A Radiation Oncologists a physician who specializes in treating cancer with radiation. After completing medical school, and 4 years of residency training, they are required to complete the American Board of Radiology certification examination in Radiation Oncology, demonstrating knowledge in medical physics for radiation oncology, radiation and cancer biology and clinical radiation oncology. Board certified radiation oncologists have additional formal or informal training to perform brachytherapy procedures. Additional training varies between institutions, and it may take several months in an informal setting, or 1-2 years as a formal brachytherapy fellowship program.
Radiation Oncologists perform the brachytherapy procedures usually in the operating room, independently or in collaboration with other surgical specialists. Collaboration with medical physicist, radiation therapy, dosimetry and nursing staff ensures accuracy and safety of the procedures. Excellent clinical care and longitudinal follow up are the paramount in practice of brachytherapy.
Continuing medical education and active participation in the American Brachytherapy Society is one of the ways brachytherapists advance their up-to-date knowledge and expertise in performing the procedures. ABS offers professional development programs and knowledge and information exchange with other Radiation Oncologists practicing brachytherapy, medical physicist and other disciplines involved in practice of Brachytherapy. Networking with colleagues enhances practice and provides opportunity for mentorship. Brachy schools offered through ABS offer education for junior and senior staff with hands on experience, updated in technical aspect of the practice of Brachytherapy. Collaboration with the industry partners ensures innovation and advancements in technical aspects of the brachytherapy practice.