Starting and running medical physics graduate and residency programs requires a great deal of creative and administrative effort on the part of each individual institution, but without an easy mechanism for learning from the successes of other institutions. SCARD, for example, provides annual educational activities to instruct new chairs how best to structure and run academic radiology departments; no such corresponding structure exists for medical physics.
Furthermore, there are many practical challenges that face directors of medical physics educational programs. For example, how can a program that is constrained by practical limitations on the clinical time of its faculty provide adequate hands-on training for its trainees? How many MS and PhD students should a program attempt to support, based on the job opportunities available? What are effective strategies for making a program financially self-supporting? In which employment sectors are students finding jobs upon graduation? Which curriculum strategies have been shown to best prepare students for research as well as clinical jobs? These and other questions face program directors routinely. While organizations such as the Education and Training Council of AAPM, CAMPEP, ABR and others have addressed various components of these questions, there is currently no means for program directors to meet together regularly to help one another sort out the best answers to these challenges.
SDAMPP is new society formed to facilitate the interaction of key leaders in academic medical physics programs. SDAMPP aims to provide program directors many of the needed resources noted above. It further aims to be a resource to institutions starting new programs. While this effort would be beneficial to all new programs, it would be especially beneficial for our medical physics colleagues in developing countries with limited medical physics infrastructure. SDAMPP would see its mission to include assisting medical physicists around the world as they seek to establish their own local educational programs.
A final component of SDAMPP’s purpose is that it provides a forum for program directors to discuss issues of mutual concern, and to formulate thoughtful and unified responses to issues such as professional requirements for trainees that would have significant impact on the future health of academic programs. An independent organization that gives voice to the perspective of program directors would be one party to the larger dialogue as such professional issues are considered.
While SDAMPP is an independent organization, it works closely with AAPM, COMP, IOMP, CAMPEP, ABR, and other organizations to advance the collective mission of enhancing medical physics educational opportunities.
SDAMPP aims to promote better coordination between academic MP programs, to foster establishment of best practices, to monitor production of students relative to job market, to help new programs get started, and to serve as a voice for academic program directors.
Elements of this vision include the following:
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SDAMPP is new society formed to facilitate the interaction of key leaders in academic medical physics programs. SDAMPP aims to provide program directors many of the needed resources. Unless otherwise noted, all material on the SDAMPP webpage is copyrighted by SDAMPP. Use with prior permission.