Your Radiation Oncology Care Team
Members of the Radiation Oncology team work together to care for you. They are:
Radiation oncologists are the doctors who oversee your care while you are having radiation therapy. After medical school, radiation oncologists must complete one year of general medical training and four years of residency training in radiation oncology. They have extensive training in the safe use of radiation to treat disease. All of Cooper’s radiation oncologists are certified by the American Board of Radiology. They:
- Develop and prescribe your treatment plan
- Ensure that every treatment is given accurately
- Monitor your progress and adjust your treatment as necessary
- Help identify and treat any side effects of radiation therapy
- Work closely with other physicians, and all members of the radiation oncology team
Medical physicists work with your doctor in planning and delivering complex radiation therapy treatments. They oversee the work of the dosimetrist and help ensure that complex treatments are properly tailored for each patient. Medical physicists develop and direct quality control programs for equipment and procedures. They ensure that the equipment works properly, including conducting regular safety tests.
All medical physicists in the department have a doctorate (PhD) or master’s degree. They are certified by the American Board of Radiology or the American Board of Medical Physics.
Dosimetrists carefully calculate the dose of radiation to ensure that the tumor receives the right amount of radiation. They work with the radiation oncologist and the medical physicist to develop a treatment plan that is right for you. Many dosimetrists start out as radiation therapists, then, with intensive training, become dosimetrists. Other dosimetrists are graduates of one-to-two-year dosimetry programs. Dosimetrists are certified by the Medical Dosimetrist Certification Board.
Radiation therapists administer the radiation treatment under the radiation oncologist’s prescription and supervision. They keep careful records and regularly check the equipment to ensure that it is working properly. Radiation therapists complete a two-to-four year educational program after high school or college. They are certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
Radiation Oncology Nurse
Radiation oncology nurses educate you about your treatment, potential side effects and how to manage them, and more. They may help evaluate you before treatment begins and evaluate you during treatment to address problems and concerns.
Radiation oncology nurses are registered nurses. Most radiation oncology nurses are also accredited in oncology nursing or are advanced practice nurses (e.g., clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners).
Reception / Registration
Our receptionists schedule your treatments and organize your medical records.
For an appointment with an MD Anderson Cooper radiation therapy expert, please call 855.MDA.COOPER (855.632.2667).