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MS Vs PhD Vs DMP: A Live Medical Physics Podcast

S Tanny1*, A Herrick2*, N Sperling3*, A Roth4*, (1) SUNY Upstate Medical University, Rochester, NY, (2) Flower Hospital, Sylvania, OH, (3) University of Toledo Medical Center, Sylvania, OH, (4) University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI


(Sunday, 7/12/2020) 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM [Eastern Time (GMT-4)]

Room: Track 6

Our field is just over five years from the transition to formalized CAMPEP-accredited graduate education and residency requirements for American Board of Radiology (ABR) certification in medical physics. During that transition period, new physicists entering the field struggled to decide which degree path would provide them with a greatest chance of completing the new required training. Anecdotal reports of Ph.D. physicists being preferred over M.S. physicists for a few coveted residency positions have led some to question if we are seeing the end of the Masters of Medical Physics. A whole new degree, the Doctorate of Medical Physics (DMP), was created to give trainees the requisite training and guarantee a pathway into the field without needing to apply for a residency.

Our field has drastically expanded the number of residency positions since this mandate took effect. However aspiring medical physicists still consider their ability to enter the field tied to the degree they initially choose to pursue. Employers take a different perspective on prospective physicists, typically viewing M.S. vs. DMP- vs. Ph.D.-level physicists with differing clinical, research, and service expectations.

We are modeling this session after our podcast, with two presenters discussing the relevant literature followed by all four hosts engaging in an informal discussion about the topic. This session’s moderators will discuss the pros and cons of each degree pathway as it relates to training and employment. We will share our experiences as both job-seekers, interviewers, and educational program representatives. We will highlight how our perceptions have evolved through this process. Our session will incorporate feedback from educational program directors describing their perspectives on how their trainees perform as a function of their degree. Audience members will also have opportunities to interact with the presenters through live online polling and virtual question submission.

Learning Objectives:
1. Our audience will be able to identify the types of degrees and academic pathways available to aspiring medical physicists.
2. Our audience will understand the differences between the various degrees in terms of economic outlay, timeline, training requirements, and desired employment.
3. Our audience will be cognizant of the various perspectives about the roles of these degree holders within the medical physics communities.



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