November 7 (in addition to being BarcampCHS 7) is the third annual International Day of Medical Physics as well as being Marie Skłodowska Curie‘s birthday. The theme for this year’s IDMP is “Better Medical Physics = Better Cancer Care in Radiation Oncology“.
Being a diagnostic medical physicist, I generally don’t have a lot of involvement in radiation oncology. The use of imaging in radiation therapy is growing though, so I have more occasions to work with my therapy physicist colleagues these days.
Diagnostic medical physicists like me stay busy doing a great many things, including:
- equipment performance tests to make sure the imaging equipment is performing according to state/federal guidelines and manufacturer specifications
- quality control/quality assurance
- teaching residents and technologists the physics behind how the equipment works and how the images are generated
- calculating radiation dose estimates
- creating lead shielding plans for x-ray rooms
- working with radiologists and technologists to optimize imaging protocols and techniques
- working with field service engineers to diagnose equipment related problems
- troubleshooting image artifacts
- collaborating with radiologists and other physicians on research projects
You probably won’t see us if you need to get an x-ray or imaging study done, but we’re there working behind the scenes making sure the images look good while using a minimal amount of radiation.
Questions? Feel free to ask!