Faculty and Staff Overview
The radiation oncology team plans, treats and follows you during your specified treatment. The team is led by radiation oncologists, who are physicians that have been specially trained and are experts in using radiation in the treatment of disease. All team members have a vital role in ensuring that each patient receives the highest quality treatment plan delivered with a focus on clinical quality, safety and individualized care.
The radiation oncologist will meet with you to review your medical history and disease. This physician will develop an individualized treatment plan based on your disease specifics and medical history. The physician works with our trained physics staff that calculates and designs the treatment plan based on their assessment. The treatment plan is developed so radiation is focused precisely on the tumor with a technique that can be delivered accurately on each day of treatment. The radiation oncologist provides constant supervision and reviews images of the treatment area on a regular basis to carefully monitor treatment progress. The physician also meets with each patient weekly to review and to recommend adjustments to treatment as necessary.
Residents are doctors who have recently graduated from medical school and are “in training” and working alongside our faculty radiation oncologists. Residents vary in their experience but are committed to providing outstanding care and to providing assistance to patients however possible.
Medical physicists work directly with the radiation oncologist during treatment planning and throughout treatment delivery. They review all plans prior to treatment and oversee daily, weekly and monthly quality checks on all equipment. The medical physicist is responsible for a comprehensive quality program to ensure machines and equipment function properly in accordance with state and federal guidelines.
The dosimetrist works closely with both the radiation oncologist and physicist to design the individualized treatment plan for each patient. They are instrumental in ensuring that many of the second checks and quality oversight in the radiation oncology department are completed. The dosimetrist regularly reviews the actual treatments delivered by the therapist to ensure that the patient’s course of therapy is going as planned.
Therapists ensure that the treatment plan is correctly administered to each patient. Two therapists are responsible for accurately positioning the patient based on the treatment parameters. They conduct an established second check in the room to reconfirm patient positioning. Two therapists are charged with a “read back” of the treatment parameters for each patient’s treatment. Radiation therapy will not be initiated unless all aspects of the treatment are correct. Patient treatment areas are imaged on a regular basis to ensure the area being treated is correct and unchanged.
Nurses collaborate with the radiation oncologist and radiation therapist. The nurse educates patients on what to expect and watch out for during the course of treatment. Nurses closely monitor patients, meeting with them at least once weekly to review progress. These highly-trained staff members direct patients to other services when appropriate and provide “next steps” as treatment nears completion. They also work with patients to establish survivorship care plans, to ensure that quality of life is optimized once radiation is finished.