Encrypted | Login

Medical Physics

Medical Physics is an applied branch of physics concerned with the application of the concepts and methods of physics to the diagnosis and treatment of human disease. It is allied with medical electronics, bioengineering, and health physics.

What Is a Medical Physicist?

Medical physicists contribute to the effectiveness of radiological imaging procedures by assuring radiation safety and helping to develop improved imaging techniques (e.g., mammography CT, MR, ultrasound). They contribute to development of therapeutic techniques (e.g., prostate implants, stereotactic radiosurgery), collaborate with radiation oncologists to design treatment plans, and monitor equipment and procedures to ensure that cancer patients receive the prescribed dose of radiation to the correct location.

What do Medical Physicists Do?

Medical physicists are concerned with three areas of activity: clinical service and consultation, research and development, and teaching. On the average their time is distributed equally among these three areas.

Scope of Practice

The essential responsibility of the Qualified Medical Physicist's clinical practice is to assure the safe and effective delivery of radiation to achieve a diagnostic or therapeutic result as prescribed in patient care. The medical physicist performs or supervises the technical aspects of procedures necessary to achieve this objective. The responsibilities of the medical physicist include: protection of the patient and others from potentially harmful or excessive radiation; establishment of adequate protocols to ensure accurate patient dosimetry; the measurement and characterization of radiation; the determination of delivered dose; advancement of procedures necessary to ensure image quality; development and direction of quality assurance programs; and assistance to other health care professionals in optimizing the balance between the beneficial and deleterious effects of radiation; and compliance with applicable federal and state regulations. Read more...

Definition of a Qualified Medical Physicist

A Qualified Medical Physicist is an individual who is competent to practice independently one or more of the subfields of medical physics.