Radiation & Safety

Questions you may want to ask your radiation oncologist about the quality assurance at the clinic where you will be receiving therapy.

Training/Education Questions

  • Are my radiation oncologist and the medical physicist certified by the American Board of Radiology (ABR)? When do their certifications expire?
  • Do the doctor and physicist review each patient’s plan? How often?
  • Do the staff here participate in multidisciplinary tumor boards?
  • Do all staff regularly participate in continuing medical education?
  • Tell me about the staff training given before using new technologies.

Treating Planning Questions

  • Who is involved in planning my radiation treatment?
  • How is the treatment plan checked to make sure it is best for me?
  • What procedures do you have in place so that the treatment team is able to treat me safely?
  • How can I be assured that my treatment is being done correctly every day?
  • What is the difference between a medical error and a side effect?

Questions for During Treatment

  • What kinds of safety checks do you perform each day?
  • How often does the medical physicist check the various machines involved during my treatment are working properly?

Questions to Ask After I Finish Treatment

  • If I have side effects after my treatment, who can I call? You? My primary care doctor?
  • I have a question about a radiation treatment I had many years ago. Who should I call?

General Questions

  • If the equipment isn’t working and my treatment is delayed or postponed, who checks that it is safe to use again? And will this delay affect my cancer?
  • Do you have weekly chart rounds where you review patient-related information in peer review?
  • Will you take imaging scans regularly during my treatment to verify position of my treatment? Who reviews those scans?