Medical Dosimetry Training Program

The Program's mission, goals, faculty, curriculum, calendar, admissions, technical standards, exam requirements, transfer credits, services, tuition and application deadlines.

Program Mission and Goals

The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) is the accrediting body for our medical dosimetry program.  A copy of their Standards for Accreditation can be found HERE.  

Mission:  To prepare outstanding entry-level medical  dosimetrists with an ability to evaluate treatment process to enhance patient safety.

    • Goal #1 -  The student will be clinically competent in the planning of treatment.
      • Student Learning Outcome: The student will demonstrate clinical adaptability.
      • Student Learning Outcome: The student will demonstrate treatment planning skills.
    • Goal #2 - The student will communicate effectively with patients, faculty, and staff.
      • Student Learning Outcome: The student will demonstrate oral communication.
      • Student Learning Outcome: The student will demonstrate written communication.
    • Goal #3 - The student will develop critical thinking skills to enhance patient safety.
      • Student Learning Outcome: The student will develop patient safety skills.
    • Goal #4 - The student will demonstrate professionalism.
      • Student Learning Outcome: The student will behave and act professionally (on time, reliable, dressed professionally).
      • Student Learning Outcome: The student will participate in continuing education.
      • Student Learning Outcome:  The student will communicate professionalism both orally and through the written word.

Program Handbook and Assessment Plan

    Program Advisory Committee

    • Robert D. Adams, EdD
      Clinical Assistant Professor 
      Dosimetry Program Director

    • Ron Chen, MD, MPH
      Assistant Professor
      Clinical Division

    • Elaine M. Zeman, PhD
      Research Associate Professor

      Cancer Biology Division

    • Katharin Burkhardt, MS
      Assistant Director of Medical Physics and Dosimetry
      Medical Dosimetry Supervisor

    Program Faculty and Professional Staff

    All students in our medical dosimetry program are under the tutelage of radiation oncologists, medical physicists, radiation biologists, certified medical dosimetrists, and certified radiation therapists.  Program faculty include UNC School of Medicine faculty and UNC Hospitals professional staff.

    Academic Policy and Curriculum

    The Program is a 13 month certificate program based at The UNC Hospitals Department of Radiation Oncology in Chapel Hill, NC.  At present, the Program does NOT offer online courses or other distance education options.

    The educational format includes both didactic sessions and clinical practicums.  Students are expected to participate in clinical and research conferences, quality assurance, three dimensional external beam treatment planning, low and high dose rate brachytherapy, stereotactic and intraoperative radiotherapy, and clinical education.

    Students are expected to adhere to high academic standards of performance and ethics, and display appropriate professional behavior during all phases of their educational experience.  Students are also required to abide by all program policies as outlined in the Program's Master Plan of Education and the Student Handbook.

    Courses include:

    (Note: A 3 credit-hour course consists of approximately 37.5 classroom or contact hours)

     

    Course

    Credit-Hours (Semester)

    MD 500 Orientation to Radiation Oncology

    This course provides the student with an overview of radiation therapy and its role in the management of cancer and allied diseases.

    1 hour
    (first, Fall)

    MD 501 Introduction to Medical Dosimetry

    This course is an introduction to medical dosimetry techniques at the UNC Department of Radiation Oncology. Includes treatment charts, patient information flow, and basic and irregular field calculations.

    1 hour 
    (first, Fall)

    MD 504 Research Methodology and Design Statistics I

    This course provides an introduction to basic research methodology and statistics; students select a research project.

    3 hours
    (first, Fall)

    MD 506 Clinical Education I

    This course provides an introduction to basic medical dosimetry and hands on experience in the radiation oncology clinic. Activities are supervised by professional staff of the UNC Department of Radiation Oncology.

    6 hours
    (first, Fall)

    MD 509 Radiation Safety and Protection

    This course provides an introduction to radiation sources used for therapy.  Includes radiation detection and measurement, source handling, surveys, maximum permissible doses, room design, and government regulations.

    1 hour 
    (first, Fall)

    MD 510 Anatomy for Radiation Oncology

    This course teaches human anatomy with an emphasis on sectional anatomy and topography as they apply to radiation oncology.

    1 hour 
    (first, Fall)

    MD 511 Radiation Oncology Pathology

    This course provides an introduction to the staging and grading of tumors, and to normal tissue responses to radiation injury.

    1 hour 
    (first, Fall)

     

    Course

    Credit-Hours (Semester)

    MD 502 Medical Dosimetry Physics

    This course teaches basic theories and calculations for radiation oncology.

    3 hours 
    (second, Spring)

    MD 505 Research Methodology and Design Statistics II

    This course is a continuation of MD 504, ending with the completion of the students' projects.

    3 hours 
    (second, Spring)

    MD 507 Clinical Education II

    This course consists of training in intermediate medical dosimetry concepts and techniques. Activities are supervised by professional staff of the UNC Department of Radiation Oncology.

    6 hours 
    (second, Spring)

    MD 513 Radiation and Cancer Biology

    This course provides an overview of the molecular, cellular and tissue biology of cancer, and of radiation biology as it applies to radiotherapy.

    3 hours 
    (second, Spring)

    MD 514  Clinical Radiation Oncology

    This course provides a site-specific overview of the different types of cancer treated using radiation therapy.

    3 hours 
    (second, Spring)

     

    Course

    Credit-Hours (Semester)

    MD 503 Brachytherapy Dosimetry

    This course teaches the physics of brachytherapy, including source characteristics, dosimetry systems, and dose calculations.

    2 hours 
    (third, Summer)

    MD 508 Clinical Education III

    This course consists of training in advanced medical dosimetry concepts and techniques.  Activities are supervised by professional staff of the UNC Department of Radiation Oncology.

    6 hours 
    (third, Summer)

    MD 512 Special Topics in Radiation Oncology

    This course teaches professional aspects of radiation oncology.

    3 hours 
    (third, Summer)

    Total = 43 credit-hours

     

    Academic Calendar

    Orientation begins in late July of each year, with a completion date of August of the following year. Attendance is required Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 4:30 PM (standard 40 hour work week).  Students are allowed a total of 11 UNC Hospitals-designated holidays, plus an additional 5 days for vacation and one day for "personal time".

    Admissions

    In order to be considered for the program, the applicant must be a US citizen, have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, and ARRT certification in radiation therapy. At least two years of additional clinical radiation therapy experience is recommended. Having met the program prerequisites, the applicant must then:

    • Complete and submit a UNC Dosimetry Program Application Form.
    • Submit transcripts from all high schools (if less than 5 years since graduation), and institutions of higher education attended.
    • Submit three letters of recommendation.

    After completion and submission of the application package, the Admissions Committee then considers as much information as possible when evaluating a candidate's qualifications for the study and practice of medical dosimetry.  The Admissions Committee will invite selected candidates to proceed to the next step, a personal interview.  The personal interview enables prospective students to obtain more information about the Program, and allows the Committee to better assess such factors as motivation and interpersonal communication skills.

    Letters of invitation to interview are sent via the US Postal Service, typically by April 1.  A single interview session is scheduled for a Saturday or Sunday morning in late March or early April.  An interview “make-up date” will NOT be offered.

    • Selection for a personal interview does not guarantee admission into the Program.
    • A criminal background check and drug test is required of all students accepted into the Program.
    • The Medical Dosimetry Program adheres to the UNC Healthcare System's Equal Employment Opportunity Policy, offering equal employment opportunity without regard to race, national origin, gender, age, religious affiliation or disability.

    Technical Standards for Medical Dosimetrists

    • Demonstrate oral and written proficiency in the English language, including the ability to read, interpret and apply written instructions (treatment charts, notes, records, technical publications, equipment manuals, etc.).
    • Communicate effectively with faculty, fellow students, physicians, and all members of the health care team.
    • Maintain intellectual and emotional stability and maturity under stress while also maintaining appropriate performance standards.
    • Lift 30 pounds of weight (treatment cones, blocks for treatment, ancillary aids), including the ability to lift such heavy items overhead up to 6 feet.
    • Push a standard wheelchair from the waiting room to the treatment room, and move immobile patients from a stretcher to a treatment or diagnostic table.
    • Possess sufficient audio acuity to perceive and interpret audio signals from equipment during treatment or treatment planning.
    • Possess sufficient visual acuity – corrected to 20/20 – to observe patients and equipment operation during treatment or treatment planning; have adequate perception of depth and color; and be able to view computer monitors for extended periods.
    • Grasp complex three-dimensional spatial relationships.
    • Have sufficient manual dexterity to carry out all aspects of medical dosimetry procedures.

    Graduation and Certification Examination Requirements

    Before a student enrolled in the UNC Hospitals Medical Dosimetry Program can be deemed eligible to apply for the MDCB Examination, he or she must fulfill the following requirements:

    • The student must have completed the academic requirements of the Program successfully, as well as all research papers and other projects before being allowed to graduate.
    • The student must have all fees and other Program charges paid in full.
    • The student must return all state property in their possesion, or else remit payment(s) for lost, stolen or damaged property.
    • The student must have at least 6 month of post-graduation clinical experience.

    It is ultimately the responsibility of the student to verify that he or she is eligible to take the MDCB examination.  Previous convictions or other legal problems may make the individual ineligible.

    The UNC Hospitals Medical Dosimetry Program cannot absolutely guarantee the student will be eligible to take the examination despite fulfilling the requirements; the final decision is made by the MDCB.

    Transfer Credit

    The Program is a one year certificate program, and as such, does not accept transfer students.

    If an already-enrolled student in our program wishes to transfer to another medical dosimetry certificate program (that does accept transfers) or continue his or her higher education, it is the responsibility of the student to ascertain which, if any, UNC Hospitals Medical Dosimetry Program courses would be transferable to the other program or institution.

    Student Services

    Students enrolled in the UNC Hospitals Medical Dosimetry Program have access to four UNC-Chapel Hill academic libraries, UNC Healthcare computer laboratories and tutors, medical and undergraduate bookstores, and the UNC Hospitals recreational facilities.

    Students are responsible for their own health insurance coverage and living expenses. The Program does not participate in Title IV financial aid. 

    Tuition and Fees

    There is no tuition for the Program, although the following non-refundable, one-time costs do apply:

    • Computer/Dosimetry Laboratory Fee:  $1,500
    • Textbooks:  approximately $300

    Deadlines

    The deadline for receipt of Program application materials is March 1 of each year, for planned enrollment in July of the same year.

    Program Effectiveness Data (past 5 years)

    OutcomeMeasurement
    Tool
    BenchmarkTimeframeResponsible
    Party
    Results
    (Number of Students)
    Attrition Program completion rate 50% Annual Program Director (reported annually to the Advisory Committee)

    2013: 0% (1)

    2012: 0% (2)

    2011: 0% (2)

    2010: 0% (2)

    2009: 0% (2)
    Pass Rate Credentialing exam pass rate 75% 5-year average pass rate at first attempt within 12 months of graduation

    Program Director (reported annually to the Advisory Committee)

    2013: 100% (1/1)

    2012: 100% (2/2) 

    2011: 100% (2/2)

    2010: 100% (2/2)

    2009: 100% (2/2)
    Employment Job placement rate 75% 5-year average job placement rate within 12 months of graduation Program Director (reported annually to the Advisory Committee)

    2013: 100% (1/1)

    2012: 100% (2/2) 

    2011: 100% (2/2)

    2010: 100% (2/2)

    2009: 100% (2/2)
    Graduate Satisfaction Graduate survey (after a minimum of one year's employment) At least a 4 on a 5 point scale Annual Program Director (reported annually to the Advisory Committee)

    2013: 4.5/5

    2012: 4.4/5 

    2011: 4.3/5 

    2010: 4.2/5 

    2009: 4.2/5

    Employer Satisfaction Employer survey (after a minimum of one year's employment) At least a 4 on a 5 point scale Annual Program Director (reported annually to the Advisory Committee)

    2013: 4.8/5

    2012: 4.8/5

    2011: 4.7/5  

    2010: 4.6/5 

    2009: 4.6/5

     

    Need Additional Information?

    For additional information about our Medical Dosimetry Program beyond that provided above, please contact:

    Robert D. Adams, RT(R)(T), CMD, MPH, EdD
    Program Director, Radiation Therapy and Medical Dosimetry Programs
    Department of Radiation Oncology
    North Carolina Cancer Hospital
    101 Manning Drive
    Chapel Hill, NC 27514

    Phone: (919) 445-5210
    E-Mail: Robert_Adams@med.unc.edu