What does a Nuclear Medicine Physician do?

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

Jobs Roles

  • Test dosage evaluation instruments and survey meters to ensure they are operating properly.
  • Teach nuclear medicine, diagnostic radiology, or other specialties at graduate educational level.
  • Schedule examinations and staff activities.
  • Provide advice on the selection of nuclear medicine supplies or equipment.
  • Monitor cleanup of radioactive spills to ensure that proper procedures are followed and that decontamination activities are conducted.
  • Monitor handling of radioactive materials to ensure that established procedures are followed.
  • Formulate plans and procedures for nuclear medicine departments.
  • Direct the safe management and disposal of radioactive substances.
  • Establish and enforce radiation protection standards for patients and staff.
  • Advise other physicians of the clinical indications, limitations, assessments, or risks of diagnostic and therapeutic applications of radioactive materials.
  • Conduct laboratory procedures, such as radioimmunoassay studies of blood or urine, using radionuclides.
  • Review procedure requests and patients' medical histories to determine applicability of procedures and radioisotopes to be used.
  • Prescribe radionuclides and dosages to be administered to individual patients.
  • Prepare comprehensive interpretive reports of findings.
  • Perform cardiovascular nuclear medicine procedures such as exercise testing and pharmacologic stress testing.
  • Monitor quality control of radionuclide preparation, administration, or disposition ensuring that activities comply with applicable regulations and standards.
  • Direct nuclear medicine technologists or technicians regarding desired dosages, techniques, positions, and projections.
  • Interview and physically examine patients prior to testing.
  • Determine appropriate tests or protocols based on patients' needs or conditions.
  • Compare nuclear medicine procedures with other types of procedures such as computed tomography, ultrasonography, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, and angiography.
  • Consult with patients following radiation treatments to provide information and assess outcomes or to recommend further consultation or treatments as appropriate.
  • Consult with anesthesiologists regarding recommended dosages or combinations of sedative drugs.
  • Calculate, measure, or prepare radioisotope dosages.
  • Check and approve the quality of diagnostic images before patients are discharged.
  • Administer radioisotopes to clinical patients or research subjects.
  • Interpret imaging data and confer with other medical specialists to formulate diagnoses.
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