Physics Assistant

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital Boston , MA 02298

Posted 4 months ago


The Radiation Oncology department of Massachusetts General Hospital every year treats more than 3000 patients with photon and proton radiotherapy. The physics-technical group, consisting of medical physicists, medical physics assistants, engineers, and information systems experts, is responsible for the clinical physics and technical aspects of patient treatments.

Under supervision of a Qualified Medical Physicist (QMP) as defined by the Massachusetts Department of Radiation Control, the medical physics assistant (MPA) is proficient with the use of radiation detection devices and is responsible for quality assurance (QA) of radiation equipment, radiation detection devices, and for managing data. The MPA assists in validating new radiotherapy technology, plays an active role in improving the existing quality control (QC) program, and supports daily clinical physics tasks. The MPA's tasks require the ability to self-manage daily responsibilities.


  • Perform and document QA activities including, but not limited to, measurements involving radiation devices and equipment, e.g. medical accelerators. Communicate the results to the appropriate staff in a timely manner to minimize delays in patient treatments and/or miscommunications.

  • QA and QC tasks require work in late evenings several times a week, and, occasionally, during the weekend.

  • Supervise, maintain, and properly use dosimetry equipment such as ionization chambers, electrometers, water phantom scanning systems, daily check devices, ion chamber arrays, computers used with equipment, computer software, thermometers, barometers, small tool inventory, etc.

  • Assists the QMP in acceptance testing and calibration of new equipment.

  • Maintains an orderly lab for the storage and use of physics equipment.

  • Participates in a technical capacity to assess and improve equipment and procedures that relate to quality assurance.

  • Participates in research and development projects in collaboration with Medical Physicists and other department researchers under the direction of the supervising physicist.

  • Participates in the training of new staff, including but not limited to Medical Physics Residents, Research Fellows, and other staff as directed by the supervising physicist

  • Assists the QMP in performing functions related to radiation safety, which include but are not limited to radiation surveys.

  • Participate in other technical activities, under the direction of a QMP, in order to ensure coverage during critical staff shortages.

  • Communicates with colleagues in the physics-technical group to improve QA/QC techniques. These improvements may be related to cost reduction, better efficiency, better fit and patient comfort, better accuracy, and automation.

  • Maintains communication with radiation therapists, engineers, dosimetrists and physicists to identify weak and strong points with the various processes and suggest improvements when applicable.

  • Reviews and writes protocols and ensures they are up to date and evaluates and suggests specific solutions that would result in improved workflow.

  • Participates in intradepartmental educational sessions or meetings that pertain to hardware QA/QC.


Must have outstanding verbal and written communication skills to relate important clinically relevant information to other professionals.

Must be able to make decisions independently and acknowledge accountability for such decisions.

Must be able to apply advanced math and physics principles with critical thinking to solve problems independently.

Must be able to manage day-to-day activity as assigned by a team leader or supervisor.

Must be able to prioritize tasks to ensure QA/QC is done in a timely fashion

Must be able to maintain activity logs documenting up-to-date equipment QA/QC.

Must be able to use mechanical tools for various aspects of device QA/QC.

Must be proficient with Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook software and have the ability to easily learn other software applications.

Demonstrates an understanding of Disaster protocols to include: fire, safety, patient confidentiality, etc. per the mandatory training, as outlined by MGH guidelines.


Not Applicable


Minimum Required: Bachelor's Degree

Preferred: Bachelor's Degree or Master's Degree related to medical/health physics

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Physics Assistant

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital