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Physics Education for Radiologists, Radiology Residents, and Imaging Technologists

Content Managed By The Medical Physics Education of Physicians Committee of Education Council

  • Curriculum Devel. Resources
  • Study/Reference Books
  • Journal Articles
  • Classroom/Conference Visuals
  • Online Modules
  • Web Sites

Curriculum Development Resources

Diagnostic Radiology Residents Physics Curriculum - December 2018
Released in September 2019 by the AAPM Subcommittee of the Medical Physics Education of Physicians Committee and approved by the AAPM Education Council. (Please bring any typos/errors in the updated Curriculum to the attention of webmistress@aapm.org.)

Effective Physics Education for Optimizing CT Image Quality and Dose Management with Open Access Resources
P. Sprawls, P-A. T. Duong, Medical Physics International Journal, vol.1, No.1, 2013

Physics Education for the Optimization of MRI Clinical Procedures: Visualizing the Invisible and Collaborative Teaching
P. Sprawls. Medical Physics International Journal, vol.1, No.2, 2013

Optimizing Medical Image Contrast, Detail and Noise in the Digital Era
P. Sprawls. Medical Physics International Journal, vol.2, No.1, 2014

Education Models for the Expanding Role of Clinical Medical Physics
P. Sprawls. Medical Physics International Journal, vol.5, No.2, 2017

Developing Effective Mental Knowledge Structures for Medical Physics Applications.
P. Sprawls. Medical Physics International Journal, vol.6, No.1, 2018

Digital Elements, Image Quality, Radiation Exposure, and Procedure Optimization
Perry Sprawls. Medical Physics International Journal, vol.6, No.2, 2018

 

Books for Study and Reference

The books are organized into the following topical categories. Click to jump to a topic or scan down the page to see all.

Discussion and opinions regarding individual books are not the official position of the AAPM but are provided by the identified reviewers to help educators select and use appropriate resources.

The Principles of Medical Imaging and Various Modalities
Review Books
Fluoroscopy
Ultrasound
Nuclear Medicine
Radiation Protection
Disaster Preparedness
Mammography and Breast Imaging
Computed Tomography
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Radiation Biology



The Principles of Medical Imaging and Various Modalities
The Essential Physics of Medical Imaging, Bushberg JT, Seibert JA, Leidholt EM, Boone JM, Lippincott
This is essential reading for radiology residents and medical physicists alike. It is comprehensive, non-mathematical and is very well written. At 900+ pages, it is challenging to cover as a course textbook. It is getting dated in a few sections (e.g., MDCT) but I hear from my contacts that a new edition is in preparation. It is currently the best textbook resource available for medical physics education of diagnostic radiology residents
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
Medical Imaging Physics, Hendee WR, Ritenour ER, Wiley
I find this textbook to be useful for the medical physics educator and less useful for the resident to read. It has some excellent sections (e.g., image quality and visual perception) and a number of sections that are far too short on content.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
Physics of Radiology, Wolbarst AB, Medical Physics Publishing.
If you can get past the difficult organization of the book, it has some good content and some excellent figures. I would not recommend it to residents in its present form (2nd edition) but it is very useful for the medical physics educator.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
Physical Principles of Medical Imaging, 2nd Edition, Sprawls P.
Now available as an e-book (open source)
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Review Books
Radiology Review: Radiologic Physics, Nickoloff EL, Ahmad N, Elsevier Saunders.
– See the comments below for Huda’s text as they apply here as well. Less comprehensive than Huda but the basic/important concepts sections explain things better. Comes with a CD with rather elementary PowerPoint slide shows that may be useful for a new educator.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
Review of Radiologic Physics, Huda W, Lippincott.
Not a book to learn medical physics from but useful to test your knowledge with the question/answer sections. It is also useful for the beginning medical physics educator because of the lists of topics described in each section. Since most residents like to memorize lists, most will buy this book. Unfortunately, it does not teach you medical physics analysis and problem solving, which is what you need to apply physics to your everyday practice. I do not use it as a classroom text but my residents all use it and ask me questions from it. The small font size in the latest edition is a real drawback.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
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Mammography and Breast Imaging
Breast MRI: Fundamentals and Technical Aspects, Hendrick RE, Springer.
The definitive work on breast MRI. It is very well written with a nice balance between the physics and the clinical. If you teach this you need this book.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
2004 & 2005 Syllabus Breast Imaging, Categorical Courses at RSNA.
These syllabi contain a wealth of information on mammography physics along with clinical articles which provide relevance for the physics. These are available for purchase from RSNA’s Education Center Store. The 2004 syllabus has more physics while the 2005 syllabus is more clinically oriented. The 2005 version does includes discussion of FFDM, stereo, tomo, ultrasound and MRI.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
Also look in Wolbarst’s Advances series for mammography chapters.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
 
   
Fluoroscopy
Interventional Fluoroscopy: Physics, Technology and Safety, Balter S, Wiley.
This is one of the few books written specifically on interventional fluoroscopy. It is more suitable for the medical physicist than the resident. It has very little information on flat-panel fluoroscopy and is becoming somewhat dated.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
Also look in Wolbarst’s Advances series for chapters on digital fluoroscopy
Take a look at the Radiation Biology section below for two important papers every fluoroscopy operator should be familiar with.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
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Computed Tomography
Computed Tomography: Fundamentals, System Technology, Image Quality, Applications, Kalender WA, Publicis.
From the inventor of helical CT. This small format textbook
provides a good discussion of CT for the medical physicist. It does not cover MDCT and is a bit dated. However, it comes with a CD that has a number of figures useful for medical physics education.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
Computed Tomography: Physical Principles, Clinical Applications, and Quality Control, Seram E, Saunders.
This is a textbook aimed at CT technologists. It provides a perspective on CT that few medical physicists see unless they have the opportunity to work in the clinic. It is well written and useful for the medical physicist educator. Watch out for the next edition as it is frequently updated.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
MDCT: The Basics: Technology, Image Quality and Radiation Dose, Mahesh M, Lippencott.
This is a good basic textbook on multidetector computed tomography that a resident can read and understand. There is little depth but the overall coverage is good and it was published recently. It is worth having in your library.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
Radiation Dose from Adult and Pediatric Multidetector Computed Tomography, Tack D, Gevenois PA, Springer
This useful textbook came out in 2007 before the CT brain perfusion injuries and all of the news about CT dose. It consists of a number of chapters contributed by international experts on dose. It is one of the few with good dose guidance out there at the present time and is worth buying as a resource for the medical physicist.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
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Ultrasound
Diagnostic Ultrasound, Kremkau FW, Saunders.
Excellent resource on ultrasound physics and instrumentation.
Watch for the next new edition to come out about the time you buy it. Residents can read and understand this book.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
Textbook of Diagnostic Ultrasonography, Hagen-Ansert SL, Mosby, 2 volumes.
This is the definitive text used by many ultrasound technologist training programs for their students. For that special resident with an interest in becoming expert in ultrasonography, this is the book to recommend. It is primarily clinical but is useful for the medical physicist in understanding how to apply the physics to the clinical.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation, Hedrick WR, Hykes DL, Starchman DE, Elsevier.
Solid ultrasound physics textbook, especially for the medical physicist or radiology fellow. Hopefully, a new edition will be coming out soon as it is showing its age a little. I teach from this book while I have the residents read Kremkau.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
 
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Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Sprawls P, Medical Physics Publishing.
Although now 10 years old, it’s still the book I hand to a resident first to learn basic MRI concepts.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
All of the visuals from this book are available online, in color, for teaching in PowerPoint format.
MRI Principles, Mitchell DG, Cohen MS, Saunders.
This is another good textbook for understanding MRI concepts. It is significantly longer than Sprawls so the average resident will likely shy away from it. It is a good resource for the medical physics educator.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
MRI From Picture to Proton, McRobbie DW, Moore EA, Graves MJ, Prince MR, Cambridge Press.
This is my current favorite textbook about MRI. It has too much math for the average resident and just enough for the medical physicist new to MRI.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
The Physics of Clinical MR Taught Through Images, Runge VM, Nitz WR, Schmeets SH, Thieme.
This book should be the model for the ABR exam of the future. It very nicely ties the physics to the clinical as only Dr. Runge can do. It is a must have textbook if you teach MRI physics.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
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Nuclear Medicine
Basics of PET Imaging, Saha GB, Springer.
Concise textbook on PET. This book is useful for the resident and for the medical physicist who is unfamiliar with PET.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
Essential Nuclear Medicine Physics, Powsner RA, Powsner ER, Blackwell Publishing.
Excellent introductory text for residents with nice figures and little math.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
Essentials of Nuclear Medicine Imaging, Mettler FA, Guiberteau MJ, Saunders.
Although directed towards the resident, it is useful for the medical physicist due to the sections on pregnancy, breast feeding and regulatory compliance. Your department probably already has it for the residents due to its clinical training value. Take a look at it.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
Nuclear Medicine and PET/CT: Technology and Techniques, Christian PE, Waterstram-Rich KM, Mosby.
Comprehensive text with about ½ devoted to clinical and ½ devoted to the physics. This is another very useful reference book for the medical physicist. Residents will prefer Mettler, Henkin and/or The Requisites for their clinical information.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
Nuclear Medicine Physics: The Basics, Chandra R, Lippincott.
The classic reference text for residents. It is readable and fairly short, like Powsner. Most nuclear medicine fellows read this if they haven’t already done so as a resident.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
Physics in Nuclear Medicine, Cherry SR, Sorenson JA, Phelps ME, Saunders.
This classic reference is still very useful for the medical physicist to teach from but residents will find it too detailed. Some of the pictures are dated.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
IAEA PET/CT Atlas on Quality Control and Image Artefacts
Positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT), as any other imaging modality, is acceptable for routine clinical and research applications only if technical pitfalls can be avoided. Artefacts from incorrect or sub-optimal acquisition procedures should be recognized and, if possible, corrected retrospectively and the resulting image information interpreted correctly, which entails an appreciation of variants of the represented image information. This publication provides guidance on the physics and technical aspects behind PET and PET/CT image distortions. Cases are presented to provide nuclear medicine and radiology professionals with an assortment of examples of possible image distortions and errors in order to support correct image interpretation. Nearly 70 typical PET and PET/CT cases, comprising image sets and case description, have been collected in this volume, all catalogued and augmented with explanations as to the causes of, and solutions to, each individual image problem. The atlas will prove useful to physicists, physicians, technologists, and service engineers in the clinical field.
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Radiation Biology
2007 RSNA Syllabus: Radiation Biology for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiologists, Hedrick WR, Mahesh M.
This RSNA Syllabus provides a nice summary of radiation biology and is essential reading for all radiology residents. It is in the form of a question and answer series with nice rationales for each question.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
Medical Effects of Ionizing Radiation, Mettler FA, Upton AC, Saunders.
This very well written textbook reviews the medical effects of radiation in a rational, expert manner. It is worth owning, especially with all of the mis-information about radiation dose permeating the media. It is comprehensive and a lot more readable than BEIR VII.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
Radiobiology for the Radiologist, Hall EJ, Giaccia AJ, Lippincott.
This is the classic reference most medical physicists use as a basis for putting together a course on radiation biology for diagnostic radiology residents. A portion of the book is covered for diagnostic radiology while radiation therapy residents typically pursue review of additional chapters. Few residents read it due to its length.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
Radiation Biology: A Handbook for Teachers and Students, IAEA Publication.
Available for free download
This resource came out in 2010 and is only one of many useful educational materials available from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). They have free downloadable PowerPoint slide shows and PDF’s of textbooks relating to many areas of medical physics. Take a look!
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
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Radiation Protection
IAEA Patient Protection Web Site....
This is the most extensive and inclusive resource for information on patient protection. It provides specific actions to protect patients in the various clinical areas. Several of the sections are in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) with answers. There is considerable value in having residents study these. This site is updated frequently with links to the latest news and publications in the literature on patient protection and related topics.
Perry Sprawls
Radiation Protection and Dosimetry: An Introduction to Health Physics, Stabin KG, Springer.
This textbook provides insight into radiation protection and dose assessment with an emphasis on doses received from radioactive materials. It is suitable for the medical physicist but has too much math for the average resident to comprehend.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
Radiation Protection in Medical Radiography, Sherer MA, Visconti PJ, Ritenour ER, Mosby.
This short textbook provides a nice overview of radiation protection with an emphasis on diagnostic radiology. There is an accompanying workbook which is also useful for education. Readable by a resident but is probably most usefulfor the medical physicist. Watch for new editions.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
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Disaster Preparedness
ACR Disaster Preparedness Primer for Radiologists: This file moves around on their web site so if you can’t find it, go to ACR Website and type the word “disaster” in their search box to locate it. It has good advice for radiologists regarding potential radiation emergencies. Have your residents read it while on call some evening. They might need it some day/night in the Emergency Department.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski
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Visuals for Classroom and Conference Discussions

Physical Principles of Medical Imaging Online:
The Sprawls Educational Foundation provides open access, high-quality visuals for classroom and conference discussions. Visuals may be downloaded as Powerpoint slides or viewed on-line. To access the visuals, click on the link above and scroll down. Additional resources such as on-line modules and downloadable pdf versions of Dr. Sprawls books are also available through this resource.

Google Images: can be used to find many useful images, especially related to equipment and technology. It also can be used to collect clinical images for teaching purposes.

Questions and Answers in MRI:
Dr. Allen Lester provides clear and concise explanations of MR physics concepts on this site. The visuals are high quality and permission is given by Dr. Lester to use a small number of visuals for non-commercial purposes (such as lectures) provided the appropriate credit is given as outlined on the site.

Web-based Modules

AAPM/RSNA Web Physics Modules:
These on-line modules can be accessed free of charge by any AAPM or RSNA member. Residents can join RSNA for free. There are approximately 45 modules nearing completion covering all aspects of medical physics for residents. They were written by radiologist-physicist teams with an intent to include clinical relevance. Each module also includes a post-test with the electronic awarding of a certificate upon successful completion. The modules can be assigned as self-study modules or can be reviewed in a classroom setting with a medical physicist or other facilitator.

Physical Principles of Medical Imaging Online:
This resource contains a variety of self-study modules and is free to all. A feature of these modules is the availability of high-quality visuals for classroom and conference discussions.

Web Sites

Reference Manual for Magnetic Resonance Safety, Shellock FG, Amirsys.
On the web with the most current information:

This site will be accessed many times by the resident to determine the MRI safety of various devices. Because the devices change so often, Also, go to YouTube and search for MRI accidents so you get an appreciation of what not to do when in an MRI suite.
Mark S. Rzeszotarski

National Library of Medicine Radiation Emergency Management Web Site:
This site provides comprehensive coverage of what to do in case of a radiation emergency. It’s great! You can download the entire site to your local computer if you are anticipating a loss of internet connectivity during the big event. Have your hospital add a link to it as part of their Emergency Operations Plan so The Joint Commission is happy when they visit you.

IAEA Patient Protection Web Site....
This is the most extensive and inclusive resource for information on patient protection. It provides specific actions to protect patients in the various clinical areas. Several of the sections are in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) with answers. There is considerable value in having residents study these. This site is updated frequently with links to the latest news and publications in the literature on patient protection and related topics.
Perry Sprawls