Nuclear Medicine Physicians

Health Science > Therapeutic Services

Projected Growth: Faster than average

16500+
Projected Job Openings

Extensive Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Diagnose and treat diseases using radioactive materials and techniques. May monitor radionuclide preparation, administration, and disposition.

Common job titles of Nuclear Medicine Physicians include:
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Experience and Education

Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

  • 78.26% said they needed a Post-Doctoral Training.

  • 17.39% said they needed a Doctoral Degree.

Tasks & Responsibilities

Essential Tasks

    Interpret imaging data and confer with other medical specialists to formulate diagnoses.

    Calculate, measure, or prepare radioisotope dosages.

    Monitor handling of radioactive materials to ensure that established procedures are followed.

    Compare nuclear medicine procedures with other types of procedures, such as computed tomography, ultrasonography, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, and angiography.

    Direct nuclear medicine technologists or technicians regarding desired dosages, techniques, positions, and projections.

    Determine appropriate tests or protocols, based on patients' needs or conditions.

    Review procedure requests and patients' medical histories to determine applicability of procedures and radioisotopes to be used.

    Establish and enforce radiation protection standards for patients and staff.

    Check and approve the quality of diagnostic images before patients are discharged.

    Prepare comprehensive interpretive reports of findings.

    Teach nuclear medicine, diagnostic radiology, or other specialties at graduate educational level.

    Prescribe radionuclides and dosages to be administered to individual patients.

    Perform cardiovascular nuclear medicine procedures, such as exercise testing and pharmacologic stress testing.

    Test dosage evaluation instruments and survey meters to ensure they are operating properly.


Regular Tasks

    Administer radioisotopes to clinical patients or research subjects.

    Consult with patients following radiation treatments to provide information and assess outcomes or to recommend further consultation or treatments, as appropriate.

    Interview and physically examine patients prior to testing.

    Monitor quality control of radionuclide preparation, administration, or disposition, ensuring that activities comply with applicable regulations and standards.

    Advise other physicians of the clinical indications, limitations, assessments, or risks of diagnostic and therapeutic applications of radioactive materials.


Occasional Tasks

    Formulate plans and procedures for nuclear medicine departments.

    Provide advice on the selection of nuclear medicine supplies or equipment.

    Schedule examinations and staff activities.

    Consult with anesthesiologists regarding recommended dosages or combinations of sedative drugs.

    Conduct laboratory procedures, such as radioimmunoassay studies of blood or urine, using radionuclides.

    Direct the safe management and disposal of radioactive substances.

    Monitor cleanup of radioactive spills to ensure that proper procedures are followed and that decontamination activities are conducted.

What Tools and Technologies do Nuclear Medicine Physicians use?

Tools

Well counters

Ultrasound bone density scanners

Tablet computers

Stress treadmill machines

Slant-hole collimators

Single position emission computed tomography/computed tomography SPECT/CT imaging equipment

Semiautomated or automatic external defibrillators AED

All Tools

Scintillation probes

Safety goggles

Radiation shielding gloves

Radiation measurement phantoms

Portable radiation survey meters

Pinhole collimators

Personal computers

Parallel-hole collimators

Microhematocrit centrifuges

Metal laboratory tongs

Mercury blood pressure measuring equipment

Medical single photo emission computed tomography SPECT equipment

Medical safety masks

Medical positron emission tomography PET scanners

Medical picture archiving computer systems PACS

Medical examination protective gloves

Mechanical stethoscopes

Magnetic resonance imaging MRI systems

Laptop computers

Laboratory transfer pipettes

Laboratory test tubes

Intravenous IV sets

Hypodermic syringes

Glass beakers

Gamma ray cameras

Fan-beam collimators

Exercise bicycles

Electrocardiography EKG machines

Dosimetry badges

Dose calibrators

Diverging collimators

Digital ratemeters

Diagnostic ultrasound equipment

Desktop computers

Converging collimators

Cone-beam collimators

Computed tomography CT systems

Beta vial shields

Automated blood pressure cuffs

Technologies

ACOM Solutions RAPID EMR

Allscripts Professional EHR

Alteer Office

Digital image processing software

Digital Imaging Communications in Medicine DICOM medical imaging software

eClinicalWorks

GE Healthcare Centricity EMR

All Technologies

Motion correction software

NextGen Healthcare Information Systems EMR

Patient electronic medical record EMR software

Radiopharmacy inventory databases

Scheduling software

SOAPware EMR

What Skills Do Nuclear Medicine Physicians Need to Have?

Skills

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Speaking

Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Writing

Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Science

Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Monitoring

Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Service Orientation

Actively looking for ways to help people.

Learning Strategies

Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Coordination

Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Instructing

Teaching others how to do something.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Mathematics

Using mathematics to solve problems.

Persuasion

Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Systems Evaluation

Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

Management of Personnel Resources

Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

Abilities

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Sensory Abilities › Visual Abilities › Near Vision

See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression

Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity

Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Auditory and Speech Abilities › Sensory Abilities › Speech Clarity

Speak clearly so others can understand you.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Information Ordering

Arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Category Flexibility

Generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

Cognitive Abilities › Perceptual Abilities › Flexibility of Closure

Identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.

Fine Manipulative Abilities › Psychomotor Abilities › Arm-Hand Steadiness

Keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Fluency of Ideas

Come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).

Everything Nuclear Medicine Physicians Should Know…

Knowledge

Medicine and Dentistry

Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

English Language

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Biology

Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Physics

Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

Computers and Electronics

Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Education and Training

Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Chemistry

Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Mathematics

Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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