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Medical Physicist

Traverse City, MI


Posted on March 3, 2018

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About Medical Physicist

Entry Level Requirements

A Qualified Medical Physicist (QMP) in Therapeutic Medical Physics with two years clinical experience.

Statement of Basic Responsibility

The essential responsibility of the Qualified Medical Physicist’s (QMP) clinical practice is to assure the safe and effective delivery of radiation to achieve a diagnostic or therapeutic result as prescribed in patient care. The medical physicist performs or supervises the technical aspects of procedures necessary to achieve this objective. The responsibilities of the medical physicist include: protection of the patient and others from potentially harmful or excessive radiation; establishment of adequate protocols to ensure accurate patient dosimetry; the measurement and characterization of radiation; the determination of delivered dose; advancement of procedures necessary to ensure image quality; development and direction of quality assurance programs; and assistance to other health care professionals in optimizing the balance between the beneficial and deleterious effects of radiation; and compliance with applicable federal and state regulations

General Definitions

Medical Physics is that branch of physics that is associated with the practice of medicine. The term Medical Physics, as it is used here, includes diagnostic medical physics, therapeutic medical physics, nuclear medical physics, and medical health physics.

Radiation includes both ionizing and non-ionizing radiation such as electromagnetic radiation, particulate radiation, and ultrasound. These modalities, used for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes when prescribed by a properly qualified practitioner, are herein described as radiological procedures.

The Practice of Medical Physics means the use of principles and accepted protocols of physics to assure the correct quality, quantity, and placement of radiation during the performance of a radiological procedure.

Practitioner means a doctor of medicine, osteopathy, podiatry, dentistry, or chiropractic who is licensed to practice their medical specialty and who either prescribes or utilizes radiological procedures for other persons.

Quality Assurance consists of activities designed to assure adequate quality, precision and accuracy in the uses of radiation and reproducibility of the procedures and systems used.

Qualified Medical Physicist (QMP) is an individual who is competent to practice independently in one or more of the subfields of medical physics, and meets the criteria set forth in the Definition of a Qualified Medical Physicist (AAPM Professional Policy 1). In addition, a QMP must hold a professional medical physics license where required and should uphold the AAPM Code of Ethics (AAPM Professional Policy 24).


The following summarizes the tasks for which medical physicists are uniquely qualified. Additionally, medical physicists participate in many procedures in the clinic not listed here, depending on the specifics of clinic operation. A scope of practice consistent with the practice guidelines for the different sub-specialties of medical physics is outlined below. The medical physicist is an essential member of the patient care team that includes Physicians, Nurses, Radiologic Technologists, Dosimetrists, Radiation Therapists, Engineers and QA personnel. In every case, the medical physicist subscribes to the AAPM Code of Ethics (AAPM Professional Policy 24).

Definition of Qualified Medical Physicist

For the purpose of providing clinical professional services, a Qualified Medical Physicist (QMP) is an individual who is competent to independently provide clinical professional services in therapeutic1 medical physics.

A Qualified Medical Physicist in Therapeutic Medical Physics meets the following credentials:

  1. Has earned a master’s or doctoral degree in physics, medical physics, biophysics, radiological physics, medical health physics, or equivalent disciplines from an accredited college or university; and

  2. Has been granted certification in the specific subfield of therapeutic medical physics with its associated medical health physics aspects by an appropriate national certifying body and abides by the certifying body’s requirements for continuing education.


The following national certifying bodies have been deemed appropriate:

  1. For the subfield of Therapeutic Medical Physics, certification by:

o The American Board of Radiology; (ABR) or

o The American Board of Medical Physics; or

o The Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine.

1 Previous certification categories in medical physics included radiological physics, therapeutic radiological physics, medical nuclear physics, diagnostic radiological physics and diagnostic imaging physics.


A medical physicist who does not meet the criteria to be considered a QMP should work under the supervision of a QMP, with the level of supervision appropriate to the task as described in AAPM Professional Policy 18: “Statement on the description of involvement of Medical Physicists in clinical procedures”.


Collaboration is essential in the performance of Medical Physics duties, and such collaboration includes, but not limited to:

Consultation with Practitioners and Allied Health Personnel for treatment planning dose delivery.

Consultation with Practitioners to assure accurate radiation dose to a specific patient.

Consultation with Practitioners and Allied Health Personnel to address the balance between radiation dose and image quality for patient care.

Consultation and instruction regarding radiation safety to patients, staff, and for general public radiation safety.

Consultation and collaboration with research and development scientists and equipment manufacturers to guide the development and improvement of products and procedures designed to ensure quality patient care and radiation safety.

The Scope of Practice of the QMP may include, but is not limited to:

May serve as a member of the institution’s Radiation Safety Committee,

May serve as a member of the department’s Safety Committee

Serves on other institution committees including but not limited to Risk Management, Quality Assurance, and Professional staff.

The Medical Physicist is responsible for:

Development of equipment specifications for radiation therapy treatment, brachytherapy, simulation, and radiation measurement

Development of procedures for the initial and continuing evaluation of radiation therapy treatment, brachytherapy, simulation, and radiation measurement equipment

Provide evidence of compliance of equipment for radiation therapy treatment, brachytherapy, simulation, and radiation detection, with regulatory and accreditation agency rules and recommendations

Measure and characterize medical radiation from radiation therapy treatment, brachytherapy, and simulation equipment prior to clinical utilization

Perform acceptance testing, evaluation and commissioning of equipment used for external-beam therapy, brachytherapy, simulation, treatment-planning, and radiation detection; acceptance testing and evaluation of their associated computer systems, algorithms, data, and output

Approve radiation oncology technical procedures prior to clinical use

Develop and/or evaluate, in conjunction with the medical practitioner, policies and procedures related to the appropriate therapeutic use of radiation

Develop and/or evaluate, with the medical practitioner, the dosimetric component of patients’ treatment plans

Review of radiation oncology dosimetry information noted in patient records

Develop and manage a comprehensive Quality Management Program that monitors, eva

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