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Professional/Education/Science Policies

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Policy number Policy name Policy date Sunset date
PP 1-E Definition of A Qualified Medical Physicist 7/31/2008 12/31/2009
Policy source
Policy text

For the purpose of providing clinical professional services, a Qualified Medical Physicist is an individual who is competent to practice independently one or more of the subfields of medical physics.

I. Therapeutic Radiological Physics

This particular field pertains to:

(1) the therapeutic applications of x-rays, gamma rays, electron and charged particle beams, neutrons and radiations from sealed radionuclide sources

(2) the equipment associated with their production, use, measurement and evaluation

(3) the quality of images resulting from their production and use

(4) medical health physics associated with this subfield

II. Diagnostic Radiological Physics

This particular field pertains to:

(1) the diagnostic applications of x rays, gamma rays from sealed sources, ultrasonic radiation, radio frequency radiation and magnetic fields

(2) the equipment associated with their production, use, measurement and evaluation

(3) the quality of images resulting from their production and use

(4) medical health physics associated with this subfield

III. Medical Nuclear Physics

This particular field pertains to:

(1) the therapeutic and diagnostic applications of radionuclides (except those used in sealed sources for therapeutic purposes)

(2) the equipment associated with their production, use, measurement and evaluation

(3) the quality of images resulting form their production and use

(4) medical health physics associated with this subfield

IV. Medical Health Physics

This particular field pertains to:

(1) the safe use of x rays, gamma rays, electron and other charged particle beams of neutrons or radionuclides and of radiation from sealed radionuclide sources for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, except with regard to the application of radiation to patients for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes

(2) the instrumentation required to perform appropriate radiation surveys

It is expected that an individual will not hold himself/herself out to be qualified in a subfield for which he/she has not established competency. An individual will be considered competent to practice one or more of the subfields of Medical Physics if that individual is certified in that subfield by any one of the following:

1) The American Board of Radiology

2) The American Board of Medical Physics

3) The American Board of Health Physics

4) The American Board of Science in Nuclear Medicine

5) The Canadian College of Physics in Medicine

The American Association of Physicists in Medicine regards board certification in the appropriate medical subfield and continuing education as the appropriate qualification for the designation of Qualified Medical Physicist.

In addition to the above qualifications, a Qualified Medical Physicist shall meet and uphold the Code of Ethics for the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (1), and satisfy state licensure where applicable.

(1)AAPM Policy PP 8-D titled AAPM Policy PP 24 titled “Code of Ethics of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine”

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