A radiation oncology medical physicist
we work closely with our colleagues radiation therapists and radiation
oncologists in a team environment to ensure the best care is provided to the
patients medical physicists are responsible for ensuring the accuracy
and safety of all treatment equipment and treatment software medical
physicists are also actively involved in research and clinical trials through the
application of physical concepts in healthcare we ensure patients are
provided with the highest quality treatments available I wanted to become
a radiation oncology medical physicist because I like the way that they work in
the multidisciplinary team and what they do has can have a direct impact on the
quality of treatment patients receive so physicists are instrumental in
researching and developing and then through to the implementation of better
radiation oncology treatment techniques we actually have our medical physicists
come into the clinic and see patients with us in those circumstances they’re
actually part of the multidisciplinary team with surgeons and
radiologists so I think the unique perspective of their knowledge of how
radiation beams interact brings a new dimension to how we assess patients for
treatment [Music]
so on a day-to-day basis we could be performing quality assurance on our
treatment machines for example checking the calibration checking the spatial
accuracy of the treatment delivery we could be checking the quality of a
treatment plan that was developed by radiation therapists we can check the
plan in the sense of how accurately it could be delivered by our treatment
machine we could also be working on managing the commissioning of a new
treatment technology or the research and development toward a new treatment
technology so it helps patients primarily by ensuring that the dose
delimited the patient is what was prescribed by the radiation oncologist
which is very important for the patient outcome so the medical physics
profession we’re driven to ensure patient safety is not compromised with
the patient in mind our quality assurance programs on treatment devices
ensure that the patient’s treatment is delivered with high precision through
research programs our profession is also finding better ways to treat with the
tools our disposal our role enables high quality care throughout the Health
System this is achieved through safety systems implemented by the profession
our contribution to the field allows our fellow colleagues to confidently treat
patients with higher doses and higher accuracy it’s our role adds value to the
health system by ensuring patient safety it ensures the ongoing quality
improvement of treatment in radiotherapy and it ensures that cutting-edge
techniques are translated to the clinic I think what these advancements through
the Medical Physics you know training and the research that
they do has allowed from a patient point of view is for me to more safely
escalate radiation dose tumours when needed and that can lead to better cure
of cancers but it can also mean that we avoid irradiating areas that we don’t
need to treat more carefully and that ultimately leads to fewer side-effects
for patients not only going through the treatment but also long-term and that’s
especially important important for children and young patients the most
exciting thing for me in radiation oncology right now is particle therapy
so that’s using protons or in Westmeads case carbon ions we definitely need
radiation oncology medical physicists to translate this technology from
universities to the patient for the patient this means we can treat tumors
even more precisely with fewer side-effects and carbon ions are
particularly interesting because they can potentially treat tumors that are
resistant to radiation treatment I see medical physicists involved in the lab
at the hospital helping us demonstrate that on cells before we seen in patients
as well [Music]