2011 Joint AAPM/COMP Meeting
Dr. Brenda G. Clark, PhD, The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Ctr., Ottawa, ON, K1H 8L6, Canada
For more information about the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, visit aapm.org/

The education and training of medical physicists has lately been a much discussed and somewhat
contentious issue. There exists a spectrum of opinions on the optimal definition of the endpoint
and on the appropriate pathway to get there.

In order to find an optimal solution, a well-defined objective must be established. What are the
salient features of a medical physicist that education and training programs should produce?
How do we best balance didactic and clinical training, and what role should research play in
training programs? How many medical physicists do we need and will our training programs be
able to produce them? What is the status of certification and how does this affect training?

This symposium will address the following specific topics, with viewpoints from both American
and Canadian speakers.

Supply and Demand - Michael D. Mills and Brenda Clark

How many medical physicists do we have? What are the appropriate staffing levels to provide
adequate service? How many are we going to need to enter the workforce in the future?

The safety of patients treated with radiation oncology associated with personnel credentialing and
staffing has become the focus of national and international concern. ASTRO is revisiting the
question of personnel staffing levels by organizing and re-convening the “Blue Book” project;
this is the first such effort since 1991. In addition, the International Atomic Energy Agency has
convened an effort to establish recommended international staffing recommendations. A
previously published supply and demand model for radiation oncology physicists is updated and
presented to predict medical physicist employment market parameters through the year 2020.

CAMPEP Accredited Programs - Wayne Beckham

What is CAMPEP, what are the requirements for accreditation, and how does the process take
place? How many accredited programs are there, and how many applications are pending? What
is the future?

The Status and Role of Certification - G. Donald Frey and Dave Wilkins

What role does certification play in the hiring and career paths of medical physicists? What is the
relationship between registration, licensure, and career advancement? How many medical
physicists are certified, and is this changing? How many uncertified medical physicists are in
clinical practice? What are some of the barriers to certification?

Educational Pathways and Training Programs - Michael Herman and Jerry Battista

What should we be striving for in our training programs? What is the correct balance between
didactic and clinical training? What role should research play in the training of medical

Panel Discussion
The symposium will close with a panel discussion that will provide an opportunity for audience
members to actively participate.

Learning Objectives
1. Understand the need to establish recommended personnel staffing levels for medical physicists
2. Understand a current model that predicts the supply and demand for radiation oncology
physicists through 2020.
3. Understand the CAMPEP accreditation process
4. Understand the relevance of certification in the medical physics career path
5. Understand the need to strike a balance between clinical, didactic, and research training in the
design of medical physics training programs

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