A medical physicist is a person who applies the principles of physics to direct, contain, and control radiation used for medical purposes. Some of the responsibilities of medical physicists are: protecting patients and others from unsafe and unnecessary exposure to radiation; obtaining high quality images; and delivering the proper dose of radiation to the specified area.
Only licensed medical physicists who are currently registered may use the title licensed medical physicist. Only licensed medical physicists who are currently registered may practice medical physics in New York State.
Some of the functions of a medical physicist are: calculating patient dosage; analyzing and interpreting measurements associated with inspecting, testing, and calibrating equipment; overseeing proper disposal of radioactive waste, and designing the shielding needed around radiation sources.
There are four specialty areas of medical physics in the law and the licenses are specific to one area. A medical physicist can only practice medical physics in a specialty if they have the license in that specialty. A medical physicist may be licensed in more than one specialty and some are licensed in all four.
The specialty areas are:
Most licensed medical physicists have a master's or doctoral degree in medical physics, physics, another physical science, mathematics, or engineering. Licensed medical physicists without a master's or higher degree have at least 15 years of experience in each specialty area in which they are licensed. All have study or experience or both in radiation protection, radiation biology, dosimetry, and instrumentation. And, all have experience in each specialty area in which they are licensed. You may verify an individual's license and registration.