Nuclear Medicine Physicist
Nuclear Medicine (NM) physicist is a key member of the nuclear medicine team and has specific responsibilities for the scientific and technical aspects of the service. The NM physicist's role in nuclear medicine is a challenging one. It requires sound scientific background, a capability for innovation, attention to detail and, above all, the ability to work within a multidisciplinary team that includes clinicians, technologists, radiochemists/radio-pharmacists and nurses. Nuclear medicine studies are generally longer in duration, hence most of the time patient remains under the guidance of the technical team headed by the NM Physicist, therefore patient handling skills are also an important aspect of the role of the NM Physicist. He should also be competent in computer skills, as the work will often involve advanced medical image processing.
Nuclear Medicine Physicist holds post-graduate degree/diploma in Nuclear Medicine Technology. The courses carried out in India are with varied names. It may be M.Sc. Nuclear Medicine, M.Sc. Nuclear Medicine Technology, Post Graduate Diploma in Radioisotope Technology (PGDMRIT), Post Graduate Diploma in Nuclear Medicine Technology, Diploma in Fusion Imaging Technology etc. depending upon institute to institute.
Many premier institutes such as All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) Chandigarh etc. have created posts termed as Nuclear Medicine Physicist. However, in Atomic Energy Regulatory Board safety codes, this term is yet to be defined.
Roles and Responsibilities
1. Equipment management: Includes specification and acceptance testing of new equipment, regular quality control as well as calibration of existing equipment.
2. Quality assurance: It is concerned with the production of well-documented systems for managing and organizing processes and audits.
3. Data acquisition and processing: It covers the design and implementation of methods for acquiring images with Nuclear Medicine equipment such as PET-CT and gamma camera and for computer processing of these data. It may also deal with the development of specific software for this purpose.
4. Research and development of new techniques: It is often carried out as part of a multi-disciplinary team and Nuclear Medicine physicists have a major role to play.
5. Teaching and Training: Nuclear Medicine and Molecular imaging are rapid changing specialities. Teaching updated knowledge and imparting regular training on known subjects to teammates is an essential part of the NM Physicist job profile.
6. Radiation Protection: This is to ensure the safety of patients, staff and the public.
7. Patient handling skills: It is an important part of the job as most of the time patients of Nuclear Medicine remain under the supervision of a technical team headed by an NM Physicist.
Documents may be useful for NM Physicist while performing day-to-day routine functioning
The document, which may be useful to NM Physicists is attached below. We request other members of the Nuclear Medicine fraternity to come forward and share their prepared documents on this website, which may be beneficial to society. The contributor's name with due acknowledgement would be published on this website.
Youtube videos series
Nuclear Medicine Dosimetry
Nuclear Medicine Equipments Quality Assurance Series
Radiation Detectors Series