Health Service Categories and Careers


Nuclear Medicine is the medical specialty that uses radiopharmaceuticals (radioisotopes) in the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of medical conditions. It is based on a detailed knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology, and the utilisation of specialised nuclear radiology equipment.

Radiopharmaceuticals are administered to patients in low doses and can be injected, inhaled or swallowed. This makes the body become slightly radioactive so it can be visualised using specialised scanning equipment, a gamma camera and computer. Images and measurements are generated to help understand organ, tissue, and blood function and structure.

Nuclear Medicine helps to diagnose diseases and evaluate anatomical and physiological conditions, which might involve a range of medical disorders, including gastrointestinal, genitourinary, pulmonary, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal disorders. It involves procedures and therapies to help cure, mitigate or control diseases, including cancers, tumours, hyperthyroidism or bone metastases. Nuclear Medicine can be studied as a specialisation of Internal Medicine, or as a subspecialty of Radiology.

Nuclear Medicine Jobs

Nuclear Medicine Specialists are doctors who help to diagnose, evaluate and treat medical conditions using radiopharmaceuticals and nuclear medicine technology. They consult with patients, administer radiopharmaceuticals, operate specialised nuclear radiology equipment, take scans and medical images, interpret and report findings, and collaborate with other medical specialists in providing patient care. Nuclear Medicine Specialists provide diagnostic, interventional and treatment services for a range of medical conditions. They contribute to research which supports ongoing evidence-based practice in nuclear medicine, train registrars and junior medical staff, and manage teams of technologists. To work as a Nuclear Medicine Specialist, doctors can undertake basic training in Internal Medicine, and then 2-3 years of RACP Advanced Training in Nuclear Medicine. Alternatively, doctors can undertake the 5-year RANZCR program in Clinical Radiology and Nuclear Medicine. Both pathways lead to Fellowship and Specialist registration with AHPRA.

Registrars (Internal Medicine or Radiology – Nuclear Medicine) are registered doctors who have completed their medical degree and pre-vocational training (internship and residency/PGY2-3). They have attained general registration with AHPRA and can now undertake specialist/or vocational training positions to broaden and refine their scope of practice and gain experience, skills and competency in their chosen area of medicine. Registrars are very important members of the integrated and multi-disciplinary health care team. They have increasing responsibility for patient care, oversee and support junior doctors and staff, participate in professional development activities and continue to receive important guidance, training, and support from senior staff. They work in a range of primary, secondary, tertiary, clinical, laboratory and acute care settings, in hospitals, private practices and community clinics. Registrars who work in Nuclear Medicine are undertaking specialised advanced training Nuclear Medicine and its clinical practice, either as part of their clinical radiology training or after internal medicine basic training. They work under Nuclear Medicine specialists and develop technical and procedural skills, clinical expertise, and valuable work experience in the practice of Nuclear Medicine.