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Medical Physics at the BC Cancer Agency

December 12, 2012

Hello everyone,

Some of you may be interested to know the role of medical physicists in cancer treatment. Medical physicists are health care professionals with specialized training in an application of physics in medicine and are an integral part of the Radiation Oncology team where cancer patients are treated with high energy radiation.

Medical physicists perform an important role working along with the radiation oncologist, the radiotherapy technologist and others, to assure the accurate radiation dose is delivered at right location. They are scientists with graduate training in physics (M.Sc. or Ph.D.), residency in medical physics and a membership either with the Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine (CCPM) or American Board of Radiology (ABR).

The role of a medical physicist in radiation therapy is very wide but not limited to treatment planning, radiotherapy machine design, testing, calibration, quality control, optimized clinical use of high energy radiation, radiation safety and development of new innovative techniques and technology for precise radiation therapy treatment. Medical physicists are also actively involved in research, teaching and technical aspects of radiation clinical trial development and implementation.