Resident Alumni Spotlight – Dr Weiyuan Wang

Weiyuan Wang, PhD; DIMPR Resident

Dr Weiyuan Wang was our third UF Diagnostic Imaging Medical Physics Residency Program graduate (2013). 

Dr Wang obtained a Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics) from Northwestern Polytechnical University in China in 1998. After graduation, he worked as a Research Engineer at Shenyang Aircraft Research Institute.

He obtained a MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2003, where he also served as a research and teaching assistant. Subsequent to graduation, Dr Wang worked as a Development Engineer at the High Power Auroral Stimulation (HIPAS) Observatory in Fairbanks – a research facility built to study the ionosphere and its influence on radio communications.

In 2009, he obtained a MS in Medical Physics from the Toshiba Stroke Research Center at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Buffalo. In 2011, he obtained his PhD in Medical Physics from SUNY at Buffalo. His PhD dissertation was titled “High Resolution X-Ray Images: System Design and Application”. While completing his graduate studies in Buffalo, he also worked as a research and graduate assistant.

Subsequent to graduation, Dr Wang became our physics resident, where he engaged in various clinical activities, including quality assurance for a range of diagnostic imaging modalities (CT, MRI, Fluoroscopy, Mammography, etc).

After completing residency in 2013, Dr Wang secured a position as a Senior Diagnostic Medical Physicist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Throughout his two years at Memorial Sloan Kettering, Dr Wang performed quality assurance surveys for a range of diagnostic imaging modalities (CT, Fluoroscopy, Mammography, etc).

In 2015, Dr Wang accepted a new position in the Department of Radiological Sciences with the College of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, where he is an integral member, contributing to the clinical, research, and educational missions of the department. He is licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration as a MQSA Qualified Mammography Medical Physicist and is board certified by the American Board of Radiology as a Diplomate in Diagnostic Medical Physics. 

As an Assistant Professor, his clinical duties encompass quality assurance for a range of diagnostic imaging modalities (CT, fluoroscopy, mammography, etc). He is also actively engaged in teaching and instruction. He currently teaches medical physics graduate students, medical physics residents, and radiology residents. He serves as the course instructor for Radiation Protection and Shielding in Medical Installations (RADI 5102) and serves as a lecturer for multiple resident lectures (clinical care/instruction conferences; journal club sessions). He has also served on several graduate student MS committees.

Dr Wang is also involved in various research endeavors, including patient radiation dose estimation for all modalities, image quality improvement, and protocol optimization.

Throughout the years, Dr Wang has given multiple presentations at local, regional, national, and international meetings. He has also contributed to several scientific/scholarly journals (peer-reviewed and non-peer reviewed).

Dr Wang serves as the Chair of the Graduate Admissions Committee and is a member of multiple other graduate committees, including: Academic; Awards; General Examination; Curriculum; Recruiting and Promotion; Student Requirement Evaluation; and Thesis and Dissertation. He is an active member of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). He also serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics and the International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery.

 Outside of physics, Dr Wang is a member of the American Radio Relay League (AARL) and is a licensed amateur (Ham) radio operator holding an extra license (N3WY, volunteer examiner). He loves spending time with his wife and three children, age 7, 9, and 11. His nine-year-old son was born in Gainesville when he was a DIMPR resident. Dr Wang’s hobbies include traveling, badminton, and unicycle. He is also the current principal of the ABC Edmond Chinese School in Edmond, Oklahoma. We are honored to highlight Dr Wang and look forward to his continued success!

Q&A with Dr Wang

Q. How did the University of Florida prepare you for a career in Medical Physics?

A. The UF residency provided me with hands on clinical medical physics experience for all modalities. I was also taught how to be a good and responsible physicist. Not only did I learn what I needed to know, but also how to find answers for things I didn’t know.

Q. How did you decide between therapeutic or diagnostic medical physics?

A. It was easy for me to decide because my research and clinical experience during my PhD studies was diagnostic medical physics.

Q. What do you know now that you wish you had known as a graduate student?

A.  As a graduate student, I didn’t realize how valuable the clinical experience is. A good residency (UF!) will positively impact a physicist’s future career/life.

Q. What advice would you give to a graduate student in Medical Physics?

A. To graduate students: try your best to get more clinical experiences because this will help you getting into residencies. To residents: try your best to learn as much as you can. You can spend half an hour on a TG report, or 10 hours – the outcome will be different. Make good notes because you cannot remember everything. Ask questions because the faculty is there to help. Double check your reports before sending them to the faculty for approval because you will often find typos/errors if you diligently review them. Try to find references for different limits or methods from papers, reports, or regulations instead of just remember that “Dr X said that’s the limit” – this will avoid mistakes or misunderstandings. 

Q. What was the most fulfilling aspect of your career?

A. Even though I am not a physician, I am still part of the medical team and I am helping patients.

Q. Why would you encourage an undergraduate student to go into Medical Physics?

A. About fifteen years ago, I needed to make a decision as to whether I should further my education in Electrical Engineering, or switch to medical physics. At that time, I was an electrical engineer supporting plasma physics research. After receiving offers of admission for PhD studies in both electrical engineering and physics, many of my colleagues recommended selecting medical physics. At that time, my sister was a PhD student in the same building as the medical physics program and I was told the faculty were nice and all of the program graduates got great jobs! Obviously, I also found it very interesting. I don’t regret my decision and you won’t either. Continuing to a residency will provide clinical experience, board certification, and a 6-figure job!