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An Activity Based Approach to Evaluate Medical Physics Needs in Medical Imaging and Radionuclide Therapy

H Delis1 , GL Poli1 , M Brambilla2 , S Holm3 , M Martin4 , ID McLean5 , D van der Merwe1*, (1) International Atomic Energy Agency,(2) University Hospital "Maggiore della Carita", Novara, Italy, (3) Rigshospitalet, University Hospital Copenhagen, Denmark, (4) Therapy Physics, Inc., Signal Hill, CA, United States, (5) Canberra Hospital, Canberra, Australia


(Sunday, 7/29/2018) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: Although the role of the medical physicist in radiation oncology has been well established for many years, the role in medical imaging is still underestimated, even though the vast majority of the population’s exposure to ionizing radiation is due to medical imaging and despite the radiation injuries reported in computed tomography and interventional radiology.The scope of the IAEA Human Health Report No. 15, is to describe the characteristics of an algorithm developed to determine the recommended staffing levels for clinical medical physics services in medical imaging and radionuclide therapy.

Methods: Activity based staffing levels have been developed, based on the roles and responsibilities of the medical physicist, as they are described in the IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GSR Part 3, and in IAEA Human Health Series No.25. These roles and responsibilities, as also described in the publications, are divided in six major categories and can be equipment dependent, patient dependent, radiation protection related, service related, training related or academic teaching and research related.

Results: The number of the medical physicists calculated, is based on best practice, as described in international guidelines, and the algorithm is not designed to represent the current situation in all countries. Additional duties of the medical physicist, such as participation in research and support for radionuclide production, are considered separately and can be removed from the final calculation to better reflect all local practices, while the efficiencies of larger medical physics service are also considered. The algorithm has been tested under a variety of field conditions to ensure its general applicability.

Conclusion: A comprehensive method is presented, for the estimation of the number of medical physicists required to provide adequate medical physics services, that are already established and delivered locally. An accompanying spreadsheet is also available to facilitate calculations following these recommendations.


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