Concern raised over quality of medical physicists

9:48 AM, Saturday, May 19th, 2018

medical-physicsMangaluru: Expressing concern over the quality of medical physicists passing out from different institutions across the country, Atomic Energy Regulation Board Chairman S.A. Bhardwaj said here on Friday that not many graduates are qualifying in the examination for selection of Radiological Safety Officers.

“The failure rate (in the examination conducted by AERB) is very high,” he said in his speech after inaugurating the M.Sc (Medical Physics) course of Mangalore University.

He later told reporters that the AERB found that among the 22 institutions providing the course, some are not doing well. “But there are institutes doing well. I expect Mangalore University to do well,” he said.

Mr. Bhardwaj said M.Sc (Medical Physics) was an initial course for a medical physicist, who will go into healthcare specialities and research organisations where they ensure that the organisations comply with radiation safety norms and guidelines prescribed by the AERB.

These medical physicists were an extension of the AERB. There are over 1,600 medical physicists working in the county, he said.

Mr. Bhardwaj said the new course of Mangalore University was in line with the requirements of the AERB. After completing the course, the graduates will undergo a one-year internship in hospitals.

With advanced imaging techniques and image guided radiation therapy gaining ground, the work of a medical physicist was challenging.

“The M.Sc course is the beginning and you have to continue learning,” he told course aspirants.

Vice-Chancellor K. Byrappa said the university was the first in the State to offer M.Sc (Medical Physics) course, which was on a par with the MD (Radiology).

With the course, the graduates will be aware of handling different equipment used in imaging and radio therapy. “There are strict parameters followed by AERB to approve the course. It took us more than two years to finish the formalities,” he said.

Mr. Byrappa said the Department of Atomic Energy will help the university in running the course. The university has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Mangalore Institute of Oncology and A.J. Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Institute, where practical classes of the course will be held.

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