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Isaac D. Valdez, MSRS, CMD* and Kevin R. Clark, EdD, RT(R)(QM)**
* Proton Therapy Center, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1840 Old Spanish Trail, Houston, TX 77054, USA
** School of Health Professions, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Unit 0 0 02, Houston, TX 77030, USA
The purpose of this study was to examine the conﬁdence and proﬁciency levels of medical dosimetry graduates as they transition from student to professional during their ﬁrst employment as medical dosimetrists. In addition, this study explored the support provided by employers to assist those medical dosimetry graduates during this transitional period. With assistance from the Medical Dosimetrist Certi- ﬁcation Board (MDCB), individuals who graduated from a Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology accredited medical dosimetry program between 2011 and 2018 and earned MDCB certiﬁcation between 2012 and 2018 were invited to complete an original survey detailing their experiences during their ﬁrst employment as medical dosimetrists. Data were collected using Qualtrics and analyzed with IBM’s SPSS. Most (93, 56.7%) participants indicated a moderate conﬁdence level in their abilities to function as medical dosimetrists and suggested it took approximately 6 months (56, 34.1%) to feel conﬁ- dent in their role as medical dosimetrists in the professional clinical setting. Regarding treatment planning techniques, participants indicated low proﬁciency levels in proton beam and brachytherapy plans and high proﬁciency levels in 3-dimensional conformal radiation therapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy, and electron beam plans. These ﬁndings suggest that educators should consider strengthening curricula and offering additional clinical rotations speciﬁc to those areas that lacked proﬁciency. Most (128, 78.0%) did not complete a dosimetry-speciﬁc new employee training program but believed such
support would have been somewhat helpful (44, 34.4%) during their transition from student to professional. Hiring managers and dosimetry supervisors may ﬁnd it beneﬁcial to implement support measures to assist medical dosimetry graduates as they transition from student to professional.