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International Day of Medical Physics 2019

On Thursday 7 November 2019, the IAEA will join all medical physicists around the world and the International Organization for Medical Physics (IOMP) in the celebration of the 7th International Day of Medical Physics (IDMP). 7 November marks an important date for medical physics because on this day in 1867, Marie Sklodowska-Curie, known for her pioneering research on radioactivity, was born in Poland.

The topic chosen by IOMP for this year’s celebration is “It’s a Medical Physics World!”.

Medical physics has been included among the healthcare professions by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2008 and the work of medical physicists directly contribute to the quality, safety and effectiveness of the uses of radiation medicine in diagnosis and therapy. Nevertheless, still scarce understanding and recognition of the profession exist worldwide. This can result in serious consequences that can include unharmonized and undesirable professional standards, low professional status in healthcare and therefore a lack of recognition, brain drain and understaffing. These are all elements that ultimately can result in compromising patient healthcare.

The IAEA is committed to supporting the work of medical physicists all around the globe and works daily supporting medical physicists in all world regions. Activities of the IAEA include:

  • Providing freely accessible guidelines and handbooks that foster the application of best practices in the clinic,
  • directly supporting capacity building in medical physics in Member States through Technical Cooperation projects,
  • guidance toward harmonization of education and training in medical physics to international recommendations,
  • support to research activities, and
  • providing services such as calibration and postal dose audits.

A lesser known opportunity at the IAEA is the appointment of interns who, for different durations of time, support the work of staff members in the various fields of medical physics, while gaining exposure to the activities carried out at the IAEA. Most interns in the field of medical physics are themselves interested in this profession that they may wish to pursue in the future.

A few words from two of our current interns:

Madhura: “My name is Madhura Khandekar and I am from the US. I recently graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in physics and will begin graduate study in medical physics in 2020. I am currently an intern in the Dosimetry and Medical Radiation Physics Section of the IAEA where I work on medical physics education support. I became interested in medical physics after attending several seminars and was drawn to the idea of applying physics in medicine. During my last year of university, I shadowed a medical physicist at the local hospital in the Department of Radiation Oncology, where I learned the basics of medical imaging and gained some experience with imaging software tools. Medical physics will allow me to utilize my passion for physics in a practical setting, and I am thankful that the IAEA provides a strong platform for doing so.”

Soraya: “I am originally from Iran and I have been living in Vienna for almost 6 years. My very first glimpse of medical physics was during my BSc. study. I had a very general course with the title of medical physics. Afterward, during my studies I have been exposed to the topics relevant to medical physics but attending a shadowing program in IAEA and talking to the expertise helped a lot to get a better perspective in order to get fully involved in the field. My background (both BSc and MSc) is biomedical engineering with a major in “Medical physics and Imaging.” What I enjoy the most about medical physics -or in general physics- is the in-depth analytical mindset that it brings with itself. The prospect of working with some of the most advanced and sophisticated machinery in the world is both challenging and satisfactory. As a personal preference, I enjoy the fact that it offers a broad spectrum of research and careers opportunity which contribute to the improvement of health care systems, without necessarily involving day-to-day contact with patients. I am the SSDL intern, mainly helping the SSDL officer with the relevant activities. My main task involves working with the SSDL Database. Moreover, helping with publications and some TC projects.”

To learn more on internships’ possibilities at the IAEA, please visit the relevant page.

As every year, we are happy to feature below a photo gallery of medical physicists celebrating this day all over the world

IAEA IDMP message



IDMP events worldwide

Algeria - Centre de Recherche Nucléaire d'Alger


The Students of the first year of the Master's of Advanced Studies in Medical Physics, jointly organised by the ICTP and Trieste University, celebrate the 2019 International Day of Medical Physics attending the exam of Brachytherapy of the courses of Professors Mauro Carrara (Istituto Tumori, Milan) and Francesco Ziglio (Ospedale S. Chiara, Trento). With this exam, they have almost completed the 26 courses and exams of the Programme and are ready to begin the second year of supervised clinical training in one of the 21 hospitals of the network. In the image, from left top row: Penabei Samafou (Chad), Ahmad Nawid Burhan (Afghanistan), Ashok Pokhrel (Nepal), Renato Padovani (ICTP), Shamirah Kirabo Nabankema (Uganda), Khady Sy (Senegal), Rosa Angelica Petit Sevilla (Venezuela), Lucia Arana Pena (Guatemala, Master’s graduate), Edith Natalia Villegas Garcia (Nicaragua), Otieno Kapis (Kenya); bottom row from left: Mohammed Abujami (Palestine), Saba Muhammad Hussain (Pakistan), Rehema Ramadhan Mashaka (Tanzania), Suzie Radosic (Master’s Secretary).

Christian Medical College, Vellore, India

College of Medical Physics, India


Radiosurgery procedures, Centro Medico Nacional "General de División Manuel Avila Camacho", Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Puebla, México

Dosimetry Lab team, IAEA Seibersdorf Laboratories

Commissioning of a Newly installed LINAC at Baticloea, Sri Lanka

On the occasion of the celebration of International Day of medical physics 2019, a national course on the prevention of accidents and incidents in radiotherapy was organized in Tunis from 4 to 7 December 2019 in collaboration with AFRA-IAEA

Launch of the Uganda Medical Physicist Association (UMPA)

7th- 8th November International Medical Physics Day and International Day of Radiology were celebrated at Penang General Hospital. This event was organized by Penang General Hospital and Penang State Health Department.