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Committee on Medical Physicists as Educators Wiki Page

Content Managed By The Committee on Medical Physicists as Educators

Introduction and Purpose

Welcome to the Medical Physicists as Educators Committee (MPESC) wiki. The purpose of this wiki is really three-fold:

  1. to provide resources to help medical-physics educators become better educators of medical physics;
  2. to provide a repository for materials associated with the work done by the finalists in the Innovation in Medical Physics Education session, which is held each year during the annual AAPM national meeting and is run by MPESC; and
  3. to provide a repository for resources used by the members of MPESC for the annual Innovations in Medical Physics Education session.

It is important to acknowledge from the start what this MPESC wiki is not intended to provide. It is not intended to be a repository for images, lectures, notes, handouts, syllabi, online lessons, tutorials, or other educational materials that would be used in the actual teaching of medical physics. It is the work of TG-250 to collect and make available such materials.

The resources that are made available here are resources to help the medical-physics educator understand how to do a better job teaching medical physics through an understanding of how people learn (Cognitive Science), or to show alternative ways of approaching the teaching of medical physics (cooperative group work in lectures, problem-based learning, inquiry learning, etc.). In addition, information on how to assess changes in how you teach medical physics are also appropriate for this wiki. The only exceptions to this are the materials from the work done by the finalists in the Innovation in Medical Physics Education session, which may include some materials or online resources that could be used to teach a course.

Educator Resources

This section contains information on how to be a more effective educator. The information in this section is mostly but not exclusively geared toward teachers of introductory physics courses, but many of the important points are readily applicable to understanding how to improve teaching medical physics graduate students, medical residents, etc.

Cognitive Science

"When we present instruction to our students, we always build in our assumptions: our expectations as to what students will do with whatever we give them, our assumptions about the nature of learning, and our assumptions about the goals of our particular instruction.... If we design our instruction on the basis of incorrect assumptions about our students, we can get results that differ dramatically from what we expect. To design effective instruction---indeed to help us understand what effective instruction means---we need to understand a bit about how the student mind functions."
Edward F. Redish, Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003 (p. 17)

Cognitive Science is a very broad field, but for our purposes we can think of it as the science that helps us understand how people think and learn. As a result, conclusions from cognitive science research can help us understand how to become more effective educators of medical physics.

Resources

  1. A great introduction to cognitive science and its findings on how people learn can be found in Ch. 2 of Joe Redish''s book Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite (from which the above quote was taken). This chapter can be found here [1]. The contents of the entire book can be found here [2].
  2. Another good reference on learning can be found in the book How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School by the Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning, John D. Bransford, Ann L. Brown, and Rodney R. Cocking, editors, National Academy Press (2000). This book is a more general book about students and learning, not geared towards physics teaching, but it nevertheless has some interesting and relevant information in it.
  3. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2008) "How People Learn II: Learners, Contexts, and Cultures", Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. This book is a follow-up to the How People Learn book in resource #2 above and includes an update on the findings of cognitive science since the 2000 publication of that resource. This book can be accessed online.
  4. Colin F. Gauld, "Physaching and Cognitive Functioning", The Physics Teacher, November 1979 (pp. 513-518). This article contains an interesting discussion about some results of Piaget''s theory on cognitive development and their implications for teaching physics.
  5. Frederick Reif, "Millikan Lecture 1994: Understanding and teaching important scientific thought processes", American Journal of Physics, 63 (1), January 1995 (pp. 17-32). This interesting article discusses how to understand the thought processes needed to learn a subject such as physics, and how this understanding can be used to improve physics teaching. (The Millikan Medal is awarded each year by the American Association of Physics Teachers for "notable and intellectually creative contributions to the teaching of physics".)
  6. There are some relevant and interesting articles on the per-central website under Learning Theory. These articles can be found at [3].
  7. Cognition: The Thinking Animal (3rd Edition), Daniel Willingham, Pearson (3rd Ed.), 2006. [4]
  8. Why Don''t Students Like School: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom, Daniel Willingham, Jossey-Bass Publ., 2010 [5]
  9. The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning, by James E. Zull, Stylus Publishing, 2002 [6]

Teaching Models and Practices

The traditional approaches to teaching medical physics fall into three categories: didactic lecture, hands-on lab/practicum, and basically an apprenticeship consisting of on-the-job training. These traditional methods of approach can be very rewarding for both the student and the educator. But in recent decades much work has been done by the Physics Education Research (PER) community that shows that other, more student-centered and active-learning, approaches to the physics classroom might have a greater impact on student learning and retention. In other words, there might be more efficient ways to spend time in the physics classroom than just doing straight lecture.

To become a better medical physics educator, you should acquaint yourself with the variety of options on how to spend time with the students, and then find a good combination of methods that works best for you. It''s important to keep in mind, however, that what works well for you might not work well for someone else, and vice versa. (Likewise, what works well for one student might not work well for another student. Hence a combination of methods for use in the classroom.)

The following resources can be used to acquaint yourself with alternatives to didactic lecture in your medical physics classroom. If you find something that works particularly well for you, and that you think might be of interest to your fellow medical physics educator, please consider submitting your work to the annual competition in the Innovation in Medical Physics Education Session, held at the national AAPM meeting. (The work done by previous finalists for the competition can be found in the next major section in this Wiki.)

Resources

  1. The following pdf file is an editorial by George Starkshall containing his thoughts on medical physics education. In this article he addresses the question of why medical physicists should think about how they approach their teaching in the medical physics classroom. Reading this short editorial would be a good way to start thinking about reform in your own classroom.
    Starkschall_JACMP_vol 10 no 3.pdf
  2. A great introduction to various teaching methods that resulted from Physics Education Research (PER) can be found in Edward F. "Joe" Redish''s book Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite. The contents of the entire book can be found here [7]. See in particular chapters 7 through 9 for discussions of various PER-based approaches to teaching introductory physics that can be readily extended to teaching medical physics.
  3. The discussions in the online book Inquiry: Thoughts, Views, and Strategies for the K-5 Classroom are, as the title suggests, aimed at the grade school classroom and teacher. But don''t let this fool you---there are some very good discussions about inquiry learning in this book. As mentioned in the assessment resources section below, just replace "children" with "medical physics students" when you are reading this, and you will probably find it very relevant. [8] See in particular chapters 1 and 5-8.
  4. (Physics Education Research) PER-Central is a collection of information and resources coming from physics education research. See in particular the links on Active Learning, Learning Environment, and Pedagogy under the Applied Research heading on the left side of the page. [9]
  5. The book Peer Instruction - A User''s Manual, by Eric Mazur (Prentice Hall) introduces the idea of concept-test questions that can be used to see if basic ideas from a lecture are getting through to the students. (You may be surprised by the results!) This is a very simple-to-apply technique that can be used within your standard lecture format. This book is available through Amazon. [10]
  6. What the best college teachers do, by Ken Bain, Harvard University Press, 2004. This book gives a good overview of best practices resulting from interviews and observations of some of the nation''s best teachers in all fields. Some very interesting discussions to get you thinking about your own teaching. Available at Amazon. [11]
  7. Five Easy Lessons: Strategies for Successful Physics Teaching, by Randall D. Knight, Addison-Wesley, 2002. Overviews best practices for teaching introductory physics. See chapters 3 and 4 that provide nice summaries of the findings of physics education research an the active learning classroom. [12]
  8. McKeachie''s Teaching Tips, by Wilbert McKeachie and Marilla Svinicki, Cengage Learning, 2013 [13]
  9. The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning, by James E. Zull, Stylus Publishing, 2002 [14]
  10. Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development, by David Kolb, Prentice Hall, 1983 [15] For more on experiential learning see the website at [16].

Assessment

How do we know if the changes that we have made in teaching medical physics have been effective? This is the purpose of assessments. Assessing the changes that have been made can sometimes seem even more difficult than the changes themselves. The resources below overview different types of assessments and how these assessments can be designed or performed.

Resources

  1. This pdf file is from an online book entitled Inquiry: Thoughts, Views, and Strategies for the K-5 Classroom. This chapter gives a nice overview of different types of assessment. When reading this chapter, if you replace "children" with "medical physics students", it will seem much more relevant!
    MPESC_Assessment-of-Science-Inquiry.pdf
    The full online Inquiry text can be found online at [17].

 

Work Done by Finalists in the Innovation in Medical Physics Education Session

The Innovation in Medical Physics Education Session is overseen by MPESC members, and is held each year at the national AAPM meeting. The purpose of the session is to publicize the excellent work being done in the medical physics community in improving medical physics education. MPESC members choose the top six abstract submissions from all of the abstract submissions each year. These six finalists then present their work in an oral session. MPESC took control of the session in 2012; only the work of the finalists starting in 2013 is represented here. The work is divided into the categories shown below, representing how the work is most likely to be used (some work is listed in more than one category, when appropriate). (The year that the work was submitted to the Innovation session is given in parentheses.) When possible, links to information or files describing the work are provided.

In-class

Work on demonstrating an effective way of spending class time with the students other than the standard board lecture.

  1. Project-Based Learning---Expanding Course Content with a Broad-Scope Project[18], R. Howell, S. Kry, and U. Titt (2013) Contact: rhowell@mdanderson.org
  2. Incorporating Active Learning Into A Traditional Graduate Medical Physics Course[19], J. Burmeister (2014) Contact: burmeist@karmanos.org
  3. Enhancing Radiation Physics Instruction Through Gamification and E-Learning[20], J. Driewer, M. Burchell, Z. Fowler, Y. Lei, B. Morgan, D. Zheng, and S. Zhou (2015) Contact: J. Driewer at jpdmq3@mail.missouri.edu
  4. From Teaching to Learning: Systems-Based-Practice and Practice-Based-Learning Innovations in Medical Physics Education Programs[21], A. Kapur (2015) Contact: akapur@nshs.edu
  5. Flipped Physics Courses Within a Radiologic Technologist Program: Video Production and Long Term Outcomes[22], T. Oshiro1, M. Donaghy , A. Slechta (2016) Contact: toshiro@mednet.ucla.edu Media:MPESC_Flipped_Physics_Courses-TOshiro.pdf
  6. Hands-On Fluoroscopy Safety Training with Real-Time Patient and Staff Dosimetry[23], M. Vanderhoek, N. Bevins (2016) Contact: mattv@rad.hfh.edu Media:MPESC_Vanderhoek_Presentation.pdf ; Media:MPESC_Vanderhoek-Supporting_Documentation.pdf
  7. Medical Physics Community Outreach Development for Young Learners. J Fagerstrom (2018), M Malin. Contact: JFagerstrom@nmpc.org

Experimental Lab/Practicum

Work on producing a hands-on laboratory or practicum experience to help students understand some aspect of clinical medical physics.

  1. Designing a Low Cost Digital Imaging System for Medical Physics Education[24], C. Brown and J. Polf (WINNER; 2013) Contact: bchrisg@okstate.edu
  2. Hands-On Fluoroscopy Safety Training with Real-Time Patient and Staff Dosimetry[25], M. Vanderhoek, N. Bevins (2016) Contact: mattv@rad.hfh.edu Media:MPESC_Vanderhoek_Presentation.pdf ; Media:MPESC_Vanderhoek-Supporting_Documentation.pdf

Computer or Numerical Lab/Practicum

Work on producing computer software (not online) for elucidating a particular concept or practice in medical physics, or numerical projects helping students to understand topics such as the Monte Carlo method.

  1. The Desktop Magnet: Simulation/tutorial Software for MRI Education[26], D. Gauntt (2013) Contact: dmgauntt@uab.edu
  2. Hands-On Monte Carlo Project Assignment as a Method to Teach Radiation Physics[27], P. Pater, M. Vallieres, and J. Seuntjens (2014) Contact: piotr.pater@mail.mcgill.ca
  3. Advanced Computer Simulation and Visualization Tools for Enhanced Understanding of Core Medical Physics Concepts[28], S. Naqvi (2014) Includes Monte Carlo code to help students understand key concepts in dosimetry. The PowerPoint file can be viewed at the website [29]. Contact: snaqvi@stagnes.org
  4. Enhancing Radiation Physics Instruction Through Gamification and E-Learning[30], J. Driewer, M. Burchell, Z. Fowler, Y. Lei, B. Morgan, D. Zheng, and S. Zhou (2015) Contact: J. Driewer at jpdmq3@mail.missouri.edu
  5. TOPAS_edu: A Window Into the Stochastic World Through the TOPAS Tool for Particle Simulation[31], J. Perl, B. Villagomez-Bernabe, and F. Currell (WINNER: 2015) Contact: J. Perl at perl@slac.stanford.edu
  6. MrRSCAL: A Radiological Simulation Tool for Resident Education[32], W. Parker and N. Yanasak (2015) Contact: williamtparkersr@gmail.com
  7. SIMAC: A Simulation Tool for Teaching Linear Accelerator Physics[33], M. Carlone, N. Harnett, W. Harris, B. Norrlinger, M. MacPherson, M. Lamey , R. Anderson, M. Oldham (WINNER: 2016) Contact: marco.carlone@rmp.uhn.on.ca Media:MPESC_Carlone-2016.pdf
  8. 3D Image Acquisition and Reconstruction Explained with Online Animations[34], A. Kesner (2016) Contact: adam.kesner@ucdenver.edu Media:MPESC_AAPM2016_Kesner_reconEd.pdf

Online

Work on producing online materials for medical physics education. These materials can be informative or interactive.

  1. Physics Education to Enhance CT Image Quality Optimization and Dose Management: Model, Method, and Materials[35], P. Sprawls (2013) See also the websites [36], [37], and [38]. Contact: sprawls@emory.edu
  2. Open Access Web-Based Peer-to-Peer Training and Education in Radiotherapy[39], T. Pawlicki, D. Brown, P. Dunscombe, and S. Mutic (WINNER; 2014) Contact: tpaw@ucsd.edu
  3. Enriching Medical Physics Education by Visualizing The Impossible[40], P. Sprawls (2014) See also the website [41]. Contact: sprawls@emory.edu
  4. Developing Effective Medical Physics Knowledge Structures: Models and Methods[42], P. Sprawls (2015) Contact: sprawls@emory.edu
  5. 3D Image Acquisition and Reconstruction Explained with Online Animations[43], A. Kesner (2016) Contact: adam.kesner@ucdenver.edu Media:MPESC_AAPM2016_Kesner_reconEd.pdf
  6. Improving Safety and Quality in Radiotherapy Using Web-Based Learning[53], D. Gilley (2017) Contact: D.Gilley@iaea.org
  7. A New Platform for Collaborative Global Radiation Oncology Education[54], W. Ngwa (2018) Contact: wngwa@lroc.harvard.edu
  8. Therapy Physics Education in a Virtual Learning Environment. M.Hyun (2019), A.Smith, J.Koth, A.Ekpenyong, L.Bartenhagen. Contact: megan.hyun@unmc.edu

International/Third-World

Work on improving medical physics education or practice internationally, often for the benefit of third-world countries.

  1. Physics Education to Enhance CT Image Quality Optimization and Dose Management: Model, Method, and Materials[44], P. Sprawls (2013) See also the websites [45], [46], and [47]. Contact: sprawls@emory.edu
  2. Access for Minorities to Physics Education & Research Excellence (AMPERE)[48], W. Ngwa (2013) Contact: WNGWA@LROC.HARVARD.EDU
  3. Open Access Web-Based Peer-to-Peer Training and Education in Radiotherapy[49], T. Pawlicki, D. Brown, P. Dunscombe, and S. Mutic (WINNER; 2014) Contact: tpaw@ucsd.edu
  4. Global Health Catalyst: A Novel Platform for Enhancing Access to Medical Physics Education and Research Excellence (AMPERE)[50], W. Ngwa, M. Moreau, and L. Asana (2014) Contact: WNGWA@LROC.HARVARD.EDU
  5. Enriching Medical Physics Education by Visualizing The Impossible[51], P. Sprawls (2014) See also the website [52]. Contact: sprawls@emory.edu
  6. A New Platform for Collaborative Global Radiation Oncology Education[54], W. Ngwa (winner)(2018) Contact: wngwa@lroc.harvard.edu
  7. Radiation Knowledge: Educational and Quality Improvement Initiative in Radiation Medicine. A Nobeh (2018), V ALVES, F DeBlois, B Moftah. Contact: ahmad_nobeh@hotmail.com
  8. An International Virtual Network Bringing Together Medical Physics Students, Scientists and Professionals: One-Year Experience. I Rosado-Mendez (2018), L Padilla, D Alvarez, M Porras-Chaverri. Contact: rosadomendez@wisc.edu

Program Design/Reform

Work on redesigning a full program or curriculum which is not restricted to a single course or educational venue.

  1. Innovative Approach Towards a Paperless Physics Residency Management System[53], L. Schubert and M. Miften (2013) Contact: Leah.Schubert@ucdenver.edu
  2. Access for Minorities to Physics Education & Research Excellence (AMPERE)[54], W. Ngwa (2013) Contact: WNGWA@LROC.HARVARD.EDU
  3. Global Health Catalyst: A Novel Platform for Enhancing Access to Medical Physics Education and Research Excellence (AMPERE)[55], W. Ngwa, M. Moreau, and L. Asana (2014) Contact: WNGWA@LROC.HARVARD.EDU
  4. From Teaching to Learning: Systems-Based-Practice and Practice-Based-Learning Innovations in Medical Physics Education Programs[56], A. Kapur (2015) Contact: akapur@nshs.edu
  5. The CREATE Medical Physics Research Training Network: Training of New Generation Innovators[57], J. Seuntjens, L. Beaulieu, L. Collins, P. Despres, S. Devic, I. El Naqa, J. Nadeau, B. Pike, and A. Reader (2015) Contact: jan.seuntjens@mcgill.ca
  6. Developing Effective Medical Physics Knowledge Structures: Models and Methods[58], P. Sprawls (2015) Contact: sprawls@emory.edu
  7. The Ottawa Medical Physics Institute (OMPI): A Practical Model for Academic Program Collaboration in a Multi-Centre City[59], M. McEwen, D. Rogers, P. Johns (2016) Contact: malcolm.mcewen@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca Media:MPESC_AAPM_OMPI_presentation-McEwen.pdf
  8. EUTEMPE-RX: Combining E-Learning and Face-To-Face Training to Build Expert Knowledge, Skills and Competences for Medical Physicists in Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology[60], H. Bosmans, N. Van Peteghem, A. Mackenzie, E. Vano, S. Creten, M. Borowski, S. Christofides, C. Caruana (2016) Contact: hilde.bosmans@uz.kuleuven.ac.be Media:MPESC_AAPM2016_EUTEMPE-RX_Bosmans.pdf
  9. Development of Treatment Plan Evaluation Competencies: Design and Implementation of a Simulation Environment. J Winter (2018), J Adleman, T Purdie, J Croke, A McNiven. Contact: jeff.winter@rmp.uhn.ca
  10. Graduate Student-Led Outreach Increases Awareness of and Interest in Medical Physics. A Santoso (2018), C Lin, C Steffel, A Weisman, E Jackson. Contact: apsantoso@wisc.edu
  11. Assessing the Feasibility and Utility of An Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) in Radiation Oncology Physics Residency Training. A McNiven (Winner-2019), P Lindsay, M Davidson, B Zhang, R Korol, S Babic, K Sixel, M Giuliani. Contact: Andrea.Mcniven@rmp.uhn.ca
  12. Case-Based Learning Workshops to Train Residents On Clinical Treatment Setups. L Schubert (2019), W Campbell, J Backus, Y Vinogradskiy. Contact: Leah.Schubert@ucdenver.edu
  13. Development of a Unified Education Framework for Medical Physics Residency. Q Fan (2019), D Zheng, S Zhou. Contact: qiyong.fan@unmc.edu
  14. Therapy Anomaly Gathering System (THANGS): Improving Physics Check Training Efficiency Through Competition. L Kim, B Juneja (2019). Contact: kim-leonard@cooperhealth.edu

AAPM Sponsored Presentations on Education Reform

Presentations from the 2016 Education Council Symposium

During the 2016 AAPM meeting in Washington, D.C., the Committee on Medical Physicists as Educators (MPESC) hosted the annual Education Council Symposium. The title of this symposium was "Revitalizing Your Medical Physics Classroom: Some Examples and Thoughts from the Trenches". The symposium was moderated by MPESC chair Vic Montemayor, and featured three talks followed by a panel discussion with the moderator and speakers. [61] The three presentations will be available in the AAPM Virtual Library. Once they are available, links to the presentations will be provided here.

The three presentations were the following.

  1. Making the Most of a One Hour Lecture with Alternative Teaching Methodologies: Implementing Project-based and Flipped Learning by Rebecca Howell Contact: rhowell@mdanderson.org
  2. Creative Simulation: A Flexible Hands-on Approach to Building a Deeper Understanding of Critical Concepts in Radiation Physics by Shahid Naqvi Contact: shahid.naqvi@stagnes.org Presentation: Media:EC_Symposium-Naqvi-corrected.pdf
  3. Incorporating Active Learning into Medical Physics Education by Jay Burmeister Contact: burmeist@karmanos.org

Presentations from AAPM 2018 Workshop on Improving the Teaching and Mentoring of Medical Physics

During the 2018 AAPM meeting in Nashville, TN, the Committee on Medical Physicists as Educators (MPESC) hosted a 1.5 day workshop on Improving the Teaching and Mentoring of Medical Physics annual Education Council Symposium. Following are some of the presentations by distintuished speakers.

  1. Keynote: The History of Teaching Reform in the AAPM by George Starkschall, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center.
  2. What Neuroscience Research Has to Tell Us About the Effects of Learning on the Brain by Laurie Cutting, Vanderbilt University.
  3. Graduate Medical Education in Medical and Surgical Residencies: What Can be Learned? by Kyla Terhune, Vanderbilt University.
  4. Keynote: The Importance of Reform in Medical Physics Teaching by Jay Burmeister, Wayne State University, Karmanos Cancer Center.
  5. Best Practices: Project-based Learning (PBL) in Medical Physics by Rebecca Howell, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center.
  6. Best Practices: Flipped Learning in the Medical Physics Classroom by Stephen Kry, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center.
  7. Incorporating Videos into the Teaching of Medical Physics: The Question of the ROMPES Modules by Matt Studenski, University of Miami, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Presentations from AAPM 2019 Education Council Symposium on Defining and Measuring Quality in Medical Physics Education

  1. Quality Metrics in Higher Education by George Starksschall
  2. Assessment of Quality in Didactic Graduate Programs by Ed Jackson
  3. Assessment of Quality in Clinical Residency Programs by Kristi Hendrickson

Presentations from AAPM 2021 Innovation in Medical Physics Education Session

  1. A Novel Formalism for Incorporating Professionalism, Interpersonal and Communication Skills Into Medical Physics Residency Training by Irina Vergalasova
  2. Career Preparation for Graduate Students: Preliminary Evaluation of An Introductory Course On the Profession of Medical Physics by Stephanie Leon
  3. Feasibility of Virtual Reality (VR) with Open-Source Software for Interactive Medical Physics Education by Suk Yoon
  4. Valued Discourse in Oral Examinations for Medical Physicists by Ashley Cetnar
  5. Cooperative Education in a Medical Physics Masters Graduate Degree Program by Adam Riegel
  6. Enhancing Brachytherapy Education with Immersive Virtual Reality (VR) Video Technology: Best Practice and Preliminary Outcome by Taoran Li

Links to Some Good Online Resources on Teaching Methods (Articles, Audio files, and Video)

  1. The Problem with Lecturing
  2. Rethinking the Way College Students Are Taught
  3. Rethinking the Way College Students Learn
  4. Inventing a New Kind of College
  5. Eric Mazur explaining the need for teaching reform and his method of Peer Instruction