Medical Use of Radioactive Materials

A physician who administers radioactive material to humans must have specific training and experience. This also applies to medical physicists who conduct the treatment planning for specific cancer treatments. Physicians who want to become an Authorized User (AU) of radioactive materials and medical physicists who want to become an Authorized Medical Physicist (AMP) for gamma knife treatments must be approved by the Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) 

Certain types of medical imaging, studies, and treatments involve the use of radioactive material either internal or external to the body. Regulations are very specific regarding the training and experience required for physicians who administer radioactive materials to humans and medical physicist involved in the treatment planning for certain types of cancer treatment. These individuals must be approved by the RSC.

Authorized User

A physician who has been approved by the RSC for the administration for radioactive materials into humans is called an Authorized User (AU). AUs are only allowed to prescribe and administer the types of radioactive material use listed on their authorization.

Authorized Medical Physicist

A medical physicist who has been approved by the RSC for treatment planning involving the use of radioactive materials is called an Authorized Medical Physicist (AMP). AMPs are only allowed to conduct treatment planning for the types of treatments listed on their authorization.

The types of medical imaging and studies that require AU status include:

  • Uptake, dilution, and excretion studies that use unsealed radioactive material
  • Imaging and localization studies that use unsealed radioactive material

The types of medical treatment that require AU and/or AMP status include:

  • Treatments involving the use of I-131 or other radionuclides
  • Manual brachytherapy
  • Gamma knife
  • Y-90 microspheres

What you need to know

A physician or medical physicist who desires AU or AMP status should contact Radiation Safety. You will be required to submit documentation that shows you meet the regulatory requirements for the type of use you are requesting. The RSC will review your documentation and then either approve or deny the request. A denial may include actions necessary to obtain approval.

Glossary

a physician who has been approved by the RSC for medical use of radioactive material.

a medical physicist who has been approved by the RSC for treatment methods that require AMP status (such as the gamma knife).

Contact

EH&S Radiation Safety

(206) 543-0463