Nuclear Medicine Physician Career

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

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Nuclear Medicine Physician Career

What Nuclear Medicine Physicians do:

  • Advise other physicians of the clinical indications, limitations, assessments, or risks of diagnostic and therapeutic applications of radioactive materials.
  • Check and approve the quality of diagnostic images before patients are discharged.
  • Compare nuclear medicine procedures with other types of procedures such as computed tomography, ultrasonography, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, and angiography.
  • Determine appropriate tests or protocols based on patients' needs or conditions.
  • Direct nuclear medicine technologists or technicians regarding desired dosages, techniques, positions, and projections.
  • Establish and enforce radiation protection standards for patients and staff.
  • Formulate plans and procedures for nuclear medicine departments.
  • Interpret imaging data and confer with other medical specialists to formulate diagnoses.
  • Monitor handling of radioactive materials to ensure that established procedures are followed.
  • Prepare comprehensive interpretive reports of findings.
  • Provide advice on the selection of nuclear medicine supplies or equipment.
  • Review procedure requests and patients' medical histories to determine applicability of procedures and radioisotopes to be used.
  • Monitor cleanup of radioactive spills to ensure that proper procedures are followed and that decontamination activities are conducted.
  • Monitor quality control of radionuclide preparation, administration, or disposition ensuring that activities comply with applicable regulations and standards.
  • Prescribe radionuclides and dosages to be administered to individual patients.
  • Teach nuclear medicine, diagnostic radiology, or other specialties at graduate educational level.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Administer radioisotopes to clinical patients or research subjects.
  • Direct the safe management and disposal of radioactive substances.
  • Calculate, measure, or prepare radioisotope dosages.
  • 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.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Staffing Organizational Units - Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Holland Code Chart for a Nuclear Medicine Physician