will then be a requirement to successfully complete training modules that develop competence in various aspects of nuclear medicine physics, as well as demonstration of experience in project development and research.