Health boards are failing to attract and keep radiation cancer specialists, with the Ministry of Health warning of a serious shortage as cancer patient numbers are tipped to rise steeply over the next decade. Read More
Vale Adrian Maxwell Perry
Adrian Maxwell Perry
28 November 1949 – 17 June 2014
Simon Woodings (Chief Medical Physicist, Genesis Cancer Care WA)
Dr Adrian Perry (Head of Radiotherapy Section, Medical Engineering and Physics, Royal Perth Hospital) retired in July 2010. He enjoyed 4 years of retirement in the company of his wife, Anchor, including regular holidays in Malaysia, before his untimely death.
Adrian was one of the senior statesmen of medical physics in Western Australia. Adrian was one of the founders of the older ARECQA accreditation system and oversaw the early careers of many young medical physicists, including the current ACPSEM President. He loved teaching medical physics and along with training doctors and physicists at Royal Perth Hospital, Adrian made an international contribution as a visiting professor at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur.
Adrian obtained his DPhil in Solid State Physics from Oxford University in 1973 and undertook his clinical training in Glasgow. After a stint in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, he immigrated to Perth in 1985 where he later co-authored papers on iodine eyeplaque brachytherapy and SRT localisation. His favourite aspect of radiotherapy physics was undoubtedly stereotactic radiosurgery. Adrian visited the specialist team at the University of Florida and, with contributions from several clinicians and physicists, was proud to implement an equivalent system at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, which was used for clinical treatments for 20 years.
Adrian was a strong advocate of professional certification and contributed to the College as a radiotherapy physics examiner. Over the course of decades, many of us sat his accreditation written exams. He was instrumental in ensuring and maintaining the high quality of Australian medical physics.
But his greatest professional contribution was that, during his time as Head of Radiotherapy Physics, Adrian was responsible for the provision of safe and effective radiotherapy to ~60,000 West Australian cancer patients.
We offer our commiserations to his family at this sad time.
IUPESM World Congress 2015
The IUPESM World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering will be held in Toronto, Canada from 7th-12th June 2015.
ACPSEM Fellow, former President and extraordinary contributor, Professor Tomas Kron, was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for service to medicine, and to research and education.
This is the latest in a series of recent recognitions for his outstanding work in medical physics, in Australia, New Zealand and globally. In 2013, Tomas was recognised globally as one of the 50 medical physicists and closely aligned professionals “who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of medical physics and healthcare through research, clinical developments, education and training activities, service development, and to professional matters over the last 50 years”. This recognition was conferred for “contributions of international importance” by the International Organisation of Medical Physics as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations.
In November 2013, Tomas was awarded the ACPSEM Distinguished Service Award, the highest honour awarded by ACPSEM. He became the 9th recipient in the 13 year history of the award. He is an ACPSEM Fellow and a previous recipient of the Boyce Worthley Young Achiever Award.
We congratulate Professor Tomas Kron OAM on an extremely well-deserved award and recognition and to thank him for his past, current and continuing work with ACPSEM.
The CPD Committee has announced that the ACPSEM webinar series can be claimed under 'Informal Meeting' section. Participants are encouraged to keep a summary statement or write a reflective piece on the webinar as evidence of attendance.
The ACPSEM are investigating the feasibility of attendance certificates for future webinars, however they will not be available for the current Pilot series.
The Noiseless Scientists - Round on NZ Radio on IDMP
NZ National Radio decided to recognise International Day of Medical Physics and invited Howell Round to be interviewed, which was broadcast on the Saturday Morning program on 9 November 2013.
Howell gave an introduction to medical physics, "the noiseless scientists" in the interviewer's words, and spoke about the history of the profession, covering come of the ground he presented at EPSM 2013 in Perth.
Listen to the full interview. (This is an MP3 file and we cannot guarantee it will play on your system)
International Day of Medical Physics
International Day of Medical Physics
Medical Physics, the hidden profession central to diagnosing disease through imaging and radiation therapy for cancer, is being recognised by the first International Day of Medical Physics on 7 November 2013.
The day is being celebrated by members of the Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine at their Annual Conference, EPSM 2013, in Perth with a special session starting at 9am at the Pan Pacific Hotel.
To help mark the day globally, the International Organisation of Medical Physics recently recognised the 50 most influential medical physicists of the last 50 years including three ACPSEM members, Professors Tomas Kron, Barry Allen and David Thwaites.
Dr Sean Geoghegan, the President-Elect of ACPSEM said that increasing the profile of medical physics in Australia and New Zealand is important for future health provision.
“There are only a few hundred medical physicists in Australia and New Zealand helping to treat almost 100,000 cancer patients and produce more than 12 million diagnostic images each year. The lack of medical physicists is one of the reasons why almost 1 in 5 Australians diagnosed with cancer who would benefit from radiation therapy treatment are unable to obtain that treatment.
“This is an issue globally, with a need to attract more young people into science, physics and medical physics. The International Day of Medical Physics, celebrated on the anniversaries of both Marie Curie’s birth and the later day of the award of her second Nobel Prize, is one way we hope to highlight the work of our important, if hidden, profession.”
“For the last decade, federal and state governments and agencies have generously supported efforts to strengthen the profession and have successfully stopped a previous decline in numbers and improved professional standards. Over the next few weeks, we hope to work with them all on new models to build on these successes.
“Medical physics is a wonderfully rewarding career for anyone interested in physics and science. We’re trying to spread the word through Facebook (acpsem.medicine), Twitter (@ACPSEM) and through the Targeting Cancer campaign (targetingcancer.com.au and @TargetingCancer).” END
EPSM 2013 is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Health under the Better Access to Radiation Oncology Grant Program
A Tribute to David Paix
A Tribute to David PaixMSc, FAIP, FARPS, MACPSEM, MInstP(UK)
02 April 1936 – 09 Sept 2013
It is very sad to report that the fields of medical radiation physics and radiation protection in Australia have lost one of their well-known, well-respected and well-loved characters, David Paix, who died after a very long illness on 09 September, 2013.
David was born in Sydney, NSW in 1936 and attended Sydney Boys’ High School from 1948 to 1952, after which he gained his first degree, BSc (physics) at the University of Sydney in 1956, followed by an MSc (physics) in 1958, thereby beginning his career as an experimental physicist. In his research project he carried out cosmic ray studies using equipment set up in a small chamber at the end of a passage leading to a wartime gun emplacement in the rock deep under South Head, which was originally part of the wartime defences for Sydney Harbour.
After a two-to-three year spell in experimental building research with the Commonwealth Department of Works, David joined the University of NSW Teaching Hospitals in 1963 as a physicist working largely in radiotherapy and nuclear medicine and was in this post until 1974. He then joined the Applied Physics Department of South Australian Institute of Technology, now the University of South Australia (UniSA), where he was until he “semi-retired” in1996. He lectured in diagnostic, therapeutic radiography and nuclear medicine and was the Radiation Safety Officer for UniSA from 1982 until his “retirement”. He also founded a radiation oncology company, Southern Radiation Services Pty Ltd, in 1991 and as a director of this company continued to practice radiotherapy physics and radiation protection well into retirement.
In 1990, as a joint venture with staff in the Physics Department of University of Adelaide (UniA) and the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH), he set up a coursework and project based Masters degree covering both medical and health physics (in UniSA it was entitled M Appl Sci and in . UniA an MSc) These were very successful courses attracting overseas graduates and producing many fine medical physicists, many of whom subsequently went on to do PhDs and who practice throughout Australasia and across the world. When David retired the course was eventually dropped by UniSA but continues at UniA to this day, now as an MSc (Medical Physics).
In Adelaide he had a very productive career; apart from the SAIT lecturing he undertook research and supervised MSc and PhD student research projects, he involved himself in a full gamut of radiotherapy practice at the Adelaide Radiotherapy Centre and for many years he provided annual lecture courses in radiation safety to the Australian Armed Forces.
We will all remember David as a thoughtful, reserved, but nonetheless friendly chap who would always help in any way he could. He was one of those rare people you could rely on 100% to do what he said he would andwas highly respected by his students and colleagues alike. Modest almost to a fault but keen and hard working, he had a very practical approach to his science; he was always the expert with apparatus and was truly a hands-on physicist. For example, at the Centenary of X-Rays in 1995, he helped to set up a demonstration experiment, with a portable Orbitron X-ray set from his teaching laboratory, for school children at the Science Investigator Centre, Wayville; he also trained the staff to run it.
David will always remain in our memories as the man he was; cheerful, helpful, kindly, competent and approachable - he was the true gentleman.
Strongly supported by his family David is survived by his wife, Win, and four children, Andrew and Bruce (both anaesthetists), Cheryl (registered nurse) and Deb (physiotherapist) and 11 grandchildren.
Alun Beddoe, University of Birmingham (UK)
John Patterson, University of Adelaide
Eva Bezak, Royal Adelaide Hospital and University of Adelaide
John Pattison, University of South Australia
Recognition of Boyce Worthley
Earlier this year, the Australian Dictionary of Biography recognised Boyce Worthley as a Notable Australian, publishing his biography in Volume 18 covering those who dies between 1981 to 1990. Boyce Worthley was one of the Founders of ACPSEM, the first Life Member of the College and is remembered through the Boyce Worthley Young Achiever Award.
His entry was written by Ralph Nicholls and includes an edited list of publications. there's only a passing reference to the organisation founded in 1961 as the Australian Regional Group of the [UK] Hospital Physicists Association. The "and Engineers" was not included in the College's original name as at that time biomedical engineers had their own professional institution.
The Australian Dictionary of Biography is produced by the ANU's National Centre of Biography. Volume 18 has entries for notable Australians with surnames L to Z who died in the period 1981 to 1990. The ANU National Centre of Biography began work some while ago on the next two volumes that will have entries for notable Australians who died in the decade 1991 to 2000. Anyone who knows of an outstanding College member who died in that period can apply to the National Cetre of Biography to write an entry.
ACPSEM Members recognised on 50th Anniversary of the IOMP
The contributions to medical physics by three ACPSEM members will be recognised as part of the International Organization for Medical Physics (IOMP) 50th anniversary celebrations in Brighton, UK in September.
Professor Barry Allen, Professor Tomas Kron and Professor David Thwaites will be included in a special display of posters acknowledging the contribution made by medical physicists to healthcare globally to be shown at the International Conference on Medical Physics.
The IOMP have chosen 50 physicists and other closely related professionals who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of medical physics and healthcare through research, clinical developments, education and training activities over the last 50 years to be honoured.
The ACPSEM congratulates Prof Allen, Prof Kron and Prof Thwaites on their selection and thanks them for their contributions that have been so worthy of international recognition.
Barry Allen Named IOMP Fellow
Barry Allen has been named as one of 18 Inaugural Fellows of the IOMP. The appointment as a Fellow recognises significant activities for the international development of medical physics. Fellowship is awarded to persons who have made outstanding contributions to IOMP and its regional organisations over a significant period of time.
The Fellowship will be awarded at ICMP in Brighton UK from 1 - 4 September 2013.
ACPSEM congratulates Barry for this fitting recognition of his work in the international development of medical physics, in particular his contribution to IOMP over many years.
Ensuring Quality and Safe Delivery of Radiotherapy Services: Queensland adopts the Tripartite Radiation Oncology Practice Standards
The Queensland Department of Health Facilities has adopted the Tripartite Radiation Oncology Practice Standards as the quality standards for both public and private radiotherapy treatment facilities across the state.
The Tripartite Committee is delighted with the announcement of the Queensland Department of Health Facilities’ decision to implement the Standards. It is anticipated that the Standards will be incorporated into Queensland’s Statewide Cancer Strategic Plan.
"This initiative will undoubtedly add a level of safety and public confidence for radiation oncology departments", commented Prof Gillian Duchesne, Chair of the Tripartite Committee.
The Radiation Oncology Practice Standards were developed by the Radiation Oncology Tripartite Committee with funding and support from the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA). Piloted throughout 2010, the 16 Standards provide a framework of requirement to assist facilities to achieve best practice.
The ACPSEM are pleased to offer the ACPSEM Student Scholarship to EPSM again in 2013. The ACPSEM Student Scholarship is an outstanding opportunity for student to experience a professional conference, engage with the latest developments in physical sciences and engineering in medicine, build professional networks and learn of potential careers in this exciting field.
Statement on Radiation Exposure Risks from CT Scans in Childhood
Statement on Radiation Exposure Risks from CT Scans in Childhood
The Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine (ACPSEM) supports the position demonstrated by current and previous research that the immediate benefits of Computed Tomography (CT) imaging in childhood significantly outweigh any long-term risks.
In general, CT imaging is used to diagnose serious health conditions and the health risk of not having a CT scan is likely to be significantly higher than the risk from radiation exposure, even in the case of children. Parents concerned about their children having CT scans are encouraged to discuss the need for any diagnostic medical procedures with their doctor.
The ACPSEM advocates that CT scanning should only be performed when it is clinically justified and with the lowest possible radiation dose to obtain the diagnostic information required, and has established professional standards for registered and certified Medical Physics Specialists to support this practice. Procedures not involving ionising radiation, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound, should be considered and alternatives discussed with patients and their families.
CT imaging is an important clinical tool that uses ionising radiation in the form of x-rays to allow for the quick visualisation and diagnosis of many medical conditions.
ACPSEM Councillor and Medical Physicist Dr Zoe Brady said “Medical Physicists are aware of concerns that the ionising radiation associated with CT imaging may have detrimental effects, particularly for children.
“Several studies have been and are being conducted worldwide to assess the potential risks of paediatric CT imaging. These epidemiological studies have linked CT imaging of children and young adults to a small increase in the risk of developing cancer later in life. The reported results are broadly consistent with current scientific thinking that ionising radiation is a known carcinogen.”
“I was involved with the research conducted in Australia that linked CT scans of Australian children to a small increase in cancer later in life. The absolute risks reported in this Australian study are very low. The study reports that the relative risk of cancer may be increased by up to 24% following a childhood CT scan.”
In context however, the risk of developing cancer from a CT scan is very small (for example about 1 in 1000 per CT scan for a child or young adult), while the chance for an Australian of being diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime is 1 in 2 for males and 1 in 3 for females.
Dr Brady said “Modern technology has enabled CT scanners to deliver much lower doses of radiation when properly optimised. All CT scanners should undergo a process of image and dose optimisation in collaboration with a registered or certified Medical Physics Specialist to ensure that the best diagnostic image quality is being delivered at the lowest possible radiation dose to the patient.”
“Medical Physicists are responsible for quality control and optimisation of the dose and image quality in the use of CT and other diagnostic imaging. The findings of these studies emphasise the importance of this role and the urgent need to address current and worsening workforce shortages in diagnostic imaging medical physics.”
End of Statement
To arrange an interview with an ACPSEM spokesperson, please contact ACPSEM General Manager Geoff Barbaro on 02 9700 8522 or 0433 10 10 45
For a word version of this statement, please email
ACPSEM is the peak professional body for medical physicists, biomedical engineers and radio chemists in Australia and New Zealand. It is a membership based organisation with more than 600 members and is responsible for the registration and certification of medical physicists, and the establishment and enforcement of professional standards.
Mathews, JD et al, Cancer incidence after exposure to CT scans: a cohort study of 11 million children and adolescents, The British Medical Journal, published online 2013. http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f2360
Dan Stroud - In Memoriam
With deep regret, we advise Dan Stroud passed away on Saturday 27 April 2013.
Dan had been a member of the College since 1978. Here are some details regarding his career.
1st class hons in Physics from Melbourne followed by MSc and PhD (in 1973) on ‘Neutron capture and element formation in stars’, done mainly at Lucas Heights.
After 5 years at Materials Research Laboratory, he was appointed director of Medical Physics at Prince Henry’s Hospital, Melbourne (later amalgamated into the Monash Medical Centre) remaining there until retirement in 2009. His research interests were in body composition measurement using neutron activation and other techniques, but at MMC was involved in wide /2. range of clinical instrumentation and medical physics projects, including diagnostic imaging department development.
He was the Foundation Chair of Australasian Radiation Protection Accreditation Board. He was also a part-time lecturer then senior lecturer at Monash, the Co-convenor of EPSM/BECON 93 and chair of the ACPSEM Vic/Tas branch in 1991.
International Day of Medical Physics – 7 November 2013
International Day of Medical Physics – 7 November 2013
As medical imaging technologies are evolving rapidly and pioneer radiotherapy techniques have considerably improved the outcome of cancer therapy, medical physicists become more and more important in the clinical environment. Medical physicists also play a key role in medical research and development of new medical technology. Another key activity of medical physicists is education and training of healthcare professionals in medical radiation protection and medical technology. Nevertheless, the general public is not aware of the critical role medical physicists play in providing services in medical, educational and research institutions. It is important to inform the public on the role and responsibilities of medical physicists and draw attention of the media to the important role that medical physics play in the health care system.
To raise awareness of our profession, the International Organization for Medical Physics will celebrate annually the International Day of Medical Physics (IDMP) on November 7, an important date in the history of medical physics. On that day in 1867, Marie Curie, known for her pioneering research on radioactivity, was born in Poland. ALFIM proposed the idea of celebrating the IDMP and IOMP decided to take the initiative to organize this event. We will celebrate the first IDMP on November 7, 2013. All regional and national organizations are invited to participate by organizing activities such as lectures open to the general public and press appearances.
IOMP Task Group for the International Day of Medical Physics
Richard Smart Retires
After over 40 years service to the Medical Physics Profession, Dr Richard Smart has retired. Based at St George Hospital (NSW) for 35 years, Richard has been an advocate for radiation safety serving on numerous national and international advisory boards. Richard was also actively involved in education, holding positions at UNSW and the University of Wollongong. He has also been an active member of ACPSEM and has contributed to the advancement of the College, and to the profession as a whole.
We wish to sincerely thank Richard for all his hard work and service and wish him all the best in future endeavours.
Radiation Exposure Risks from CT scans in Childhood Statement
ACPSEM Statement – Radiation Exposure Risks from CT scans in Childhood
Computed tomography (CT) imaging is an important clinical tool that uses ionising radiation in the form of x-rays to allow for the quick visualisation and diagnosis of a multitude of medical conditions. In general, concerns exist that the associated ionising radiation may have detrimental effects, particularly for children.
Several studies have been and are being conducted worldwide to assess the potential risks of paediatric CT imaging. A recently published epidemiological study from Great Britain has linked CT imaging of children and young adults to a small increase in the risk of developing cancer later in life. This reported result is broadly consistent with current scientific thinking that ionising radiation is a known carcinogen.
The absolute risks reported in this recent study are very low. The study reports that the relative risks might almost triple the risk of leukaemia and brain tumours due to multiple CT scans. These cancers are relatively rare and since the background risk is very low, a doubling or tripling of the risk is still a very low risk.
The immediate benefits of CT imaging significantly outweigh any long-term risks. In general, CT imaging is used to diagnose serious health conditions and the health risk of not having a CT scan is likely to be significantly higher than the risk from the radiation exposure.
The ACPSEM advocates that CT scanning should only be performed when it is clinically justified and performed with the lowest possible radiation dose to obtain the diagnostic information required. Alternative procedures that do not involve ionising radiation, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound should be considered. All CT scanners should undergo a process of image and dose optimisation in collaboration with a certified medical physicist to ensure that the best diagnostic image quality is being delivered at the lowest possible radiation dose to the patient.
Reference: Pearce, MS et al, Radiation exposure from CT scans in childhood and subsequent risk of leukaemia and brain tumours: a retrospective cohort study, The Lancet, published online 7 June 2012, doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60815-0
Monte Carlo for Beginners: Gent4 and MCNP
Monte Carlo for Beginners: Gent4 and MCNP
CPD Endorsed course
Dr Scott Penfold and Dr Puthenparampil Wilson
Geant4 Seminar 1(June 6, 2012)
• Monte Carlo in medical physics • The Geant4 toolkit • Installation • Running a simulation • Defining geometries
On Australia Day, Professor Jagan Mazumdar received the AM in the Order of Australia. The award is in recognition of service to applied mathematics and biomedical engineering as a researcher and education and for services to the Indian community.
Professor Mazumdar is a Retired Fellow of ACPSEM, first joining the College in 1979. He has served on the ACPSEM Council and has been the South Australia Branch Chair.
We congratulate Professor Mazumdar on his well deserved award and recognition.
Tripartite Radiation Oncology Practice Standards
The Tripartite Committee is the peak group in Radiation Oncology, representing the three key professions involved in radiotherapy:
• The Faculty of Radiation Oncology (FRO), the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR); • Australian Institute of Radiography (AIR); • The Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine (ASPSEM)
In 2008, the Tripartite Committee developed the Radiation Oncology Practice Standards with funding and support from the Department of Health and Ageing. The document presents 16 standards developed for Radiation Oncology Practices, to assist facilities to achieve best practice by providing a framework of requirements. It is expected that radiation oncology facilities will find these standards useful in the establishment and delivery of radiation oncology treatment services. It is also hoped that these standards will allow Australian facilities to be set up in a consistent manner enabling common data collection and participation in national and international trials.
In addition a Supplementary Guide was developed in May-June 2011 for new facilities. The Supplementary Guide incorporates useful information that can assist radiotherapy facilities in implementing and working towards achieving the Standards.
The Tripartite Radiation Oncology Practice Standards and Supplementary Guide were officially launched at the DoHA Quality in Radiation Oncology Symposium held in Melbourne on 10 August 2011.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, the Faculty of Radiation Oncology, Australian Institute of Radiography and the Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine, have received Australian Government funding support for the development and publication of the Radiation Oncology Practice Standards and Supplementary Guide.
The President and Council of the ACPSEM wish to extend their congratulations to Lyn Oliver on his achievement of an Order of Australia announced in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Associate Professor Lynne Douglas OLIVER has been recognised with an award (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia, for service to medical physics in the field of radiation oncology, and through executive roles with the Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine, and to professional associations.
Lyn began his association with the College in 1975 when he was part of the steering committee to create the Australasian College of Physical Scientists in Medicine – now ACPSEM, the professional organization for Medical Physicists. This was followed by his being appointed as the Inaugural Honorary Secretary, 1978-1982. It wasn’t long afterwards that Lyn became Vice-President, (2002-2003) followed by President (2004-2005) and then Head of Operations from 2006-2007.
Australasian award for Waikato physicist
They’re a rare breed, but one of them, Dr Howell Round – a senior lecturer in Waikato University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering - has been acknowledged for the work he’s done in training people working in this specialist field, and for his work with the profession’s representative body.
Dr Round has been presented with a Distinguished Service Award by the Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine (ACPSEM). ACPSEM used to be an amateur organisation run by volunteers. Their first real office was the old morgue at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital, but these days ACPESM owns premises in Sydney, employs eight staff, has a turnover of millions and continues to expand – thanks in a large part to Dr Round.
The College Council wishes to express their deep sympathy for the recent loss of past President David Robinson.
David was President of the College from 1985 to 87, having also served as Treasurer and NSW Branch Chair. David was also past President of the Australian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine.
David graduated from UNSW with an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering, Masters of Engineering and Doctor of Science. David’s research interests were in ultrasonic beam patterns, digital signal and image processing. David’s publications in the area of ultrasonic tissue characterisation sparked the development of a number of clinical ultrasonic methods.
A celebration of David's life will be held in the Magnolia Chapel, Macquarie Park Crematorium, corner Plassey and Delhi Roads, North Ryde, on Friday [Dec 3, 2010] commencing at 1 pm, followed by afternoon tea in the Terrace Room.
More accreditation awards in Radiation Oncology
Congratulations to the following members who have been awarded ACPSEM accreditation during the month of November.
In Radiotherapy Equipment Commissioning and Quality Assurance
Dr Setayesh Behin-Ain of the North Coast Cancer Institute, Lismore NSW
Mr Guy Godwin of Auckland Radiation Oncology, NZ
Ms Alicja Wach of Westmead Cancer Care Centre, NSW
In Radiation Oncology Medical Physics
Ms Alison Gray of the Dept. Radiation Oncology, Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW
EOI Future Mammography Equipment Assessors Course
There is a Mammography Equipment Assessors Course tentative planned for March in Brisbane. If you are interested in attending, please send your EOI to
if you are interested in obtaining both an analogue and digital Mammography Equipment Assessors qualification.
Want to be more involved with ACPSEM?
We are currently extending invitations to any member who would like to assist to grow the ACPSEM social network. ACPSEM currently has a presence on Linked In, Facebook and Twitter. Anyone interested in becoming more involved can email the Education Unit (
) for more information.
Education Unit Launched
The ACPSEM Council met in Sydney for 2 days in early May to undergo corporate governance training and have their first face to face meeting of the year (most meetings are held by teleconference). Discussion items at the meeting included continuing efforts to gain government funding to support Diagnostic Imaging training programs, a membership (application) review process, an ongoing strategic plan, radiation shielding accreditation and a digital mammography course..... among many other business items. On the evening of the 2nd of May Council Directors, some NSW branch members, staff, and invited guests, gathered to officially open the ACPSEM's new Education Unit. Mr Abel MacDonald of the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, Division of Radiation Oncology, kindly explained to the guests the importance of his department's partnership with the ACPSEM in order to facilitate the improvement in public health services. Funding from this department has allowed ACPSEM to expand its education services and provide important staff support.
What is a clinical medical physicist?
ACPSEM is seeking member engagement to determine the wording, which will comprise the definition of a ACPSEM Clinical Medical Physicist.
Please provide your input within this process by articulating the wording, which best describes and represents the scope and the duties carried out by a clinical medical physicist.
ACPSEM is committed to making it easier for its members to keep up to date with the latest announcements, education opportunities and job information. With this in mind ACPSEM can now be found on both Facebook and Twitter. This allows members to network with each other, share experiences on the discussion boards and upload photos and video. Please take a moment have a look at these new ways to stay connected and feel free to contribute to our online community.
It is with great pleasure that the ACPSEM Council announces that Associate Professor Natalka Suchowerska has been admitted as a Fellow of the College. This makes Natalka the first female Fellow for the ACPSEM. Well Done Natalka!
Natalka joined the College as an Associate Member in 1984 and has been an Ordinary Member since 2002. She has been an Associate Professor in the School of Physics, University of Sydney since 2003. Her contributions to the ACPSEM include NSW Branch Chair (1999-2001), ACPSEM Education Committee Chair (2001- 2003) and Chair of the Accreditation Working Party (1998-2001).
New Zealand News
Congratulations to Howell Round on becoming a Fellow of IPENZ
Dr Howell Round has been elected a Fellow of IPENZ for his contribution to the advancement of engineering knowledge and technological education. IPENZ recognised his role in developing the professional community of biomedical engineers and medical physicists and in developing technology education programmes to equip graduates to meet employment needs. His work as a pioneering medical physics researcher, his advice to health regulators, and the increasingly professional standards being adopted in the industry around Australasia and Asia are all part of his contributions being recognized. Well done Howell!
The NSW/ACT Branch in collaboration with the University of Sydney has recently held the KV09 workshop with an excellent turn up of over 50 registrars and senior medical physicists from all over Australia. The event was sponsored by ARPANSA, and some of the College’s Company Associate Members - Nucletron, Oxford Scientific and CMS Alphatech
Request for Comments - Clinical Services Capability Framework
QLD Health is currently reviewing it's policy document on Clinical Services Capability Framework for Public and Licensed Private Health Facilities.
This document includes substantial sections on Medical Imaging Services, Nuclear Medicine Services and Radiation Oncology Services, with specific reference to the role of physicists in each of these. A draft version is publicly available for industry review as per below:
In December 2009, the Clinical Services Capability Framework (CSCF) Executive Steering Committee (ESC) endorsed further CSCF modules resulting in 28 of the 31 revised and/or new modules being available for industry critique. Please visit http://www.health.qld.gov.au/cscf/ to view the draft Framework v3.0. All comments on the draft Framework should be directed to the CSCF Team via
It has been suggested by members that the ACPSEM QLD branch should be represented in the industry review phase and submit a response based upon feedback from the membership. I believe this would be appropriate and would like to invite all branch members to review and comment, in particular with regard to:
Workforce issues raised
Validity of technical and Scientific statements
Validity of references to legislation regarding to the use of radiation in these services.
Comments for Medical Imaging Services and Nuclear Medicine Services are being co-ordinated by Daniel Schick. Please email
Comments for Radiation Oncology Services are being co-ordinated by Paul Charles. Please email
Please submit all comments by no later than COB Tuesday 26th January.
Chairman ACPSEM QLD Branch
Benjamin Keir is the branch web manager so if there is any news for the branch website please contact me by email at
and I will post it up on this web page. Please indicate if you only want ACPSEM members to view the news item or everyone who may visit the website.
OAM for Biomedical Engineer
Ed Scull, ACPSEM member for more than 30 years and President from 1991 to 1993 has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the general division for service to biomedical engineering and associated professional associations.
Congratulations, Edward R Scull, OAM
Recent Nuclear Medicine Accreditations
I am very pleased to announce that the following people have recently gained accreditation in Nuclear Medicine Physics.
Graeme O’Keefe , Dept Of Nuclear Medicine and Centre for PET, Austin Hospital VIC Seu Seong Som, Dept of Nuclear Medicine and PET, Liverpool Hospital NSW Chithradevi Sathiakuma, Dept of Nuclear Medicine and PET, Liverpool Hospital NSW
My congratulations to these three people and to the team behind the Nuclear Medicine Physics accreditation program for these achievements.
All the best,
Sean Geoghegan ________________________________________________________________ Sean Geoghegan, PhD Chair Professional Standards Board Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine
Dear Colleagues, I'd like to bring to your attention the following award which has recently been announced - The Roberts Prize For Best Paper In Physics In Medicine and Biology In 2007, Cellular response to modulated radiation fields: E. Claridge Mackonis, N. Suchowerska, M. Zhang, M. Ebert, D. R. McKenzie, M. Jackson
Bayside Health has created a new medical physics position based in the Alfred Hospital Radiology Department. Congratulations Zoe Brady who started in the position in June. She will also undertake the role of Radiation Safety Officer, or as it is has already been referred to ... Radiology Sporting Officer! Let's hope to see more of these positions for radiology medical physicists created in the future.
Student presentation night
The Vic/Tas branch is holding a student presentation night on 21 September 2009. Two $500 grants are up for grabs. Please circulate this information to any students (postgraduate or undergraduate, members or non-members, registrars or non-registrars) who might be interested. Contact Luke Wilkinson at St Vincent's Hospital for more information