DHO Welcomes New Medical Physicist Alison Arnold

portrait of Alison Arnold, DHO staff physicist
Alison Arnold, MS, DABR

Alison Arnold, who earned her MS in medical physics at Oregon State University/Oregon Health and Science University and most recently served as chief medical physicist at Turville Bay Radiation Oncology Center in Madison, joined the Department of Human Oncology as a staff medical physicist in December.

Arnold grew up outside Portland, Ore., and, like her siblings, always had a strong interest in technical subjects. She studied nuclear engineering as an undergraduate at Oregon State University and decided to enroll in the then newly accredited Oregon State University/Oregon Health and Science University medical physics graduate program.

“As an undergraduate I had an internship at the power plant where my sister works as a nuclear engineer and realized I didn’t want to do that. I was more interested in giving back and really liked that my skills could benefit people undergoing cancer treatment,” Arnold says.

She joined Turville Bay Radiation Oncology Center after completing her residency in therapeutic medical physics at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona in 2016.  During her time at Turville Bay, she worked at several affiliated radiation oncology clinics. This gave her the opportunity to gain experience with Varian TrueBeam and TomoTherapy machines as well as serve in an administrative capacity as chief medical physicist. “I really enjoy hands-on clinical work—working on the machines, working with dosimetry, working on the treatment planning, working with patients,” she says.

Arnold looks forward getting acclimated to the UW radiation oncology clinical operations, getting involved in the clinic’s stereotactic radiosurgery program, and working with residents.

“I really grew in my residency program,” Arnold says. “It provided an opportunity to learn so much from peers, and I would like to be able to pass that along. Being involved in residency on the other side keeps you up to date on new technologies and new developments within the medical physics world. It’s one of the factors that drew me here.”

Alison and her partner, Ben, an IT professional, have two children, Saxton, 7, and Leona, 16 months. Outside of work she enjoys getting out on the water in a canoe or rowboat, biking, knitting and sewing—and “taking advantage of all the things Madison has to offer.”