Certificate in Medical Dosimetry
Program Brochure (PDF)
The Medical Dosimetry program is designed to train personnel in the discipline of dosimetry within a radiation oncology environment, and to prepare them to take the Certified Medical Dosimetrists board examination.
To Make Man Whole” reflects the mission statement of Loma Linda University and Medical Center. It is the mission of the program to encourage the personal and professional growth of students through the integrated development of intellectual, physical, social, and spiritual aspects of each student as they prepare to serve mankind.
Medical dosimetry is a very dynamic, exciting field involving a combined knowledge of mathematics, physics, and the biologicial and medical sciences. Dosimetrists plan optimal isodose distributions and treatment dose calculations for a variety of external beam, as well as brachytherapy treatments.
Medical dosimetrists must have excellent analytical skills, an ability to critically evaluate data, and an aptitude for physics and mathematics. They must also be able to work closely as a team with physicists, physicians, radiation therapists, and other hospital personnel.
A shortage of training programs exist in the field, which causes a shortage of dosimetrists. This program will aim to provide a supply of well-trained dosimetrists who will be able to meet the needs of radiation oncology facilities in the local area and beyond.
The medical dosimetry program is a full time (40 hour per week) 15-month long program that prepares the student to be board eligible for the CMD (Certificate in Medical Dosimetry) Examination. The program is competitive as only two students can be admitted every year. The curriculum varies depending upon a student's entrance track, and is very demanding both didactically and clinically. It is recommended that students study for at least two hours per day outside of set program hours, to ensure success in the program.
The program ensures that the students are trained in all aspects of treatment planning with the various modalities available in the field. The majority of the clinical work is conducted within the Radiation Medicine department at Loma Linda University Medical Center, but students also spend six week blocks of time at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and City of Hope Medical Center to expose them to different treatment machines, software systems, and treatment techniques.
Essential Job Functions
The essential job function of a medical dosimetrist requires certain physical, cognitive, and emotional attributes. Although contact with patient is often minimal it is still ncessary to be able to physically assist as needed. Prolonged sitting, keyboard and mouse manipulation skills are necessary. Visual acuity at a distance of approximately 15 inches is essential as is the ability to view a computer screen for hours at a time. Candidates must have good coordination and fine motor skills in order to manipulate brachytherapy sources, and construct beam modifying devices. The ability to think critically, integrate data, and comprehend theoretical constructs is essential.
Dosimetrists work under physician's direction to build three dimensional, virtual models of patient anatomy and isodose curve distributions, and it is necessary to be able to oversee the translation of such models into clinical practice.
Excellent communication skills are essential as dosimetrists have to interact with physicians, physicists, radiation therapists, and other professionals to ensure that treatment plans are accurately constructed and delivered. For major duties and job skills refer to the AAMD Website.Program Accreditation
Students will either need to have:
AART registration in Radiation Therapy Technology with a minimum of two years post graduation clinical experience and a Bachelor's degree in any topic. Additional prerequisites: College Algebra, Trigonometry
A Bachelor's degree in Physics or Mathematics from an accredited university. Additional prerequisites: Anatomy and Physiology (no lab needed), Medical Terminology
All course requirements must be met before the start of the program.
Upon completion of the program, the student should be qualified to:
During the 15-month Certificate Program in Medical Dosimetry, students take formal classes along with instruction in a clinical setting. This includes participation, under closer supervision, in the actual procedures within the Radiation Physics/Dosimetry Department.
This is a full time, 40-hour per week program. The schedule is coordinated with participating clinical affiliates and clinical hours are arranged around lectures.
The curriculum differs depending on the entry track.
Medical Dosimetry Goals and Student Learning Outcomes
The student learning outcomes (SLO’s) of the medical dosimetry program are:
Goal 1. Students will demonstrate critical thinking
Goal 2 Students will be clinically competent.
Goal 3 Students will be able to communicate effectively
Goal 4 Students will demonstrate professionalism
Goal 5 The program will achieve the following:
Program Tuition Costs & Fees
Fees vary depending on entry track.
Estimated Program Cost Sheets
Interviews are conducted during the second and third week of June. Final determination will be made by July1, with acceptance letters sent out from the SAHP Admissions Committee by the middle of July. Priority is given to students whom have completed the following requirements:
Department of Radiation Technology
School of Allied Health Professions
Loma Linda University
Nichol Hall A829
Loma Linda CA 92350
Carol Davis, PsyD, Dr.PH, RT (T)