The first 24-months of diagnostic medical physics clinical training provides an ideal environment for development of an independent diagnostic medical physicist. During the first two years, the resident will complete 16 rotations:
- Clinical Radiology Rotations (exam and reading room observations)
- Mobile Radiography
- Fixed Radiography
- Ultrasound and Breast Ultrasound
- Mobile Fluoroscopy and R/F
- Computed Tomography
- Dental CBCT
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- Advanced Fluoroscopy
- Shielding of X-Ray Imaging Facilities
- Generic and Patient-Specific Dosimetry in Diagnostic Procedures
- Final Supervised Training Steps (clinical medical physics tasks such as evaluation of imaging equipment specifications, staging installation/implementation of new equipment or software, review of an IRB proposal, selection of physics instrumentation)
Every rotation has a preceptor, recommended references, and defined resident and faculty responsibilities. Depending on the rotation, the senior resident may train the junior resident in initial performance of equipment testing. Faculty are present at all times for acceptance testing, ACR-accreditation testing, and all testing of mammography and nuclear medicine equipment. After observing, assisting, and then leading equipment testing with assistance in a specific modality, the resident will be ready for a competency assessment. Once assessed as “competent”, the resident can test independently or train others. Our team approach allows both residents to get involved clinically in the department, attend quality, safety, and service meetings, and communicate with radiology department staff, with the senior resident taking a leadership role. This dynamic advancement to independence is one of the distinguishing characteristics of our program.
The structure and timing of the UF DIMPR program is unique. Residents do not spend one month at a time in a particular modality or rotation. Testing is dispersed throughout the year and the residents’ schedules are determined by the clinical needs of the facility, balancing the workload and new equipment installations. This flexible structure allows residents to participate in all physics opportunities that are occurring at any one time, which means that they may attend an MRI scanner acceptance test or a facility shielding verification test early in their residency as an observer, rather than in a specific month. As our residents grow and become competent, they are given less supervision and more independence. Our rotation competency assessments are ordered from simple to more complex, so the resident’s competency in mobile radiography is assessed in month 3, while advanced fluoroscopy is assessed in month 11.
We have developed our optional third-year nuclear medicine program following the proposal of Appendix C of AAPM Task Group 249 Report Combining Imaging and Nuclear Medicine Residencies.
The following common competencies are completely covered in the first two-years of our imaging residency program.
- Hard-copy and image displays
- Computed tomography
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Imaging informatics
In addition, the optional third-year Nuclear Medicine Physics training will include the followign 10 competencies to be assessed by the assigned faculty preceptor:
- Radiation safety in nuclear medicine
- Non-imaging equipment and counting statistics
- Gamma cameras
- SPECT and SPECT/CT
- PET and PET/CT
- Radiation safety in radionuclide therapy
- Nuclear licensing and regulation
- Patient dosimetry and shielding
- Clinical observations
Each competency includes sections on patient care and procedural skills, technical knowledge, and communication/professional skills as outlined in sections 3.51-3.5.10 of Report 249. The third-year resident will spend approximately half of their time in Radiology and the other half assisting in the operations of the Radiation Safety Office.