Training in Australia
The Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine (ACPSEM) is responsible for the certification of Medical Physicists in Australia and New Zealand through the Training Education and Assessment Program (TEAP).
One requirement of TEAP certification is the completion of a post-graduate degree in Medical Physics. A select number of universities in Australia and New Zealand offer an accredited Masters Degree for this purpose. These are (c. 2013):
- Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
- RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
- University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
- University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
- University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
- University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
- University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
Masters Degrees in Medical Physics contain coursework and research components. The coursework typically covers anatomy, radiation physics and safety, and imaging techniques. The coursework component of a Masters Degree constitutes a Graduate Diploma at the universities listed above. A number of these universities also offer bachelor’s degrees in Radiation Therapy – the Australian Institute of Radiography maintains a list of universities offering accredited programmes here.
Medical physicists in training, known as registrars, generally complete the TEAP training program in 4 to 5 years, under the supervision of senior physicists at their radiation oncology treatment centre. Competency is assessed in 3 exams: a written exam, followed by a practical and oral exam (usually 6 months later). The TEAP program is described here.
Radiation Oncology Medical Physcists (ROMPs) are expected to demonstrate competency in a number of core modules, including: radiation safety and protection, external beam radiation dosimetry, external beam radiation therapy, external beam treatment planning and brachytherapy. Ancillary to these are: research, development and teaching, professional studies and quality management, imaging, and nuclear medicine. Registrars are expected to publish work in a peer-reviewed journal.
ACPSEM are looking to establish mutual recognition of TEAP certification by other organisations, such as the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM, United Kingdom), European Federation of Organisations for Medical Physics (EFOMP, Europe) and Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Educational Programs (CAMPEP, North America); which would allow physicists certified in Australia to work internationally (and vice-versa). The International Medical Physics Certification Board (IMPCB) is working to develop an international certification system with 12 national medical physics societies.