International Week of Medical Physics

Posted on: 2022-05-19

By Renato Dimenstein
Physicist specializing in Radiodiagnosis and Radioprotection Supervisor
Physicist in Nuclear Medicine, Hospital Albert Einstein
Former President, Brazilian Association of Medical Physics

The International Day of Medical Physics is celebrated on November 7, the birthday of Maria Sklodowska-Curie, Polish physicist and chemist, who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity.

However, this month is also celebrated the National Day of the Physicist in Brazil, on May 19, and the International Week of Medical Physics – in 2022, from May 9 to 13, with scientific and educational activities in several countries, with the coordination of the International Organization of Medical Physics.

This celebration is important, as it allows us to discuss the interfaces of physics with Radiotherapy, Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Imaging.

The performance of the physicist and the progress of the area

For more than 50 years, the Brazilian Association of Medical Physics (ABFM) has as its mission to develop the practice of Physics in Medicine and related sciences, encouraging research and development, disseminating technical-scientific information and promoting the professional improvement of Medical Physicists, so that patients are treated with high quality services.

To this end, it maintains cooperation agreements with the National Nuclear Energy Commission, Brazilian College of Radiology, Brazilian Society of Nuclear Medicine, Brazilian Society of Radiotherapy, Brazilian Society of Radiological Protection, São Paulo Society of Radiology and Brazilian Society for the Progress of Science.

In recent years, ABFM has been striving to support actions to promote the training of qualified human resources, with the promotion of a critical awareness focused on radiological protection and quality control among professionals who use equipment that emits ionizing radiation.

Within its institutional mission, ABFM developed a certification program for the qualification of specialists in Medical Physics, in the areas of Radiotherapy, Nuclear Medicine and Diagnosis. More than 800 specialist physicists have already been certified – similar to professionals working in Canada and Spain. Although the number is lower than national demands, the supply of residency vacancies in Medical Physics is increasing, which contributes significantly to the maximization of technological resources and, thus, to the improvement of health in Brazil.

Historically, the areas of greatest professional demands were Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine. However, the role of physicists in the area of Diagnostic Imaging is increasing due to the technological revolution. ID specialists physicists work in equipment evaluation, security measures, accreditation and professional education programs, and thus transform knowledge into skills, according to ALARA.

Another growing front of action is in the improvement of pulse sequences in Magnetic Resonance, as well as in education and safety programs. As a result of ANVISA’s regulatory demands, there are also possibilities of acting with evaluation of equipment in B mode and Doppler.

These celebrations demonstrate how physics increasingly moves humanity along new paths!

"Promote through education safe diagnostic imaging in Latin America with emphasis on radiological protection"

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