This year's Summer School attracted 187 participants from 13 countries to gather at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. The school focused on "Image Guidance in Radiation Therapy: Techniques, Accuracy, and Limitations" and was held just prior to the AAPM Annual Meeting. It consisted of 2.5 days of sessions covering all current IGRT techniques. The attendees had various levels of involvement with IGRT ranging from less than one year to over ten years.
The lectures started with a review of the history of IGRT, reviewed current IGRT techniques, and provided perspectives on the potential future developments. Some of the topics covered were 2D and 3D x-ray based imaging devices and techniques, imaging dose, CT and MR simulation, and non-ionizing radiation IGRT including ultrasound, surface, and image guidance.
The program consisted of 16 sessions, ending with an additional Q&A session on the last day. A chapter in the Summer School Proceedings book accompanied each lecture. A copy of the book was included with the meeting registration and is available through Medical Physics Publishing. All lectures were approved for Medical Physics Continuing Education Credits (MPCEC) and Self-Assessment Modules (SAM) credits.
The didactic sessions were complemented with the traditional Summer School social events, icebreaker and evening socials, which provided more opportunities for the attendees to interact with each other and the faculty. An informal survey of the participants by program directors indicated that both attendees and faculty had a favorable impression of the School and that, in addition to the learning, participants benefited from the networking opportunity and sharing of their experiences. Although formal program evaluations by the attendees is not completed at the time of this writing, preliminary post-school survey data indicates a very positive overall rating of the program.
The success of 2018 Summer School could not be possible without the yearlong commitment of the faculty, and expert management of Karen MacFarland from AAPM. Other AAPM HQ staff who contributed to the school and accompanying book include Jaime Hoza, Phyllis Doak, Jackie Ogburn, Laurie Allen, and Abby Pardes. Summer School Subcommittee Chair, Holly Lincoln, and Vice-Chair, Vrinda Narayana were also instrumental in arranging a successful Summer School. Vrinda Narayana also volunteered as the emcee and photographer of the school and added "phun" to "physics" during the School.
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