To raise awareness of our profession, the International Organization for Medical Physics (IOMP) initiated the International Day of Medical Physics (IDMP) which takes place on the 7th of November every year. On that day in 1867, Marie Sklodowska-Curie was born in Poland. She is known for her pioneering research on radioactivity which still contributes to the fight against cancer today.
Every year the IOMP chooses another theme and encourages the national professional bodies (who sign a Memorandum of Understanding) to organise events and promote the day through social media and other routes to increase awareness.
IPEM has done a number of activities, events and campaigns over the years. This year we will write a joint letter with RCR and SCoR to the CEOs of the hospitals with radiology and medical physics departments advising them of this International Day of Medical Physics and the International Day of Radiology, which is on the 8th November. The letter highlights the importance of medical physics and radiology and suggests that this might be an opportunity to visit the department.
In 2018 the theme IOMP has chosen is "Medical Physics for patient benefit" linking to IPEM's 2016 campaign "Science for Patient Benefit". To download their official poster, which is free to use, please click here.
Why not get creative and see how you can link IDMP to your department and hospital?
Here is a great example form Nottingham University Hospital which has mapped the staff in their Medical and Clinical Engineering Department to show the international nature of their workforce.
Here are some ready made tweets you could use:
7 November is the International Day of Medical Physics #IDMP2018 ! Check out these free resources if you are doing anything to promote #physicsforpatientbenefit. www.ipem.ac.uk/AboutIPEM/PublicEngagement/InternationalDayofMedicalPhysics.aspx
#Physicsforpatientbenefit is the official theme for this year's International day of Medical Physics #IDMP2018 on 7 November. www.ipem.ac.uk/AboutIPEM/PublicEngagement/InternationalDayofMedicalPhysics.aspx
We have a number of leaflets, posters and career films which you can use on open days, careers visits and science fairs. These are free to order or download.
In 2017 we celebrated the 150th birthday of Marie Sklodowska-Curie and decided to use this opportunity for a bigger campaign celebrating women in medical physics. We asked women working in medical physics from around the world to send us their photo to produce this poster which marks this event and anniversary.
We had a fantastic response and the poster includes women from over 25 countries. Thank you everybody who got involved. The poster is still available free to download in different formats (scroll down to the bottom of the page).
Iyobosa B. Uwadiae, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo - State, Nigeria.
I work in Radiation Oncology but I was a medical student for a few years before going to study Physics. While contemplating in my 1st/2nd year of physics whether or not to return to medicine, I came across the field of Medical Physics on the internet. A perfect blend! I haven't had any regrets!
I love the joy and fulfillment that comes from applying my knowledge and skills, and seeing it translate into kicking cancer out and saving lives.
Nupur Karmaker, Lecturer, Gono Bishwabidyalay (University), Bangladesh.
I teach human anatomy for medical physicist and biomedical engineer, Quality management in radiotherapy, biomedical instrumentation, biomechanics. After completing my H.SC level, I was tried to admit university for B.Sc study. I did not take decision which subject will suitable for me. My elder brother suggested to study in medical physics. He inspired and motivated me. I took decision to do medical physics and help my country and people who are suffering from cancer - only very few women medical physicists are working in this field.
My favourite parts of my job are Teaching, clinical research, manpower, educational and professional development and consultation.
Agnieszka Walewska, Medical Physics Department in Maria Sklodowska-Curie Memorial Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology in Warsaw, Poland.
I work for the benefit of Radiotherapy Depatment in Dosimetry Team 4. Working in a medical physics facility is a natural consequence of my education. I am a graduate of the faculty of physics and a specialist in the field of medical physics. I work in Dosimetry Team since graduation.
In my work I value its dynamics and uniqueness the most. Every day is a new challenge and the opportunity to work in a team with a doctors, engineers and technicians.
Esther Chinyere Uwannah, Medical Physics Trainee at The Royal Free Hospital London
I now work in Radiation Safety and Diagnostic Radiology but initially I wanted to be a radiographer! I liked Physics and Maths and Biology (but not the plant bits), and I thought a family friend was Head of Radiotherapy at my local hospital so I asked if I could come in and see his work. It turns out that he was Head of Radiotherapy Physics: big difference! After this visit I was sold!
The best bit about working in Radiation Safety is being able to use the things I naturally love doing – solving equations, carrying out experiments – to actually help people, although it may be indirectly. I love that the work I do has an impact on others even though it may be as simple as the fact they can safely walk down a corridor because I calculated the right amount of lead shielding for the CT scanning room next door, or a patient can safely have an x-ray taken and get diagnosed because we worked hard to optimise the radiation dose and image quality. Also, I love using all the shiny new bits of equipment!
Simone Kodlulovich Renha, National Commission of Nuclear Energy. Rio de Janeiro. Brazil
I work in Diagnostic Radiology. For me it was difficult to choose graduation in Physics or Medicine. Then I realize that I had more skills for physics. In my Master degree, I discovered that I could have the best of both worlds: Medical physics!
Kate Spillane, Clinical physicist in radiation oncology at the University of Pennsylvania, USA
I was graduating with a degree in physics but had no clear idea what I wanted to do next. I had applied (and been accepted) to medical schools and graduate schools (a variety of different schools all for different science and engineering disciplines). Nothing seemed overly exciting, nothing really "felt right". Late in the process of deciding what I would be doing the following year, I saw a poster (in my college's physics department) for Health and Medical Physics graduate programs at Georgia Tech. Out of the blue...THIS felt right. I knew immediately that this was what I wanted to do with my life. I have loved the field of Medical Physics and every minute of working as a medical physicist. I can't imagine being anything other than a medical physicist now or working in a field where I would have been as happy and excited to go to work each and every day.
The other thing I love to do, when given the opportunity, is to speak to students (particularly women) at colleges (and high schools) to let them know about the field of Medical Physics. For the most part, no one knows the field even exists. More students (women) would study physics if they could picture themselves (using physics) in a job other than in a research laboratory. Almost every time I have spoken to students, the light bulb has gone on for at least one of them and they have pursued medical physics as a career. It makes me really happy to know that there are many successful medical physicists practicing out there because of my love for the field of Medical Physics
Our members held a number of events around the UK to celebrate this day:
Many people supported our Thunderclap which went live on the 7 November at 11.00 and we had hundreds of tweets and impressions.
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