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Summertime in Radiation Therapy

Summertime makes me think of radiation therapy.  Patients are lying down sometimes only covered up with a towel while the linear accelerator tans their skin with radiation.  Therapists make announcements like lifeguards blowing their whistles when their patients are misbehaving (moving).  Physicists and dosimetrists are like the parents who have painstakingly planned this whole trip…

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The Persistent Shortage of Physicists: Current Trends and Future Prospects

Is there still a shortage of medical physicists? Yes!  2023 saw record shortages for physicists. More than 90% of radiation oncologists reported that their practices were facing clinical staff shortages and 80% said it was worse than the year before (ASTRO Survey 2023).  In the fall, we saw a bit of a reprieve in posted…

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Flexibility

Radiation oncology departments need to be flexible to meet their patient needs. We schedule around patient’s availability, replan when needed, juggle appointments when the Linacs go down, and cover each other for PTO.  Each role in the radiation therapy department is singular and specialized.  Most departments have only one or two professionals in each job…

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Objective quality assurance in radiation therapy

One of the great values we bring to the clinic as radiation therapy professionals is an independent objective view of the equipment and procedures.  As board-certified professionals, we are taught to always double and triple check every step of the planning and treatment process.  When I started my career, most therapy departments had a separate…

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The rapid birth of radiation therapy

We have come a long way in a short amount of time.  In the 128 years since x-rays were discovered, the technology and use of ionizing radiation has engulfed the entire world in nearly every part of our daily lives.  We use radiation to make our food safer to eat, check for contraband in luggage,…

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Are you ready for targeted RPT?

    Radiation oncology is about to change. If the last 20 years heralded a technological revolution in external beam delivery, the next 10 years will see the incorporation of targeted radiopharmaceutical therapy (RPT) into everyday practice. It’s already happening. In July 2022, ASTRO published their RPT framework for trainees and prioritized RPT as “a…

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All the Pieces of the Puzzle

  Radiation Oncology is a highly specialized field.  Each member of the team is skilled and unique and must fit together like pieces of a puzzle to create a picture of health and pain relief for the cancer patients.  The radiation oncologists, medical physicists, dosimetrists, nurses, and therapists all perform their roles supported by the…

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How to be a good locum

Life as a locum has many desirable qualities:  good pay, few administrative responsibilities, travel and lifestyle flexibility.  At Atom Physics Staffing, we’ve had many locums work contracts for us.  Some have had great success and get their choice of assignments, and some have been asked by facilities not to come back.  We have had to…

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The Fairly Odd Physicist

This may be shocking news to you, but physicists can be a little odd.  Being odd isn’t necessarily a bad thing in itself.  In fact, whenever a patient or staff member asks me about my long somewhat unruly hair, I always tell them that you want your physicist to be a little strange – that’s…

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Professional Fulfillment

I thought I would share a personal story today.  Something a little outside the normal blog post we do here at Atom Physics Staffing.  I’ve worked my way up through the hospital from being a transporter in the x-ray department, to being a CT tech, to being a board-certified medial physicist, to now owning and…

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