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International Day of Medical Physics 2018

On Wednesday 7 November 2018, the IAEA will join all medical physicists around the world and the International Organization for Medical Physics (IOMP) in the celebration of the 6th International Day of Medical Physics (IDMP). IOMP focused this year’s event on Medical Physics for Patient Benefit.

This year, the IAEA hosted a webinar at its Headquarters in Vienna with the title “The Journey of an Ionization Chamber”, during which the typical path of an ionization chamber was followed, from calibration to clinical dosimetry in the radiotherapy department of a hospital. During this journey, the synergy between Secondary Standards Dosimetry Laboratories (SSDL) and hospitals was highlighted, describing how accuracy in calibration links to the work of the Clinically Qualified Medical Physicist (CQMP) and the importance of this interaction for safe, quality and effective patient healthcare.

The event included opening remarks by the Director of the Division of Human Health at the IAEA, Ms May Abdel-Wahab and presentations were given by Ms Cecilia Kessler from the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) and Ms Paula Toroi, SSDL Officer at the IAEA. Videos explaining the use of the ionization chambers in the hospital and the essential role of the clinically qualified medical physicists in the quality and effectiveness of radiotherapy treatment were sent by the medical physicists of the Maggiore Hospital in Trieste, Italy.

The radiotherapy medical physics team at the Maggiore Hospital in Trieste
From left to right: F. Kiragga (trainee in medical physics), R. Vidimari, Mario De Denaro (head of the medical physics department), F. Cupardo, M. Severgnini

Mr Festo Kiragga, originally from Uganda, is currently completing his clinical training at the Maggiore Hospital in Trieste, in the framework of the Master of Advanced Studies in Medical Physics, run jointly by International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) and the University of Trieste. His studies are being supported by the IAEA. The programme aims at addressing the scarcity of these professionals in many countries and is based on IAEA and AFRA recommendations for education and training of clinically qualified medical physicists.

Salutation messages were also delivered by Ms Debbie van der Merwe, Head of the Dosimetry and Medical Radiation Physics (DMRP) Section at the IAEA, Mr Madan Rehani, President of the IOMP and Mr Seeven Mootoosamy, the Chief Medical Physicist of the Victoria Hospital in Mauritius.

The whole panel discussion can be viewed by clicking on the links below:

Opening remarks – Ms M. Abdel-Wahab, Director NAHU, IAEA

Introduction: The Journey of the Ionization Chamber - Ms P. Toroi, SSDL Officer DMRP, NAHU, IAEA

The ionization chamber in the Primary Standards Dosimetry Laboratory (PSDL): the role of the PSDL - Ms C. Kessler, Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM)

The ionization chamber in the Secondary Standards Dosimetry Laboratory (SSDL): the role of the SSDL - Ms P. Toroi, SSDL Officer DMRP, NAHU, IAEA

The ionization chamber in the radiotherapy department: the role of the clinically qualified medical physicist (Medical Physics Department of the Maggiore Hospital of Trieste, Italy):

IAEA role in providing guidelines and support - Ms D. van der Merwe, Section Head DMRP, NAHU, IAEA

IOMP salutation message - Mr M. Rehani, President IOMP

IDMP celebration in Nigeria. At the centre of the top photo: Mr Taofeeq Ige, President of the Federation of African Medical Physics Organizations (FAMPO)

IDMP in Mexico at the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition. The celebration was organized by the Medical Physics Division of the Mexican Physics Society and the Mexican Medical Physics Network.

Radiotherapy Department, Hospital Sirio-Libanes, Sao Paulo, Brazil, connecting with the live webinar of the IDMP taking place at the IAEA in Vienna