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Organization and Productivity Strategies for Practicing Medical Physicists

D Jordan

D Jordan1*, (1) University Hospitals Case Medical Center, CLEVELAND, OH

TU-G-213AB-1 Tuesday 4:30:00 PM - 6:00:00 PM Room: 213AB

Medical physicists face numerous challenges that create stress in the professional workplace. The modern work environment contains multiple communications channels, such as email, smart phones, text and instant messaging, voice mail, pagers, and more. These media make it difficult to organize incoming information, set priorities, and move important work forward in the face of rapid change and the requirement to fulfill multiple responsibilities. Medical physicists in particular are likely to feel acute stress due to off-peak work hour requirements, varied responsibilities including clinical duties, research, teaching, and regulatory matters, and the complexity of supervising other staff members. Many medical physicists also work in multiple physical locations, adding complexity to the task of organizing information and resources. Another common difficulty is that medical physicists’ responsibilities typically include some duties that render them subject to frequent and urgent interruption, such as emergency response coverage for radiation safety.

The real challenges in the current medical physics work environment differ from those encountered while taking courses and conducting research, as well as from earlier periods when medical physicists faced fewer varied responsibilities, slower-paced change, or both. Today’s practicing physicist can benefit greatly from developing a formal framework and skill set to manage their personal workflow. This greatly increases the individual’s effectiveness and reduces feelings of stress, while improving the effectiveness of teams or groups in which they participate.

In this session, participants will learn about a number of techniques and strategies to manage their own personal workflow. Examples familiar to the medical physicist will be provided to illustrate methods to capture, organize, and act on important information, to delegate effectively, and to handle inevitable interruptions.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the use of a personal workflow in managing ongoing or routine clinical physics duties.
2. Select an appropriate method for filing various documents and records commonly encountered in medical physics.
3. Implement strategies for minimizing the impact of interruptions on the physicist’s daily work.

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