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Summary Report for:
29-1069.05 - Nuclear Medicine Physicians

Diagnose and treat diseases using radioactive materials and techniques. May monitor radionuclide preparation, administration, and disposition.

Sample of reported job titles: Assistant Professor of Radiology; Associate Professor of Medicine; Associate Professor of Radiology; Director of Nuclear Medicine; Medical Director, Nuclear Medicine Department; Medical Doctor, Nuclear Medicine; Nuclear Medicine Medical Director; Nuclear Medicine Physician; Nuclear Medicine Specialist; Physician

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Tasks  |  Technology Skills  |  Tools Used  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Prepare comprehensive interpretive reports of findings.
  • Check and approve the quality of diagnostic images before patients are discharged.
  • Establish and enforce radiation protection standards for patients and staff.
  • Interpret imaging data and confer with other medical specialists to formulate diagnoses.
  • Prescribe radionuclides and dosages to be administered to individual patients.
  • Review procedure requests and patients' medical histories to determine applicability of procedures and radioisotopes to be used.
  • Direct nuclear medicine technologists or technicians regarding desired dosages, techniques, positions, and projections.
  • Determine appropriate tests or protocols based on patients' needs or conditions.
  • Compare nuclear medicine procedures with other types of procedures such as computed tomography, ultrasonography, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, and angiography.
  • Monitor handling of radioactive materials to ensure that established procedures are followed.
  • Monitor quality control of radionuclide preparation, administration, or disposition ensuring that activities comply with applicable regulations and standards.
  • Advise other physicians of the clinical indications, limitations, assessments, or risks of diagnostic and therapeutic applications of radioactive materials.
  • Perform cardiovascular nuclear medicine procedures such as exercise testing and pharmacologic stress testing.
  • Administer radioisotopes to clinical patients or research subjects.
  • Interview and physically examine patients prior to testing.
  • Calculate, measure, or prepare radioisotope dosages.
  • Teach nuclear medicine, diagnostic radiology, or other specialties at graduate educational level.
  • Consult with patients following radiation treatments to provide information and assess outcomes or to recommend further consultation or treatments as appropriate.
  • Test dosage evaluation instruments and survey meters to ensure they are operating properly.
  • Monitor cleanup of radioactive spills to ensure that proper procedures are followed and that decontamination activities are conducted.
  • Formulate plans and procedures for nuclear medicine departments.
  • Direct the safe management and disposal of radioactive substances.
  • Provide advice on the selection of nuclear medicine supplies or equipment.
  • Schedule examinations and staff activities.

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Technology Skills

  • Calendar and scheduling software — Scheduling software
  • Electronic mail software — Email software
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Digital image processing software
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software
  • Medical software — GE Healthcare Centricity EMR; Motion correction software; Patient electronic medical record EMR software; Radiopharmacy inventory databases (see all 11 examples)
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Tools Used

  • Automated external defibrillators AED or hard paddles — Semiautomated or automatic external defibrillators AED
  • Desktop computers
  • Electrocardiography EKG units — Electrocardiography EKG machines
  • Electronic blood pressure units — Automated blood pressure cuffs
  • Goggles — Safety goggles
  • Intravenous tubing with catheter administration kits — Intravenous IV sets
  • Laboratory beakers — Glass beakers
  • Laboratory tongs — Metal laboratory tongs
  • Liquid scintillation counters — Well counters
  • Medical acoustic stethoscope or accessory — Mechanical stethoscopes
  • Medical computed tomography CT or CAT complete stationary unit installation — Computed tomography CT systems
  • Medical exam or non surgical procedure gloves — Medical examination protective gloves
  • Medical gamma cameras for general use — Gamma ray cameras
  • Medical magnetic resonance imaging MRI scanners — Magnetic resonance imaging MRI systems
  • Medical picture archiving computer systems PACS
  • Medical positron emission tomography PET units — Medical positron emission tomography PET scanners
  • Medical radiation dosimeters — Dose calibrators
  • Medical radiation films or badges — Dosimetry badges
  • Medical radiological shielding gloves — Radiation shielding gloves
  • Medical radiological shielding portable containers for radioactive materials — Beta vial shields
  • Medical single photon emission computed tomography SPECT units — Medical single photo emission computed tomography SPECT equipment; Single position emission computed tomography/computed tomography SPECT/CT imaging equipment
  • Medical staff isolation or surgical masks — Medical safety masks
  • Medical syringe with needle — Hypodermic syringes
  • Medical ultrasound bone densitometers — Ultrasound bone density scanners
  • Medical ultrasound or doppler or pulse echo or echography units for general diagnostic use — Diagnostic ultrasound equipment
  • Mercury blood pressure units — Mercury blood pressure measuring equipment
  • Microcentrifuges — Microhematocrit centrifuges
  • Multipurpose or general test tubes — Laboratory test tubes
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers
  • Pasteur or transfer pipettes — Laboratory transfer pipettes
  • Pedal exercisers for rehabilitation or therapy — Exercise bicycles
  • Personal computers
  • Phantom dosimeters — Radiation measurement phantoms
  • Radiation detectors — Digital ratemeters; Portable radiation survey meters; Scintillation probes
  • Tablet computers
  • Treadmills — Stress treadmill machines
  • X ray diffraction equipment — Cone-beam collimators; Converging collimators; Pinhole collimators; Slant-hole collimators (see all 7 examples)

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Knowledge

  • Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Skills

  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

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Abilities

  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Memorization — The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

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Work Activities

  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Prepare reports summarizing patient diagnostic or care activities.
  • Check quality of diagnostic images.
  • Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
  • Determine protocols for medical procedures.
  • Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.
  • Prescribe medications.
  • Verify that medical activities or operations meet standards.
  • Verify accuracy of patient information.
  • Develop medical treatment plans.
  • Supervise patient care personnel.
  • Evaluate treatment options to guide medical decisions.
  • Monitor the handling of hazardous materials or medical wastes.
  • Advise medical personnel regarding healthcare issues.
  • Test patient heart or lung functioning.
  • Administer medical substances for imaging or other procedures.
  • Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals.
  • Examine patients to assess general physical condition.
  • Calculate numerical data for medical activities.
  • Prepare medications or medical solutions.
  • Train medical providers.
  • Communicate detailed medical information to patients or family members.
  • Examine medical instruments or equipment to ensure proper operation.
  • Manage healthcare operations.
  • Schedule medical facility use.
  • Analyze laboratory specimens to detect abnormalities or other problems.
  • Operate laboratory equipment to analyze medical samples.

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Work Context

  • Exposed to Radiation — 91% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 91% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 87% responded “Every day.”
  • Electronic Mail — 83% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 95% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 82% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Time Pressure — 87% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 68% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 64% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 68% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 55% responded “Very important results.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 64% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections — 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 55% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 50% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 43% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Consequence of Error — 50% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Letters and Memos — 41% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 38% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Physical Proximity — 35% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 43% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 55% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 43% responded “Very important.”
  • Level of Competition — 45% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 27% responded “Extremely important.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
Related Experience Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
Job Training Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, surgeons, and veterinarians.
SVP Range (8.0 and above)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
78   Post-doctoral training
17   Doctoral degree
4   Some college, no degree

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: IS

  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

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Work Values

  • Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Physicians and Surgeons, All Other.
Employment data collected from Physicians and Surgeons, All Other.
Industry data collected from Physicians and Surgeons, All Other.

Median wages (2015) $90.00+ hourly, $187,200+ annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 347,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Much faster than average (14% or higher) Much faster than average (14% or higher)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 145,100
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Physicians and surgeons external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.

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