A diagnostic medical physicist is a qualified medical physicist who works with radiologists and other physicians on image modalities such as CT (computed tomography), x-rays (radiography), fluoroscopy, mammography, ultrasound and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

As an integral part of the imaging team, the diagnostic medical physicist develops and directs quality control programs that ensure imaging equipment and procedures are safe, comply with various regulatory and accrediting agency requirements, and provide images of the highest quality. Diagnostic medical physicists perform radiation dose calculations and often consult on patient or personnel radiation dose and associated risks. They also act as a resource for physicians and technologists, helping them better understand the technical aspects of imaging methods so that they can use them most effectively.

Radiologic technologists perform diagnostic imaging examinations and perform radiation therapy treatments. Radiologic technologists who perform medical imaging examinations work closely with radiologists and are responsible for accurately positioning patients and ensuring that a quality diagnostic image is produced. Radiologic technologists work directly with patients and are responsible for explaining procedures, positioning patients on the examining table and adjusting immobilization devices to obtain optimum views of specific body areas. The technologist moves the imaging equipment into position and adjusts equipment controls based on his or her knowledge of the procedure.

The technologist also may operate mobile x-ray or ultrasound equipment to obtain images in the emergency room, operating room or at the patient’s bedside. Technologists also assist radiologists with general radiology, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound procedures.