Room: AAPM ePoster Library
Purpose: To demonstrate the importance of conducting clinical Medical Physics occupational studies.
Methods: A database of person(s) developing Medical-Physics tasks (PDMPT) in the Mexican healthcare system was created from three major sources: (1) government official reports, (2) alumni follow-up records of the available Medical Physics graduate programs, and (3) personal communication with peers. Such database included information about the employer(s), field(s) of specialization, academic profile and annual income (when available). The number of physicians, facilities and imaging/treatment devices nationwide were also recorded, as a reference.
Results: This work allowed to clearly identify the current challenges of clinical Medical Physics practice in Mexico, such as: uneven geographical distribution of manpower, gender imparity, PDMPT burnout and multi-shifting, wage gap, and insufficiency of qualified human resources to develop Medical Physics tasks. Our data suggests that Mexico is far from fulfilling the international recommendations regarding clinical medical physicist academic profile; however, this problem could be solved in the near future for the specific cases of radiation oncology and nuclear medicine services in the public sector. International board certification of PDMPT, on the other hand, is far from being a reality in the short term. Large discrepancies were found when comparing our data with previous works and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) databases, which suggests that such sources may need to be updated. The products derived from this work were used to propose short- and long-term measures that could help to improve the Mexican healthcare system.
Conclusion: Occupational studies can help to better understand the limitations, challenges and necessities of clinical Medical Physics practice in a healthcare system.