Clinical Physics Training
The UW Medical Physics Graduate Program gives students a thorough didactic education in all aspects of medical physics. In addition to course work on radiation interactions with matter, radiation therapy physics, diagnostic imaging, health physics, and nuclear medicine, students may take advanced courses in clinical physics topics including brachytherapy, radiation treatment planning, advanced radiotherapy physics, diagnostic ultrasound, basic and advanced MRI, X-Ray CT, and molecular imaging. Most students complete their course work by the end of their second year in graduate school.
There are labs associated with several of these classes, which gives students introduction to the clinic and treatment/imaging hardware and software. Beyond these, our "RadLab" series of courses offer the next level of hands-on training. The Radlabs are not intended to provide job training, but rather a reinforcement of didactic coursework.
In addition, we offer opportunity to participate in several "Student Teams" as a way for graduate students to gain additional clinical experience and to be involved in the clinic. These take the format of 1-2 evenings/week for 6-12 months doing patient QA, machine QA and other clinical projects under the direct supervision of a radiation oncology staff physicist. Participation in Student Teams will give students specific experience to cite on a resume/CV and to discuss at job or residency interviews. Moreover it allows students to gain a valuable comfort level and working knowledge of the treatment machines and measurement instrumentation in a radiation therapy facility.
The Radiation Physics CLerkship is no longer offered by our faculty since the bulk of clinical training will come from post graduate training in a Medical Physics Residency. The Amberican Board of Radiology, which administers certification examinations for clinical physicists, will REQUIRE completion of a CAMPEP approved residency in order to sit for Part Two of the Board Certification Exam. The new requirement goes into effect with those taking the Part One exam for the first time in 2014. See http://www.theabr.org/ic/ic_rp/ic_rp_newcampep.html.
Residency programs are listed on the Commission for Accreditation of Medical Physics Educational Programs website. See the CAMPEP website for more information.