The Role of Medical Physics in the Field of Radiology

MAHESH mahadevappaThis post was contributed by Mahadevappa Mahesh, MS, PhD, FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology (ACR) Commission on Medical Physics and Ashley E. Rubinstein, PhD, a medical physics resident at the UTHealth McGovern Medical School.

Dr. Mahesh: In January 2019, the American College of Radiology (ACR) Board of Chancellors approved the establishment of Richard L. Morin, PhD, Fellowship in Medical Physics, sponsored by the Commission on Medical Physics. The fellowship allows us to provide a medical physics resident-in-training an opportunity to learn about the inner workings of the college, and at the same time attract younger medical physicists to become members of the College and contribute to all of the important work we will be doing in the coming years as we continue moving into value- and population-based healthcare.

As this was the first time the fellowship was available, we weren’t sure what to expect. We received ten strong applications and the Commission had a difficult time selecting one fellow. After reviewing all of the applications closely, we unanimously selected Ashley E. Rubinstein, Ph.D. as the inaugural fellow.

Ashley RubinsteinDr. Rubinstein: I am extremely honored to have been chosen for the Fellowship. I first heard about this opportunity through Dr. Susan John, the Chair of Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging at the UTHealth McGovern Med School, who encouraged me to apply. During residency, I have become involved with global health initiatives through the IAEA and RAD-AID, where I have used ACR standards and guidelines as a framework for improving radiological care. I knew the Morin Fellowship would be a wonderful opportunity for me to learn more about the ACR and how I, as a physicist, can impact the field of radiology.

 Dr. Mahesh: Dr. Rubinstein, we are very excited to welcome you to the College’s annual meeting, ACR 2019, this May – and to have you spend a week at the ACR headquarters to learn about the inner workings of the College and also to complete a project as part of your fellowship.

We know that accredited medical physics residency programs do a great job training our incoming medical physicists like you, but we also realize that a lot of what the ACR does is somewhat of a black box to this group. This fellowship will provide an opportunity for you and other young medical physicists to not only learn, but also play a more active role in the key activities of the College in the coming years.

Dr. Rubinstein: Thank you, Dr. Mahesh. I look forwarding to gaining a better understanding of the context in which ACR standards have been established and the precise impact these standards have had on the field of radiology. I also look forward to promoting the principles of the ACR both in the United States and globally. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

  • Do you have questions about the new Morin Fellowship?
  • Do you have questions about radiation, image quality, the physics of medical imaging or the Commission on Medical Physics’ work? We’d love to answer them.

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IDEAS Study: Closing in on a Terrible Killer

Barry Siegel.jpg

The IDEAS Study site map appears on the monitor behind Dr. Siegel

This post was contributed by Barry A. Siegel, MD, professor of radiology at Washington University School of Medicine, IDEAS Study co-investigator, and previously co-chair of the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR).

IDEAS Study results published this week in JAMA confirm that amyloid PET imaging serves a vital role in the management and diagnosis of the 5.5 million Americans suffering with Alzheimer’s – the nation’s sixth leading cause of death.

PET imaging used to detect Alzheimer’s-related plaques in the brain changed management of nearly two-thirds of patients with mild cognitive impairment and dementia – and diagnosis of the cause of these effects in nearly a third of such patients.

What’s more, the study results are generalizable across much of the US population as participating sites included community clinics, freestanding imaging centers and other non-academic settings – in addition to large teaching hospitals.

At present, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease – but research is actively ongoing on many fronts.

I am proud that the American College of Radiology managed this landmark trial and that radiologists are such a large part of this great effort.

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