The International Organization for Medical Physics (IOMP) is now completing another successful year full of activities and achievements in the various aspects of Medical Physics — scientific, educational, professional, as well as the international development of medical physics.
The very successful International Conference for Medical Physics (ICMP 2016) was the first such Conference in the South-East Asian Region, and included more than 600 delegates and exhibitors from 41 countries, preparing the way for future similar Conferences with associated IOMP Schools. IOMP would like to thank the ICMP 2016 host — the Thai Medical Physics Society and all colleagues who worked for the Organization of this large Conference in Bangkok, in particular its President Prof. Anchali Krisanachinda, the Presidents of AFOMP and SEAFOMP (Prof. Tae Suk Suh and Dr. James Lee), the Scientific Committee Co-Chairs Prof. Geoff Ibbott, Dr. Howell Round and Prof. Arun Chougule, and all colleagues who contributed to the success of the ICMP2016 in Bangkok. The ICMP marked a great success for our professional community not only by attracting leading worldwide professionals but also by initiating a number of events and initiatives to contribute to the development of medical physics in the region and worldwide.
The first IOMP School was held during ICMP 2016, and quickly gained popularity — 42 educational mini-symposia were linked to the ICMP 2016. This presented an excellent opportunity to many students and colleagues to receive more information on some of the hot topics in the profession. One of the IOMP School activities was a Workshop "Building Professional Capacity in Developing Countries" focused on discussing the harmonious development of the profession and shared good practices in low-and-middle-income (LMI) countries.
In 2016 IOMP introduced a new award in Medical Physics named after Professor John Mallard in recognition of his crucial role in the development and clinical application of two of the world's most important medical technologies – Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Positron Emission Tomography, as well as being one of the Founders of IOMP, the first IOMP Secretary General, later IOMP President and Founding President of IUPESM.
The IOMP Awards and Honors Committee (AHC) selected the first IOMP John Mallard Award recipient: Prof. Paul Marsden, Director of the PET Centre in St Thomas's Hospital, associated with King's College London, UK. Prof. Paul Marsden is awarded as one of the main inventors of the PET/MR Imaging system. He successfully built a prototype of it and introduced it in the clinical practice.
The third jointly sponsored IOMP-IUPAP Workshop, dedicated to professional growth in developing countries, took place at the International Conference on Medical Physics, ICMP2016, Bangkok. The Workshop discussed the global growth of medical physics in the past 20 years, highlighting the need of more medical physicists specifically in the regions of South-East Asia, Africa and Latin America. It was decided to concentrate on positive examples for building professional capacities. The reports stressed the need of inter-professional collaboration and support for building medical physics educational courses and including research elements, together with practical training. Special thanks were expressed to the ICTP College on Medical Physics and related MSc programme for their support for the development of medical physics in these countries, the IOMP Library programme and the AAPM Virtual Library initiative.
The IOMP Regional Coordination Board (RCB) entered successfully its second year. A face-to-face RCB meeting was held at the ICMP2016, Bangkok. The Board discussed the collaboration between IOMP Regional Organizations (Federations) during the year. Special attention was given to joint activities such as the ALFIM and AAPM collaboration for the organization of the Latin American Congress in Argentina and the AFOMP and SEAFOMP collaboration for the organization of the ICMP2016. The joint sessions EFOMP-MEFOMP at the first European Congress of Medical Physics (Athens, September 2016) and AFOMP-SEAFOMP-MEFOMP at the current International Conference on Medical Physics (Bangkok, December 2016) were also highlighted.
The IOMP President Slavik Tabakov expressed special gratitude to all Regional Organizations for their support and active participation in the first IOMP School activity at ICMP2016. It was also noted that the exchange of information between the IOMP Newsletter and the Newsletters of the large societies and the Regional Organizations has been very useful for the support of the harmonious global development of medical physics. In this connection the double growth of medical physicists in the past 20 years was discussed as a good background for the future expansion of the profession. AAPM President Melissa Carol Martin underlined the opportunity for free use of the AAPM Virtual Library by the colleagues from Low-and-Middle-Income countries. The IOMP President informed about the global use of the free e-learning materials Emerald, Emit and e-Encyclopaedia Emitel. He also informed about the possibility for IAEA to organize a training centre in Africa. All leads expressed readiness to support the activity with expertise.
The International Organization for Medical Physics celebrates annually the International Day of Medical Physics (IDMP) on November 7, in honor of the birthday of Marie Sklodowska-Curie. IOMP has dedicated IDMP 2017 to women, to commemorate Marie Curie's 150th anniversary and in recognition of the role of women in the profession of medical physics.
Various activities have been scheduled for the upcoming months, including a special issue of IOMP Medical Physics World dedicated to women. For more information on the upcoming events, visit IOMP Women Subcommittee web page.
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