Medical Dosimetry

Going further, doing more

What is Medical Dosimetry?

Medical Dosimetrists use their knowledge of mathematics, medical physics, anatomy, and radiobiology along with strong critical thinking skills to develop optimal radiation treatment plans. The medical dosimetrist is a member of the radiation oncology team that plays a role in the management/treatment of cancer. Medical Dosimetrists specialize in the planning of optimal radiation treatment techniques and dose calculations in collaboration with the medical physicist and radiation oncologist.

The professional organization, American Association of Medical Dosimetrists (AAMD) provides an in depth description of the medical dosimetry profession and the skills required. 

Diverse learning environment

The distance education format along with the multiple prestigious clinical internship sites throughout the nation make our program unique because students bring diversity and multi-institutional experiences to one collaborative learning environment. This diverse learning environment enriches the clinical lab and research experience while improving clinical knowledge to better prepare our graduates for entry-level employment. 

Digital diagnostic image

Program entry

There are a number of options for entering this program.  A student who has completed radiation therapy school (Track A) or an undergraduate degree in the sciences (Track B) would be an excellent candidate for this program.  There are also options for current certified medical dosimetrists (see Track C) who are interested in earning a master's degree and seeking professional advancement.  

Graduation ceremony
Program Tracks expanding section
Track A - for registered radiation therapists with a BS/BA

The Medical Dosimetry program's Master's Degree (Track A) is a 16 month  program. Clinical internship will take place from January through December. The didactic online courses begin in the fall semester prior to starting clinical internship training. This Master's degree program not only delivers the core medical dosimetry curriculum, it also offers advanced professional and research coursework that prepares graduates for future advancement in the profession.  Upon graduation, the student is eligible to sit for the MDCB exam. This program adheres to all JRCERT accreditation standards.

Program highlights include:

  • online courses with a high degree of interaction with instructors and peers
  • 46 credits
  • clinical internship sites located throughout the U.S. with new sites established annually 
Track B - for individuals with a BS/BA

The Medical Dosimetry program's Master's Degree (Track B) is a 16 month program. This is a great option for students who have recently completed their undergraduate degree in the sciences. Clinical internship will take place from January through December. The didactic online courses begin in the fall semester prior to starting clinical internship training. This Master's degree program not only delivers the core medical dosimetry curriculum, it also offers advanced professional and research coursework that prepares graduates for future advancement in the profession.  Upon graduation, the student is eligible to sit for the MDCB exam. This program adheres to all JRCERT accreditation standards.  

Program highlights include:

  • online courses with a high degree of interaction with instructors and peers
  • 46 credits
  • clinical internship sites located throughout the U.S. with new sites established annually 
Track C - for CMD's (or board eligible) with a BS/BA degree

Track C is the Master of Science degree completion program for Certified Medical Dosimetrists (CMD's) who are currently employed and want to obtain a master's degree.  The online program enables CMD's to earn a master's degree in the profession with minimal disruption to their lives.  The percentage of medical dosimetrists obtaining higher education is increasing.  This flexible online program strongly emphasizes professional and academic growth.  Advanced program courses such as Professional Issues, Protocols & Studies in Radiation Oncology, and Research courses can enhance competitiveness for advanced level positions with increased pay in areas of management, senior medical dosimetry, education, applications, or research. 

Program highlights include:

  • online curriculum, enhancing the ability to "juggle" busy schedules
  • 31 credits can be completed:
    • in 3 semesters (1 year) as a cohort-based program with fellow classmates with the same start/end time; or
    • OR part-time (2 years); taking fewer courses each semester (some courses must be taken in sequence).
  • practicum experience designed to be completed at the current place of employment

About the Program

The Profession expanding section

The medical dosimetrist is a member of the radiation oncology team that plays a role in the management/treatment of cancer. Medical Dosimetry allows professionals to utilize their knowledge of mathematics, medical physics, science, and critical thinking in his/her everyday work. Medical Dosimetrists specialize in the planning of optimal radiation treatment techniques and dose calculations in collaboration with the medical physicist and radiation oncologist.

The professional organization, American Association of Medical Dosimetrists (AAMD) provides an in depth description of the medical dosimetry profession and the skills required. 

Career Outlook

The future job market for Medical Dosimetry is strong. The advances in treatment planning continue to increase the demand for qualified medical dosimetrists. Wages are comparable with other healthcare professions. Given the diversity and ever changing technology of the job, lifelong career satisfaction is achievable.

Certification

After successful completion of the medical dosimetry program and several months of work experience, students are eligible to apply to take the medical dosimetry certification exam.  The exam is held in various locations throughout the United States annually.  The Medical Dosimetry Certification Board (MDCB) is the credentialing body for the certification exam.

Missions, Goals, Outcomes expanding section

Mission

The Medical Dosimetry Program at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse is committed to the education of medical dosimetrists who are knowledgeable, competent, and dedicated to their profession and their patients.

Goals & Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)

1. Students will demonstrate competence in medical dosimetry.

  1. SLO: Students will demonstrate the ability to contour structures against a gold standard.
  2. SLO: Students will calculate the correction for incorrect radiation delivery.

2. Students will use critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to practice in current and emerging technology.

  1. SLO: Students will create a treatment plan based on research and current practice to produce a plan to meet given prescription constraints.
  2. SLO:  Students will critique plans and identify methods for improvement

3. Students will demonstrate effective communication skills.

  1. SLO: Students will apply effective oral communication skills.
  2. SLO: Students will demonstrate effective written communication skills.

4. Students will develop and exhibit professional practices.

  1. SLO: Students will demonstrate professional behavior during an interview process.
  2. SLO: Students will exhibit active participation in a professional dosimetry organization.

5. Students will demonstrate research skills needed to approach medical dosimetry with scholarly rigor.

  1. SLO: Students will be competent in effective research principles.

6. The program will successfully meet the needs of its students and communities of interest.

  1. SLO: Students will complete all graduation requirements.
  2. SLO: Students will pass the national certification exam.
  3. SLO: Graduates will obtain employment within 12 months of graduation.
  4. SLO: Employers will exhibit satisfaction with the graduates' performance.
  5. SLO: Graduates will exhibit their preparedness from the clinical experience and satisfaction with the program.
Accreditation expanding section

The University is accredited at the institutional level by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. Additionally, the UWL- Medical Dosimetry program is accredited by a discipline-specific, professional accreditation organization - the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.

The program completed the most recent accreditation site visit in July of 2011 and received an 8 year accreditation, with no citations. This is the maximum accreditation awarded by the JRCERT. The interim report is due in 2015 and a re-accreditation is due in 2019.  The 2019 site visit was cancelled due to a health-related emergency on the site visit team.  The 2020 site visit was cancelled due to COVID-19.  We are hopeful to have a site visit in Fall 2020.

For more information regarding accreditation of medical dosimetry programs, visit the JRCERT web site at www.jrcert.org.

JRCERT
20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 2850
Chicago, IL 60606-3182
Phone: (312) 704-5300
Fax: (312) 704-5304 

What does an accredited program mean to a prospective student?             

  • The profession is assured, through programmatic accreditation, that educational programs in the field are providing consistent minimum education in the profession as the profession itself has defined it.
  • Through the process of programmatic accreditation, educators are assured that their educational programs are keeping pace with the profession and with standards developed through national consensus.
  • Accreditation of educational programs assures patients that students who perform procedures have appropriate supervision during the educational process. It also assures them that graduates will have met the minimum level of competency as defined nationally by the profession.
  • Accreditation of an educational program provides students, as graduates, assurance that the educational program will provide them with the requisite knowledge, skills, and values to competently perform the range of professional responsibilities expected by potential employers nationwide. It also assures they will be eligible for licensure in each of the 50 states. By requiring programs to teach the entire curriculum developed by the professional society, the American Society of Radiologic Technology, it also assures students they will have the foundation knowledge to continue to develop as professionals in the various fields of the radiation sciences.                

(www.jrcert.org, 2008)

Program Effectiveness expanding section

The UWL Medical Dosimetry program tracks effectiveness data (credentialing examination pass rate, job placement rate, and program completion rate) on an annual basis. The program effectiveness data is reported to the JRCERT for accreditation purposes in an annual report. 

Program Effectiveness Data 5 year average (2015-2019)

Visit JRCERT for more information about JRCERT accredited programs and program effectiveness data.

Assessment
Assessment of student learning takes place at four levels at the university:

  • Institution-wide assessment
  • Assessment of student learning outcomes in general education
  • Assessment of student learning outcomes in each undergraduate and graduate academic program
  • Assessment of student learning in individual courses

The program develops, implements, and analyzes an annual outcomes assessment plan to:

  • promote programmatic improvement
  • improve teaching and learning
  • facilitate accountability
  • identify program strengths
Graduate Research expanding section

An important concept of the Medical Dosimetry Program is evidence-based practice. Therefore, graduate students are given the opportunity to perform research through practicum experiences. 

The program faculty encourage students to present and/or publish their research. The American Association of Medical Dosimetrists (AAMD) offers an annual writing competition for students and for medical dosimetry professionals.  Students are encouraged to enter the writing competition after their research is completed.  They are also encouraged to submit their research for publication within the various professional organization publications, such as Medical Dosimetry  journal or the Radiation Therapist  journal.

View research accepted for publication or recognized for awards here.