Improving Health Through Medical Physics

Student and Trainees Subcommittee Report

Nicky Mahon, MS, Stafford, VA | Mallory Glenn, BS, Houston, TX

AAPM Newsletter — Volume 43 No.1 — January | February 2018
Picture of The Students and Trainees Subcommittee at the 2017 Annual Meeting
The Students and Trainees Subcommittee at the 2017 Annual Meeting

The Student and Trainees Subcommittee (STSC) would like to update the membership on its activities from the previous year and present new and upcoming initiatives. We are delighted to share the ongoing actions undertaken by this dedicated group of students, trainees, and mentors who continue to keep the AAPM's most junior members engaged and informed.

2017 Annual Student Meeting Events

To kick off the 2017 AAPM meeting in Denver, Colorado, the American College of Radiology (ACR) and STSC co-hosted a meet-and-greet at Pizza Republica, where students and trainees found pizza-filled camaraderie and networking among ACR's leadership. The next morning, the second annual Student and Trainee Day provided numerous opportunities for students to engage with one another, as well as with professionals in clinical and industry careers. The Annual Student Meeting was themed "Provocative Questions in Medical Physics Training" and included presentations and lively debates concerning several topics of interest, such as the Doctorate of Medical Physics (DMP) degree. This was followed by the Career Expo at the Working Group on Student and Trainee Research (WGSTR) Lunch, co-hosted by the STSC. Here, participants conversed with representatives from various companies ranging from small start-ups to industry leaders. At the second annual Residency Fair, over 130 attendees mingled with 58 residency programs, giving interested students and trainees the one-of-a-kind opportunity to meet with representatives from residency programs in one place prior to applying.

Following the day's events, over 200 students, trainees, and young professionals attended the Student and Trainee Night Out at the Great Divide Barrel Bar which provided a jovial atmosphere for students, residents, and post-docs to network over snacks and games. Special thanks to the sponsors of this year's Student and Trainee Night Out event: ZapIT Medical, ScandiDos, and the University of Wisconsin Radiation Calibration Laboratory.

In addition to these programs, the STSC has continued its tradition of holding the Interview Workshop, where over 50 students and young professionals engaged with skilled interviewers to improve their communication skills. David Piantino and Robin Miller from the Professional Services Committee began with an introductory "how-to" for interviewing before trainees had an opportunity to participate in mock interviews with a range of interviewers from clinical, academic, industry, and regulatory backgrounds. We received positive feedback about the "event [being] clearly very well organized" and that "the trainees got a lot out of it."

Likewise, we continued our support for the Partners for the Future program by providing guided tours of the vendor booths to introduce students to participating corporate affiliates. This year we helped incentivize students to participate through the new addition of a scavenger hunt; once students visited all the corporate partners and learned about their products and opportunities for collaboration, they were eligible for a drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card. Congratulations to our 2017 scavenger hunt winner, Ophélie Piron!

Beyond our typical programming, STSC was also involved in increasing undergraduate and youth involvement in medical physics. The first ever Med Phyz Wiz Kidz event, spearheaded by Dr. Julianne Pollard-Larkin and the Women's Professional Subcommittee (WPSC), brought approximately 30 students between the ages of 12 and 17 to stimulate interest in science and expose younger minds to the field of medical physics. The students listened to talks given by a number of female physicists from different fields to understand how diverse medical physics is. STSC and WPSC members then provided guided tours through the exhibit hall with this diverse group. Joint Society of Physics Students SPS-AAPM undergraduate members presented their research during the SPS Undergraduate Research & Outreach poster session, and the WGSTR facilitated a clinical tour of the Radiation Oncology and Radiology departments at the University of Colorado Hospital for a small group of SPS and local undergraduate students. Thank you to the UC Department of Radiation Oncology for hosting us! Additionally, STSC hosted an Undergraduate Networking Session and supported an undergraduate "buddy" system with current AAPM members to help guide younger students through the exhibit hall and scientific sessions.

Picture of Nicky Mahon Picture of Mallory Glenn
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Upcoming STSC Initiatives and Programs for 2018

Because of the positive responses we received following the 2017 Annual Meeting, we will be continuing many of our current initiatives, along with some additions. 2018 is sure to be our most exciting year yet, with new events and information being brought your way!

MedPhys Slam: At the 2018 AAPM Annual Meeting we are debuting a new competitive event, the MedPhys Slam. The rules are simple: you have three minutes to present your original research (accompanied by three PowerPoint slides) to a panel of judges from the local community. Each AAPM chapter, COMP, and an international section will select one representative to send to the final event at the 2018 Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. Think you have what it takes to communicate your research to a general audience in such a short time? Then be sure to ask your local AAPM chapters about their preliminary MedPhys Slam events and join us for the finals in Nashville. Cash prizes will be available for the best presentations.

New Blog Series on Non Clinical Career Pathways: The Working Group To Promote Non-Clinical Career Paths for Medical Physicists (WGNCMP) has begun publishing its paper that explores non-clinical career options for medical physicists through regular installments on our blog. This paper outlines potential positions, possible training requirements, current attitudes, and awareness of non-clinical careers. Be sure to watch our blog for upcoming segments. You can also look for the full paper to be published on the AAPM Student page.

2018 Annual Student Meeting Events: We are excited to announce that the 2018 Annual Student Meeting will be themed "Breaking Out of the Clinic" and will focus on what non-clinical careers are available to medical physicists, as well as how to prepare for them as a student, trainee, or clinical physicist. Our panelists are sure to spark thought-provoking discussions. Following the meeting, the Career Expo, hosted by WGNCMP, will be taking place. This time around, in order to maximize the ability for attendees to connect with many different companies, we are implementing a speed dating format!

Meeting attendees took time to socialize during the WGSTR Lunch/Career Expo

The WGSTR will be hosting the annual student luncheon, themed: "Committees, Councils, and Task Groups, Oh My! How to Get Involved in the AAPM." Join us to meet active AAPM members, learn about the AAPM committee structure, and discover ways that student and trainee members can engage in AAPM activities. In the afternoon, the third annual Residency Fair will commence, where we hope to see high turnout among students and residency programs alike.

Partners for the Future will return in Nashville and continue to encourage student and trainees to visit vendors and learn about how their products and services can benefit future practice. The feedback from the 2017 meeting was exceptionally positive, so we anticipate continuing the scavenger hunt and guided tours at the 2018 Annual Meeting. Come learn about the latest trends in related fields at the poster session highlighting this year's winners of the Expanding Horizons Travel Grant. Lastly, the Interview Workshop will re-appear to help those getting ready to apply for residencies, post-docs, and employment opportunities to sharpen their interview skills and receive feedback from experienced interviewers. Sign-ups for the workshop will be available this summer.

Exciting Opportunities for Students and Trainees

Internships: Looking for a summer internship? The AAPM job website now has an internship category! With this new category you can view new listings or provide your information so employers can get in direct contact with you. Check out the listings.

Graduate Fellowships and Grants: The AAPM has a host of travel grants and fellowships available for student and trainee members, including the BEST Medical/AAPM Travel Fellowships, the Expanding Horizons Travel Grant, and the AAPM Graduate Research Fellowship. See the full list of available opportunities and deadlines on the AAPM Grants and Fellowship Page. Deadlines are quickly approaching – including a *NEW* call for additional Expanding Horizons Travel Grants coming up in February – so don't miss your chance!

Undergraduate Opportunities: Undergraduates are encouraged to submit their research abstracts for the Society of Physics Students Poster Session at the 2018 Annual Meeting. These undergraduate students get to share their work with the AAPM community at large during the General Poster Session on the first day of the conference. The STSC will also host an Undergraduate Networking Session following our annual student meeting. In addition, the AAPM offers both the DREAM and Summer Undergraduate Fellowship Programs. Both programs offer 10 weeks of research experiences with medical physicists and a $5,000 stipend. Please note that deadlines are quickly approaching. You may find more information on the AAPM Grants and Fellowship page.

learn more about residency programs at the Residency Fair

Stay Informed: Follow Us Online!

The STSC has endeavored to increase our social media presence this past year through regular blogging and social media posts. You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates and information. In addition, we are continuing our blog with hopes to discuss student and trainee specific topics in further detail. Upcoming events, ways for students to get involved, and topics of interest will be featured on both our Facebook page and Twitter feed. Job postings, post-doctoral positions, and residency announcements will be posted on both Facebook and Twitter as information becomes available (but please note that not all positions may appear on both platforms, so follow both accounts for full details).

While we are happy to share our news with you, we would love to hear from you too! If you are doing some interesting work, win an award, or have a something you want to share, please let us know on Twitter or on our Facebook page! We are happy to review and share any information beneficial to medical physics students and trainees (i.e., graduate program news, residency positions, fellowship opportunities, etc.). If you have any suggestions for discussion topics, events, or other initiatives to support students and trainees within AAPM, feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!

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