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First Year Experience with An International Medical Physics Peer Support Group

M van Prooijen1*, S Parker2, (1) Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, ON, CA, (2) Wake Forest Baptist Health High Point Medical Center, High Point, NC


(Sunday, 7/12/2020)   [Eastern Time (GMT-4)]

Room: AAPM ePoster Library

While many (Low-to-Middle-Income-Country) LMIC focused radiotherapy educational efforts are directed at oncologists, few opportunities exist for medical physicists. To fill this gap, a Kenyan Physicists Forum (KPF) was created. The forum is open to physicists at any Kenyan radiation therapy centre with the goal of monthly online meetings to discuss medical physics topics of interest to the participants.

Invitations were sent to previously established contacts requesting participation in an informational survey and approval from an immediate supervisor in order to verify alignment with local learning objectives. The survey yielded information about the applicants’ backgrounds, work environment and aspirations for the forum.

Meetings took place online. Discussion topics were chosen by the Kenyan physicists and sessions were either seminar or discussion based. After one year, a ‘Help us improve’ survey was sent to all participants and included questions with both rating scale and free text responses.

11 meetings were held in the first year, each attended by 4-12 people. Over the year, the forum grew from 12 to 22 members by word of mouth. Eight physicists completed the ‘Help us Improve’ survey. The average score for rating scale questions was 10.4/14.

Based on the one year survey responses, the forum is performing reasonably well. Barriers to participation were availability and technology connectivity problems. Topic choices revealed the diversity of practice, with some centres being ready for IMRT, while others were just embarking on 3D planning. Process changes as a result of participation in the forum showed another key positive effect of the forum: increased connections among Kenyan physicists. The survey also highlighted interests in advanced technology, artificial intelligence, and research.

The Kenyan Physicists Forum is a useful model for interacting with and assisting LMIC physicists. In future sessions, we hope to build on research interests.


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Education: Application

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