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Improving Health Through Medical Physics

Redefining and Reinvigorating the Role of Physics in Modern Medicine

Medical Physics is at a crossroads. Broad and profound changes in the livery of healthcare are underway and accelerating, and it is urgent for our profession to address these changes head-on. We are faced with new mandates to deliver value-based, personalized, and evidence-based medicine. Reimbursements are diminishing at the same time. These realities necessitate medical physics to change. In any progression of this nature, it is crucial to understand the goals and proactively set a standard that can clarify, unify, and motivate the advancement.

Medical Physics 3.0 (MP3.0) is an initiative to define and practice sustainable excellence in medical physics. MP3.0 is re-visiting our roots and re-envisioning our desired contributions to quality healthcare. It asks the question of whether we are fulfilling our potential, and if we are not, how we can do so. MP3.0 is based on the core premise that medical physicists have a unique calling and expertise to be scientific agents of precision and innovation in the development and practice of medicine. MP3.0 aims to foster a culture within medical physics of seizing such opportunities, engaging proactively and meaningfully in patient care, and growing and building upon the unique skills of medical physicists. Towards this goal, the MP3.0 initiative is devising the following road map focused on:

  1. Expertise
    1. Delineating the global definitions of excellence for medical physics in scholarship, innovation, patient care, leadership, and context-awareness.
    2. Clinical: Advancing medical physicists beyond the conformance-based technology-care provider to the scientific, quality-bound healthcare provider.
    3. Administrative: Modeling leadership and management skills and attributes for confident and effective practice (in collaboration with the Medical Physics Leadership Academy).
    4. Scientific: Setting the models of scientific excellence and innovation in all domains of medical physics in recognition of its interplay with associated disciplines (e.g. engineering, biomedicine, informatics).
    5. Educational: Encouraging updated and enhanced teaching skills to empower and to improve human health around the world.
  2. Visibility
    1. Developing targeted marketing, advocacy, and communication tools to effectively articulate value-based medical physics.
  3. Sustainability
    1. Modeling MP3.0 practices that can be achieved and sustained.
    2. Encouraging pragmatic resources for MP3.0 practice.
  4. Expansion
    1. Clinical: Identifying and encouraging areas of clinical growth where care can be enhanced with new physics contributions including robust pathways for translation of science to practice.
    2. Scientific: Encouraging opportunities and claiming roles for meaningful engagement of physics in all areas of medicine, including domains beyond radiation medicine.
    3. Educational: Devising and encouraging enhanced educational opportunities to position the physicist to have the competence and the confidence to fulfill his/her unique role as a scientist and as a practitioner along the MP3.0 objectives.

MP3.0 currently has a number of projects underway including the production of a video series designed to express the value of medical physics to patients, administrators, and physicians, educational offerings at the upcoming RSNA and AAPM meetings, a webpage with examples of “MP3.0 in practice”, and white papers to delineate how physicists can enact, express, and enhance the full value of physics towards human health.

Read full report in Med Phys
White Paper
Summary of white paper