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2019-2020 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog
Medical Dosimetry - Program Description
For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the College of Health Professions section of this catalog.
Master of Science in medical dosimetry
A medical dosimetrist is a key member of the radiation oncology team who has knowledge of the overall characteristics and clinical relevance of radiation oncology treatment machines and equipment and has the education and expertise necessary to generate radiation dose distributions and dose calculations in collaboration with medical physicists, radiation therapists, and radiation oncologists. The medical dosimetrist uses computer software to design radiation plans to treat both cancerous and benign diseases using external x-ray beams and internal radiation sources. Dosimetrists seek to minimize radiation exposure to healthy structures yet deliberately deliver a high dose of radiation to target structures. They work closely with physicians, therapists, and physicists to ensure a high-quality treatment and patient care.
Grand Valley State University Medical Dosimetry
The program awards the degree Master of Science in medical dosimetry following completion of a hybrid 12-month (three semesters) curriculum of professional studies. There is a part time option available for students currently holding professional clinical appointments (up to six semesters). Students begin the professional curriculum after they have been admitted into the program (see Application Procedures). During the hybrid professional curriculum, students engage in coursework including human anatomy, sectional anatomy, physiology, clinical applications, pathophysiology, physics, medical physics, medical dosimetry procedures, professional issues, and research methods. The curriculum combines traditional classroom sessions with Web-based instruction, case studies, and problem-based learning (PBL) to provide students with the knowledge, critical thinking skills, and clinical acumen to become practicing clinical medical dosimetrists upon graduation. Students spend the entire length of the program in a practicing medical dosimetry clinical education center. Clinical education varies from two to four days per week and clinical locations are across the United States. As part of the master's degree curriculum, students must complete a research project or thesis. Students are encouraged to submit their research to a national forum upon completion.
All applicants must meet the prerequisite requirements and criteria for admission to the M.S. program, realizing that some bring with them a wealth of life and career experience that enriches the diversity of the program.
The Grand Valley State University medical dosimetry program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). The program adheres to JRCERT standards. Students have the right to notify the JRCERT if they believe the university is not adhering to these standards. The JRCERT is at 20 N. Wacker Dr., Suite 2850, Chicago, IL 60606-3182, phone (312) 704-5300 (www.jrcert.org). This accreditation meets eligibility requirements for program graduates to sit for the national Medical Dosimetrist Certification Board (MDCB) examination which, upon successful completion, confers the title certified medical dosimetrist (CMD).
Admission to the medical dosimetry program is competitive. Application can be made through the GVSU graduate admission website at www.gvsu.edu/grad/dosimetry/. Initial review of applications for fall begins February 1; rolling admissions accepted until all clinical placements are filled. At the time of application students must submit a plan that demonstrates how the prerequisites and undergraduate degree requirements will be completed prior to the start of the program. Applicants who are selected for the program and can demonstrate completion of these requirements prior to the start of the program will be issued letters of conditional admission, which will convert to full admission upon successful completion of the entire plan. A plan for completion should be submitted as an additional page to the application. There is not a form for this document.
High school seniors interested in medical dosimetry must complete an undergraduate application to Grand Valley State University at www.gvsu.edu/admissions/. The most common and recommended major for students admitted to Grand Valley is radiation therapy. Students must complete a secondary application for admission into the undergraduate radiation therapy program.
Undergraduate transfer students interested in medical dosimetry must complete an undergraduate application to Grand Valley State University at www.gvsu.edu/admissions/. Students are strongly encouraged to transfer to Grand Valley prior to or by the beginning of their junior year to ensure completion of their undergraduate degree and pre-professional requirements. Students applying to the radiation therapy program should consult with an academic advisor from Grand Valley's College of Health Professions Student Services, preferably before entering Grand Valley or very soon thereafter: www.gvsu.edu/chpss/.
Admission to the Master of Science in Medical Dosimetry
- Academic achievement: A minimum grade of C must be attained in all prerequisite coursework. Applicants must demonstrate a minimum 3.0 GPA in the prerequisite coursework and in their last 60 hours of coursework to be considered for admission. All prerequisite coursework and a bachelor's degree are required prior to the start of the program.
- Health care experience: Documentation of minimum of 16 hours of volunteer/paid health care experience or two to three hours of job shadowing experience.
- References: Three recommendations from health professionals must be submitted on university recommended forms located within the graduate application. Separate letters from references are NOT required. Only three references will be accepted.
- Writing samples: Satisfactory individual writing samples are required of all final applicants.
- Prerequisites: The following courses or their equivalents must be completed prior to admission:
PHY 220 - General Physics I with Lab
PHY 221 - General Physics II with Lab
RIS 320 - Principles of Radiographic Imaging
RIS 441 - Sectional Anatomy
RIS 458 - Neoplastic Pathophysiology
RIT 330 - Principles and Practices of Radiation Therapy I
RIT 331 - Principles and Practices of Radiation Therapy I Lab
RIT 401 - Computer Applications
- The following course is recommended:
Foreign-born applicants should be able to communicate well in English. Test scores from the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), or IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery) or PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic) for applicants whose native language is not English. The following minimum scores are expected: TOEFL is 80, IELTS is 6.5, MELAB is 77, and PTE Academic is 53.
International students: For an applicant to obtain a student F-1 student visa for studies in the U.S., federal regulations require that the majority of the program be offered in-seat at the designated school. Although our medical dosimetry program does require students to meet periodically in person, the fact that it is primarily done online impacts access to a student visa. Student's seeking an F-1 visa for program studies in the U.S. will not be eligible for this program. It is important to note that this does not apply to students living abroad who have U.S. citizenship or U.S. green card status.
Grand Valley State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution. It encourages diversity and provides equal opportunity in education, employment, all of its programs, and the use of its facilities. Applicants are considered without regard to age, color, disability, familial status, height, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, or weight. Motivational factors, life experiences, patient care experience, maturity, and personal characteristics as assessed in personal interviews and recommendations are important factors in the selection process. An applicant's academic record is important as an indicator of ability to succeed in an intensive and rigorous medical curriculum.
Specific selection criteria:
- Academic grade point average from prerequisite courses
- Academic grade point average from last two calendar years in college or university
- Writing assessment/personal statement
- Health care experience: Minimum of 16 hours of volunteer/paid health care experience or two or three hours job shadowing experience
- Additional leadership considerations
Demonstration of completion of the 37 credits in the professional curriculum is required for the student to be granted the M.S. in medical dosimetry degree. General graduate academic policies and regulations can be found elsewhere in this catalog or in the Grand Valley State University graduate bulletin.
In addition, for each RMD course or a discrete unit of instruction in the professional curriculum, a minimum proficiency level of 80 percent on all evaluations as described in each course syllabus is required. A minimum grade of B- or higher is required for passing all RMD courses. In addition, the GPA must never drop below 3.0 in any semester or the student may be placed on academic probation or dismissed from the program.
The program also subscribes to a belief in continual advancement during the course of professional study in a compilation of abilities. Interpersonal skills, communication skills, responsibility, and professionalism, among others, are identified as being crucial for success in the profession. Advancement in skill and behavior applicable to such abilities is expected during the professional curriculum. Clinical evaluation includes measurement of affective skills which must continually be met through the clinical advising program for students to continue in clinical education courses. Failure to achieve adequate progress in the clinical advising program will result in a failing grade being issued for that course. All students in the program are expected to comply with the ethical principles that embody the practice of medicine and the medical dosimetry profession. Community service is also expected as is professional scholarship achievements while enrolled in the program.
Criminal background checks and drug screening is required prior to admission into the program. After enrollment, some clinical education centers require additional criminal background checks and drug screenings. These requirements for attendance at clinical education centers are carried out by the GVSU Compliance Office. Positive findings for any compliance office request may negatively impact the educational process at GVSU or future credentialing as a medical dosimetrist. The costs of these evaluations or any other required clinical placement evaluations are the responsibility of the applicant or student.
The following program is available: