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The top 5 ways medical physics has changed health care
Date:2/28/2008

College Park, MD (February 28, 2008) -- Many of the greatest inventions in modern medicine were developed by physicists who imported technologies such as X rays, nuclear magnetic resonance, ultrasound, particle accelerators and radioisotope tagging and detection techniques into the medical domain. There they became magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT) scanning, nuclear medicine, positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, and various radiotherapy treatment methods. These contributions have revolutionized medical techniques for imaging the human body and treating disease.

Now, in 2008, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), the premier scientific and professional association of medical physicists, is celebrating its 50th anniversary and is calling attention to the field of medical physics achievements

"There are a number of ways in which medical physicists contribute to medicine," says AAPM President Gerald A. White Jr. "Some develop cutting-edge technologies in the physics laboratory, while others are board-certified health professionals who apply these technologies in the clinic and help diagnose illness and alleviate suffering for millions of people a year in the United States."

As a practicing medical physicist himself, White contributes to patient care at his practice at Colorado Associates in Medical Physics in Colorado Springs.

"Virtually all hospitals in the country today have medical physicists on staff to help administer radiation therapy treatment and to insure quality in both radiation treatment and imaging techniques," says long-time AAPM member Jean M. St. Germain, who is the Acting Chair of the Department of Medical Physics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

In the coming year, the AAPM will be calling attention to the many ways in which medical physics has revolutionized medicine. A few highlights include:

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Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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