Improving Health Through Medical Physics

Traveling Lecture Group Report

Chengyu Shi, PhD | Basking Ridge, NJ

AAPM Newsletter — Volume 43 No. 6 — November | December 2018

China has a large population of cancer patients; however, the overall cancer cure rate is only about 50% of that in the United States. There are about 4,000 medical physicists, but they are mainly doing medical dosimetrists' jobs. All other necessary quality assurance tasks are distributed among vendors, medical physicists and radiation therapy technicians. The majority of medical physicists in China are bachelor degree academically prepared, and the depth and breadth of training are not enough to perform the latest requirements for medical physicists as in the United States. Considering the recent advances in the field, it is very necessary to share the latest quality assurance concepts both theoretical and practical aspects with the Chinese medical physicists in order to improve the quality of cancer treatment.

In light of this idea, a Traveling Lecture Group was formed in April 2018. On May 9, a leadership team was formed in the presence of Raymond Wu, PhD, ESPS Chairman. The team was chaired by Chengyu Shi, PhD of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The Vice Chair is Minsong Cao, PhD of University of California at Los Angeles. The Treasurer is Hai Luo, PhD, Chief Physicist of Orange Regional Medical Center, NY. The Liaison with ESPS is Jason Yan, MS, of University of Arizona Cancer Center in Phoenix. All of them are AAPM full members. Yakov Pipman, D.Sc., Chair of the IOMP's Professional Relations Committee also joined the group with other six physicists from different organization in the United States. In total, ten medical physicists are in the Traveling Lecture group.

The travel expenses are provided by a company based in Beijing. The person in charge is Guangyu Zhou, President of the Beijing Molin Company. He is the coordinator for the Chinese side and manages the contact with the hospitals and cancer centers. The group visited a total 14 institutions in different provinces of China on this round from September 11 - 23.

The tour was very welcomed by the local hospitals. The Vice President of the hospital or the Chair of the Radiation Oncology Department usually hosted the meeting when the lectures were given. After the lectures, the people had discussion sessions and asked questions related to the lectures given or the clinical questions beyond the lectures. Suggestions were also given to the hospital for future quality improvements. All the events were well received with active discussions. The participants included physicians, medical physicists, radiation therapists and colleagues from other local hospitals. The lectures were also broadcast through the web instantly for the whole country and audiences were also able to view the lectures later on, if they did not have time to attend.

In total, 39 lectures were given during the tours, which drew great attendance from the medical physicist communities in China. After the event, several hospitals expressed their interests in a repeat tour next year, which may be hosted depending on financial conditions and speakers' availability.

In summary, during the two weeks of the tour, 14 hospitals were visited and 39 lectures were given. The whole lecture tour drew medical physicist society's attention in China and provided very useful information for the medical physicists. Following the tour, the positive feedback from the audiences and summaries for the speakers were gathered for future reference.

For more information on the Exchange Scientist Program please visit the AAPM International Portal.

Illustration of the speakers and hospitals visited.
a. Group picture at the tenth hospital in Shanghai
b. Group picture at the Luhe hospital in Beijing
c. Group picture at No.1 hospital of Xiamen University
d. Group picture at Fudan University

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