News (Global)
Symposium Mammographicum Conference

Symposium Mammographicum hold a scientific meeting every two years to share expertise and learn about new developments. Professor Sullivan, Director of the new Kings Health Partners Institute of Cancer Policy, will be delivering The Sir John Stebbings lecture on Age and Affordability. Professor Elizabeth Morris – Chief of Breast Imaging Service at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre, will also be joining the conference from the United States.

The conference will cover topics such as: Compression, Implants and Fatigue, Changing Case Order in Breast Screening Radiology, MRI Parameters and Tomosynthesis. Part of the conference programme also includes a separate stream on an update on the Physics of Digital Mammography.

Where: Bournemouth International Centre, UK
Dates: 29 June 2013 to 1 July 2014
Website: www.conferencesympmamm.org.uk

 
Webinars

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 Medical Physics Day

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

For more information, please contact Geoff Barbaro, General Manager, ACPSEM 0433 10 10 45 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For background on International Day of Medical Physics: Facebook site - https://www.facebook.com/acpsem.medicine IOMP site: http://www.iomp.org/?q=content/international-day-medical-physics

For background on medical physics: http://www.acpsem.org.au/index.php/home/careers-information/careers-in-medical-physics

For background on ACPSEM: http://www.acpsem.org.au/

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 Paix MSc, 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.

David Paix

 

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 and was 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

 
Event Registration Closing Soon

Registration for many of the November ACPSEM events are closing in two weeks, on Friday 18 October. Be sure to secure your place if you wish to attend any of the following courses:

Radiation Oncology Summer School
Date: 1-3 November
Location: Pan Pacific, Perth WA
Cost: TEAP Registrar- Free; Member- $209; Non-Member $346.50
Places Left: 3

Mammography Testing Certification
Date: Saturday 2 November
Location: Royal Perth Hospital, Perth WA
Cost: Member- $880; Non-Member- $1012
Places Left: 5

Diagnostic Imaging Summer School
Date: Sunday 3 November
Location: Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth WA
Cost: TEAP Registrar- Free; Member $90; Non-Member $150
Places Left: 1

Preclinical Imaging Workshop
Date: Sunday 3 November
Location: Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth WA
Cost: Members- $80; Non-Member- $100
Places Left: 20+

EPSM
Date: 3-7 November
Location: Pan Pacific, Perth WA
Cost: Various- see website

National TEAP Supervisors Workshop
Date: Friday 8 November
Location: Pan Pacific, Perth WA
Cost: Members- Free; Non-Members
Places Left: 20+

 
Scholarship in Radiation Oncology Medical Physics at UWA

The Western Australian Department of Health recently announced a ‘Scholarship in Radiation Oncology Medical Physics - 2014' to support students in the Master of Physical Science: Medical Physics course at The University of Western Australia.

Do you have a strong desire to develop a career in radiation oncology medical physics?

from-UWA

Master of Physical Science: Medical Physics at The University of Western Australia

Scholarship in Radiation Oncology Medical Physics 2014

  Applications open: 25 November 2013

  Applications close: 17 January 2014

  More Information: Click Here

 

Contact: Research Associate Professor Mike House, The University of Western Australia ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), +61 (8) 6488 1138

The Master of Physical Science (Medical Physics) at The University of Western Australia is an accredited course with the ACPSEM.

 
AFOMP Travel Awards 2013

The AFOMP Travel Awards for travel to the 13th Asia-Oceania Congress of Medical Physics 2013 in Singapore from 12 - 14 December are now open.

Please download the application form for further details.

 
Preclinical Imaging Workshop Registrations Open

The ACPSEM is proud to announce the opening of registration for the Preclinical Imaging Workshop: Radiopharmaceutical, MRI & Optical Imaging in Experimental Oncology & Neurology 

The Preclinical Imaging Workshop is aimed at workers with a strong interest in, but possibly limited experience with the imaging possibilities of model systems representative of human physiology, metabolism & diseases. It will examine the latest concepts in radiopharmaceutical, magnetic resonance and fluorescence imaging of tissues & small animal models, emphasising quantitation where relevant.

Click here for more information

 
OCMP & SEACOMP 2013 Registrations Open

Registrations are now open for OCMP & SEACOMP 2013

Date: Thursday 12 to Saturday 14 December 2013
Venue: Health Promotion Board, Singapore General Hospital Campus, Outram MRT station
Program: Draft Available Here
Registration:

Member- $180 (SGD) ~$153 (AUD)
Student- $100 (SGD) ~$85 (AUD)
Early bird discounts apply until 18 October 2013

John Cameron Memorial Speaker: Prof David Townsend
Abstract submission deadline: 30 September 2013

For more information please visit www.smps.sg 

 
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.  Boyce Worthley

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.

The full biography is available here

Boyce Worthley List of Publications (selected)

 

 
DIMP Summer School Registration Opens

Registration for the DIMP Summer School has officially been opened! The 2013 DIMP summer school will provide a thorough treatment of PET QC, including basic PET theory, the rationale behind PET QC and acceptance testing, a discussion of the relevant NEMA standards and an analysis of test equipment and methods. This will be followed by a practical session in which key QC tests are demonstrated, followed by a session in which candidates will be given an opportunity to analyse QC data. 

Go to DIMP Summer School for more information.

 
ROMP Summer School Program Released

The Organising Committee has released a preliminary program for the upcoming ROMP Summer School which is due to be held in Perth from 1-3 November 2013.

Registrations are currently open for this thrilling two and a half day jam packed event with presentation and demonstrations from the cream of the Complex Treatment Planning crop from Australasia and internationally. Places are limited and registration is essential. 

Check out the Summer School page for more details.

 
NZPEM- Abstract submission closes 13 September 2013

NZPEM branch meeting will be held at The University of Otago Wellington Conference Centre on 20 to 21 November 2013. 

Abstract Submissions are now open and close on the 13 September. 

Registrations are also open. Please see http://nzpem2013.com for more information. 

 
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.

The full list of Inaugural Fellows can be found here

 
National TEAP Supervisor Workshop

Registrations are now open for the National Supervisor Workshop 2013 due to held in Perth on Friday 8 November 2013. 

This year's workshop, facillitated by clinical education experts, will take an indepth examination of supervisor communication with registrars and assessing registrar communication skills. 

See the Supervisor Workshop page for more information.

 
Webinar Series 2013 Announced

The ACPSEM is running a pilot webinar series consisting of 10 lectures between August and December 2013. The webinars are hosted on the ACPSEM eLearning site and will be based around the core modules in the Radiation Oncology TEAP Clinical Training Guide. The aim of the pilot series is to test member and registrar interest and feasibility for an ongoing webinar series in 2014.

For more information please see the Webinar Series 2013 Page.

 
Summer School 2013 Registrations Now Open

Registrations for the ROMP Summer School 2013 are now open. 

The year's Summer School will take an indepth look at QA of Complex Treatment Plans. Running from 1 to 3 November, the Summer School includes practical and lecture sessions from International and National experts. 

See the Summer School 2013 page for more information. 

 
IAEA Radiation Protection of Patient Newsletters

The IAEA Radiation Protection of Patients (RPoP) site holds information to help health professionals achieve safer use of radiation in medicine for the benefit of patients. 

You can be notified of new publications, news and events by signing up for the RPoP newsletter here

To visit the general RPoP site, click here

 
ARPS2013

The 39th Australasian Radiation Protection Society Conference will be held from 13-16 October 2013 at the Pullman Reef Hotel in Cairns (QLD). 

The organising committee extends a warm welcome to all radiation safety professionals, enthusiasts, supporting suppliers, businesses and related industries to participate in the 38th Annual Conference of the Australasian Radiation Protection Society. This is the premier forum for the presentation and exchange of topical ideas on radiation protection in Australasia. This conference promises to be an exciting and enjoyable event that will focus on the conference theme of ‘New Horizons: Protecting the Future’.

Please see the ARPS Conference website for more information

 
RADRES 2013

The 59th Annual Meeting of the Radiation Research Society (RADRES) will be held on the 14-18 of September in New Orleans. 

For more information, please visit www.mtnreg.com/RRS2013

 
Qld Adopts Tripartite RO Standards

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.

Full Tripartite Media Release

 
ACPSEM Student Scholarship 2013

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.

Please see the Scholarship page for more information. 

 
AOCMP & SEACOMP 2013

An announcement and call for abstracts has been made for the 13th Asia-Oceania Congress of Medical Physics (AOCMP) & 11th South-East Asian Congress of Medical Physics (SEACOMP) to be held on 12-14 December 2013 in Singapore.  

Scientific Topics include Radiation Oncology, Diagnostic Imaging, Nuclear Medicine, Health Physics, Computing in Medical Physics, Education and Training and General Medical Physics. 

Organised by SMSP and Supported by IOMP, AFOMP and SEAFOMP

Visit www.smsp.sg for more information. 

 
Call for applications 2013 Branch Travel Grant

On behalf of the ACPSEM NSW Branch committee I'd like to invite applications for a travel grant. This grant will be awarded by the ACPSEM national executive to the value of $1200 and is to provide financial support for one ACPSEM member from Queensland, NSW, Victoria or Tasmania. The grant is to be used to attend the 2013 EPSM annual conference in Perth. To assist the branch committee in selecting our nomination for the travel grant it is requested that applicants provide the Committee with the following information:

a)Your Name

b)ACPSEM Member (Yes or No) and ACPSEM Member Number (Please note only financial members can apply)

c)Place of Employment

d)Are you a ROMP/DIMP/NM and TEAP/registrar/ trainee?

e) Are you a:

i. Medical physicist (with 0-5 years of experience)

ii. Medical physicist (with 5+ years of experience)

iii. Research physicist (or academic)

iv.Student (please specify course, uni and whether undergrad/postgrad)

f) Have you received a NSW PDS grant to attend EPSM 2013, if yes indicate the grant amount

g) Did you receive a NSW PDS grant to attend EPSM 2012

h) Have you submitted or do you plan to submit an abstract for the EPSM conference? If yes, please include a copy of the abstract (or a draft).

i) Please outline what you want to gain from attending an EPSM conference (250 words or less)

The committee's preference is to support a younger person who has submitted an abstract for the conference. Please send your applications for the ACPSEM Branch Travel Grant to Paul White of Prince of Wales Hospital: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Closing date for applications is 5.00 pm Friday the 12th July (the same day as the abstract submission deadline for EPSM 2013). The NSW Branch will nominate a preferred applicant to the ACPSEM Council by the end of July 2013. The final decision of the recipient will be made by Council at a later date, prior to the conference.

Secretary,

ACPSEM NSW Branch

 
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 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

About ACPSEM

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.

ACPSEM Registrar of Qualified Medical Physics Specialists

Further Helpful Information:

Medical Radiation Safety Series, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA)

 

Reference:

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.

 

 
‘A Career in Radiation Oncology’ Project – Raising the Profile of the Profession


A Career in Radiation Oncology’ Project – Raising the Profile of the Profession

 

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR), The Australian Institute of radiography (AIR) and The Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine (ACPSEM) are collaborating to promote a career in Radiation Oncology.

 

The ‘A Career in Radiation Oncology Project’ will promote the three specialties in radiation oncology: radiation oncologists, radiation therapists and radiation oncology medical physicists. There is tripartite collaboration on this project and it is being advised by a Steering Committee comprised of representatives from all three professions. The project will run until May 2014.

 

The objectives of the project are to building awareness of radiation oncology and the three specialities that support radiation oncology, increase the number of suitably qualified radiation oncology professionals and influence career planning decision-making at an early age.

The project is mainly aimed at high school students and their careers advisors but also targets university students. The project involves:

a)The development of a careers brochure, website, facebook page and video educating students about radiation oncology and the associated professions
b)Development of a presentation to be given at workshops, seminars and other career events.
c)Attendance and participation in careers expos
d)Development of a seminar programme to be held in conjunction with major radiation oncology scientific meetings

 The resources that have been developed to promote a career in radiation oncology will be promoted at the careers events and amongst the profession and also provided to all schools in Australia. These resources have been designed so that the profession are able to continue to educate students into the future following the completion of the project in May 2014.  The brochure, careers website (www.acareerinradiationoncology.com.au), video (http://youtu.be/5E5ssMKEBHs), Facebook page (www.facebook.com/acareerinradiationoncology) and presentation are all now available for use.

 

The project is booked in to attend a number of careers events throughout 2013 and these include careers expos both in urban and regional areas, post graduate careers expos and career advisor seminars. 

 

We are seeking representatives from the radiation oncology profession (radiation oncologists and trainees, radiation therapists and radiation oncology medical physicists and trainees) to assist at careers expos on the booth and to give a presentation at careers events. This will allow students to learn about radiation oncology from the people who have work experience in the profession.

 

The brochure, video, presentation and posters are now available for use. If any member of the radiation oncology profession are attending a career event and would like to use these resources, or would like to volunteer to attend any of the careers events being held across Australian throughout 2013, please contact Ms Mel Grand, RANZCR Project Officer, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone +61 2 9268 9765, so that copies can be sent to you.

 

For further information on a career in radiation oncology, as well as to obtain copies of these resources online, please visit www.acareerinradiationoncology.com.au

 

For more information on the radiation oncology workforce, please visit www.radiationoncology.com.au

 

 

The ‘A Career in Radiation Oncology’ Project is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (DOHA).

 

 
Mammography Testing Certification 2013

Dates for the Mammography Testing Certification in 2013 have been released. 

As from the 1st January 2013, it is a mandatory requirement that equipment assessors are certified in the appropriate machine type to conduct RANZCR assessments on mammography equipment.

For those wishing to maximise travel by coupling this certification course with an event- the first course in March will preceed the Breast2013 conference being held in Darling Harbour (Sydney) and the final course in November will be held prior to EPSM2013

See: here for more details 

 
2012 Workforce Study

Howell Round's 'A 2012 Survey of the Australasian Clinical Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering Workforce' has now been published as an APESM paper. The link is below and will require a subscription (member key) to access.

 2012 Workforce Paper - Howell Round

 
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.

John Damilakis

IOMP Task Group for the International Day of Medical Physics

 

 
ICCR2013 Program is now available

The ICCR 2013 meeting will have a clinical focus and will highlight why computers have made radiotherapy a better treatment option for cancer patients. However, as usual with ICCR conferences we also hope to look into the future by discussing how computer assisted decision making, databases and automation, can provide us with information that can further improve the use of radiation therapy and extend its indications.

To view a full copy of the program please click on the following link ICCR2013 Program

KeyInformation:

The 17th International Conference on the Use of Computers in Radiation Therapy (ICCR2013)
Melbourne, Australia
6-9 May 2013

www.iccr2013.org  

 
Leadership Training

Add more value to your EPSM Experience – Look to your future as a team leader, manager, company director and even as an ACPSEM Councillor

Registrations are open for "Leadership through Integrity Action Performance" a workshop to be held at Jupiter's Casino prior to the EPSM opening. Tailored for ACPSEM members, this 2 hour session will investigate the sources of workplace performance by identifying the perceptions and thinking behind people’s actions. Presented by Lisa Rubinstein.

Please see the Leadersip Through Intergrity Action Performance for more information. Registrations close 18 November 2012. 

 
ESTRO Physics Biennial Meeting

The next ESTRO Physics Biennial Meeting will be part of the 2nd ESTRO Oncology Forum that will take place from 19 to 23 April 2013 in Geneva and it will be an important platform for the European Radiation Oncology community as all the disciplines will be represented in five meetings, occurring at the same date and place:

      • The Clinical and Translational Meeting
      • The GEC-ESTRO-ISIORT Meeting
      • The Physics Biennial Meeting
      • The RTT Meeting
      • The PREVENT (Prediction, Recognition, eValuation and Eradication of Normal Tissue effects of radiotherapy) Meeting.

The scientific experts for the five meetings have compiled an outstanding programme dedicated to clinicians, medical physicists, biologists, radiation therapists and nurses and will provide interdisciplinary tracks, symposia, presidential and joint sessions, debates, teaching lectures, etc...

Important Dates:

      • 7 December 2012 for the abstract submission
      • 12 December 2012 for the early registration

 

More Information:

www.estro.org 

 
Summer School Speakers Announced

The first round of Speakers for this year’s Stereotactic Radiotherapy Summer School have been announced:

International Speakers

      • Simon Duane (UK)
      • Alison Scott (UK)
      • Gavin Cranmer-Sargison (CAN)

Local Speakers

      • Tomas Kron
      • David Thwaites
      • Anna Ralston
      • Tanya Kairn
      • John Kenny

 

See the Summer School page for more information. Places are limited so be sure to register soon!

 
Summer School 2012 Registration Open

ACPSEM Summer School 2012: Stereotactic Radiation Therapy Focusing on Small Photon Field Dosimetry

30 November – 02 December 2012

Russel Strong Auditorium, Princess Alexandra Hospital

Brisbane, QLD

Registration for the ACPSEM Summer School 2012 is now open. In 2012, the ACPSEM Summer School provides focussed content that is comprehensive and relevant to both trainee and experienced medical physicists with the intention to:

  • Refresh fundamental physics concepts for experienced physicists in relation to stereotactic therapies and introduce the current state of the art. The focus will be on the dosimetry of small photon fields.
  • Be an intensive introduction to relevant fundamental physics for TEAP Registrars that will assist in the realisation of training competencies. Focus will be on the dosimetry of small photon fields.
  • Include both theoretical and practical aspects of performing measurements in small photon fields, including absolute dosimetry in standards labs.
  • Deliver a broad comprehensive syllabus on stereotactic treatment practice. Where relevant, the small field dosimetry aspects will be extended to briefly cover applications to IMRT.
  • Highlight essential documentation in regards to dosimetry, along with local and international standards for the best practice of stereotactic radiation therapy.
  • Provide a forum for identifying and debating both current practices and emerging issues in this area.
  • Provide the opportunity for registrars to demonstrate their competencies via assignments and/or quizzes.
  • Have pre-determined CPD points for attendance, plus additional points obtainable by completing the additional learning & assessment tasks. All CPD management is to be made as easy & user friendly as possible.

Speakers and program will be announced shortly.

Places are limited so registration is required. Submit a Summer School 2012 Registration Form  by 1st of November.

For more info: visit Summer School 2012 information

Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
National TEAP Supervisors Workshop

Excellence in TEAP: National TEAP Supervisors Workshop 2012

Friday 7th December 2012

Gold Coast Exhibition Centre

Gold Coast, QLD

The ACPSEM is hosting a National TEAP Supervisors Workshop ‘Excellence in TEAP’ for supervisors and registrars. Held on Friday 7 December 2012 at the Gold Coast Exhibition Centre, this free workshop will provide a forum for discussion with over ten invited speakers to present on current practice, cross department supervision and implementation of the Training Education and Assessment program (TEAP) in all specialties.

Registration is required as places are limited. Register for the workshop today by completing the registration form before 1 November 2012.

Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or call (02) 9700 8522

This Project is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.

 

 
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.

 
ROSIS Patient safety Workshop

Patient Safety in Radiation Oncology Workshop

 4th & 5th October 2012

Melbourne

A two-day workshop for Radiation Therapists, Physicists & Radiation Oncologists, exploring incident occurrence, detection, prevention and correction.  Emphasis is placed on a team-based approach, with active participation of national and international faculty and delegates through discussions and group exercises. 

Click here to view the programme and registration form

Contact:

www.rosis.info  

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
The Australasian Conference on Error in Medical Imaging

The Australasian Conference on Error in Medical Imaging

CQ Functions, Melbourne
November 16 & 17 2012

Following the success of the 2010 meeting in Sydney,this conference will explore key safety issues in medical imaging, with a focus on human factors.The conference will be multidisciplinary and of value to the entire medical imaging team.

For more information see: 

Error in Medical Imaging Conference Flyer
www.conferenceworks.net.au/apsf 

 
Mammography Testing Certification, Perth 2012

ACPSEM Mammography Testing Certification

3 August 2012

Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Perth, WA

 

This one day workshop should be considered by both those wanting to update their certified Mammography Equipment Assessor qualifications to include digital and currently uncertified users. Upon successful completion, participants will be certified Digital Mammography Equipment Assessors. 

This workshop is offered at a special discount price as it will be video recorded for educational purposes and is partially funded by the Department of Health and Ageing.

Registration: This workshop is limited to 30 places, so submit your Perth MTC Registration Form early to avoid disappointment.

Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
ABEC Conference 2012

Australian Biomedical Engineering Conference (ABEC) Conference 2012

17-19 September 2012

Greek Club

SouthBrisbane, QLD

The organising committee is excited to announce the provisional program for the Australian Biomedical Engineering Conference (ABEC) 2012 conference, "Health Through Engineering" to be held at the Greek Club in South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia from Monday 17 to Wednesday 19 September is now available.

With the provisional program delivering on topics such life as a biomedical engineer in Australia and overseas, the future of the education and registration of biomedical engineers to everyday challenges many biomedical engineers face and that is - risk.

With keynote presentations from well-respected professionals discussing many of the pressing issues of biomedical engineering today this conference is "must attend" biomedical engineering conference in Australia.

Registration: Click here

Contact: Anthony This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
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 

 
3rd International NanoMedicine Conference

3rd International NanoMedicine Conference

2-4 July 2012

Coogee Beach, Sydney 

From this seaside location, we will again assemble a world-class group of researchers and clinicians, with plenary speakers including Dr Alan Trounson President Californian Institute of Regenerative Medicine, John Pickup Professor of Diabetes and Metabolism at King's College London and School of Medicine, Guy's Hospital UK, Prof Tanja Weil, Ulm University Germany and Patrick Boisseau, CEA France. These speakers will join an ever growing list of nanomedicine invited speakers. As with previous years, the great Australian hospitality will make this a conference to remember, including social and networking activities that are aimed at forging collaboration and exploring ideas though multidisciplinary approaches. But it will be the presentation of research that will again be the star of this conference. All researchers be they from medicine, chemistry or science that work in the nanomedicine field are acutely aware of the great need to prevent and cure diseases which have emotional, social and economic ramifications.

Key themes include
• Imaging
• Nanosafety
• Tissue regeneration and repair
• Sensing & diagnosis
• Delivery of therapeutics (drugs, siRNA, DNA, Peptides)
• Translational medicine

This year we will again have special programs to encourage Early and Mid-Career Researchers to present their work. If you are interested in submitting an abstract for either oral or poster please visit the website. We hope you are able to join us for Great Science at the Beach.

More information : 3rd International NanoMedicine Conference flyer

www.oznanomed.org 

 
Monte Carlo for Beginners: Gent4 and MCNP

Monte Carlo for Beginners: Gent4 and MCNP

CPD Endorsed course


Dr Scott Penfold and Dr Puthenparampil Wilson

 Program

Geant4 Seminar 1 (June 6, 2012)

• Monte Carlo in medical physics
• The Geant4 toolkit
• Installation
• Running a simulation
• Defining geometries

 

Geant4 Seminar 2 (June 13, 2012)

• Physics processes
• Primary particle source
• Sensitive volumes
• Visualization and macros

 

MCNP Seminar 1 (June 20, 2012)

• Overview of MCNPX
• MCNPX setup
• Applications in medical physics calculations
• Applications in particle therapy

 

See attached for more information (MoteCarloforBeginnersFlyer)

 


 
Leadership and Practice Development in Health: Quality and Safety through Workplace Learning Conference 2012

Leadership and Practice Development in Health: Quality and Safety through Workplace Learning Conference

29 to 30 November 2012

Hotel Grand Chancellor 

Hobart 

Call for Presentations 

Submission due 22 June 2012

The theme for this year’s conference is Technology and Simulation in Health Conference. The conference has an interdisciplinary focus on quality and safety through workplace learning incorporating a diverse range of support methods and strategies. We are proud to present an exciting program that will feature nationally and internationally recognised leaders from nursing and midwifery, allied health and medicine to showcase the latest and the best in research and practice. The program will also incorporate a rural and remote stream.

 See flyer: LaPD Conference Flyer

More information: www.cdesign.com.au/simulation2012 

 
UWA Scholarship in Radiation Oncology 2012

Master of Science (Medical Physics) at University of Western Australia Scholarship Opportunity:
Attraction Scholarship in Radiation Oncology Medical Physics – 2012
Applications close 15 June, 2012
 
The demand for medical physicists specialising in radiation oncology is exceeding supply in Western Australia as the government seeks to expand cancer treatment services in the State. The Western Australia Department of Health has established an 'Attraction Scholarship in Radiation Oncology Medical Physics - 2012' to support two (2) students in the Master of Science (Medical Physics) course at the University of Western Australia. The scholarships are available for a second semester start.
 
These scholarships will be awarded based on academic achievement and are open to all students with an appropriate degree in Physical Science or Engineering who are willing to focus their MSc research component on a radiation oncology topic.
 
A MSc in Medical Physics provides training in radiation protection, human biology, medical imaging and radiation physics. At completion of the two-year program, students will have the knowledge necessary for entry into an accredited medical physics training program in radiation oncology, nuclear medicine or radiology. Employment options include: medical physicist at tertiary public hospitals, radiation physicist in the private sector, and research positions in tertiary education or the private sector.
 
For more information on the program and links to the scholarship application, please see:

Contact:
Research Associate Professor Mike House, University of Western Australia ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

 
High Risk Prostate Cancer Workshop

 High Risk Prostate Cancer Workshop


Henry Jones Art Hotel
Hobart, Tasmania
 9-10 November 2012


The Faculty of Radiation Oncology Genito-Urinary Group (FROGG) is a special interest group under the Faculty in RANZCR, with the aims to promote good radio-therapeutic and oncological practice as part of multidisciplinary patient management.
FROGG is organising a High Risk Prostate Cancer Workshop at Henry Jones Art Hotel in Hobart, Tasmania on 9th and 10th of November 2012, to address the controversies surrounding management of high risk prostate cancer. FROGG would like to extend an invitation to radiation oncology medical physicists, who they believe would benefit from the workshop.


For more information please visit: http://www.frogg2012.com.au

 
eLearning Site Unavailable 19/3/12

eLearning Platform unavailable on Monday 19th of March 2012

 

After recent events affecting our website platforms, we are continuing our work to prevent future disruptions including an attempt to upgrade the ACPSEM e-learning platform, which will result in this system being unavailable on Monday 19 March.

 

The upgraded version  potentially offers increased flexibility and functionality for members, as well as improved back-up and security features.

 

Users are able to access the elearning site until 5am EDST on Monday 18 March. All courses, profiles and settings will be backed up before upgrading commences. We would appreciate it if all users refrain from trying to access the site while upgrading and testing is being undertaken. The elearning platform will be available again to all users on Tuesday 20th of March.

 

We appreciate your patience and assistance. If you have any questions regarding the upgrade, please email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
MOT2012

Royal Adelaide Hospital's 4th Modelling of Tumours Meeting

MOT 2012

2nd to 4th August

Hotel Grand Chancellor, Adelaide

If the last 3 meetings were anything to go by, this MOT meeting will be one not to be missed. It will be a dedicated and specific experience in the world of biological and radiobiological modelling. Don’t miss you chance to meet with world renowned names such as Prof Michael Joiner (USA) and A/Prof Robert Stewart (USA). 

  • Thursday 2nd August: Evening Reception
  • Friday 3rd August: Full Day Meeting and Dinner
  • Saturday 4th August: Half Day Meeting

 

Registration $350 (inc GST) which includes the opening reception and meeting dinner.

Abstract Deadline: 8th June

Registration Deadline: 22nd June

To register your interest or for further information, please visit the website: www.rah.sa.gov.au/cancer/mot.php

 
Honour for ACPSEM Member

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.

 
EPI2k12 Conference

 

EPI2k12: the 12th International Conference on Electronic Patient Imaging

Sydney 12 - 14 March, 2012

 

You know all this stuff we use to image patients in Radiation Oncology: onboard kV imaging, MV imaging, 4DCT, MRI and PET and a whole bunch of other initials that churn through the alphabet like a sabre tooth tiger cutting through a woolly mammoth...

 

Well, back in the old days, we only had film. Actual sheets of film. Silver imbued sheets of XOMAT and the like. The RTs would stand in the corridor waiting for their turn in the dark room to process a film which would tell them if a patient was being treated correctly. Physics would spend hours processing all the QA films and sheets of the stuff littered the department and physics desks.


Then this wonderful invention called an Electronic Portal Imager (EPI) came along and real film took its first step on the journey of the dodo (accompanied by the film processors and hallucogenic chemical fumes). The EPI was such a cool piece of equipment that it even had its own conference, the very first EPI conference back in the 1990s. This was exciting stuff!

 

Fast forward a couple of decades and imaging has begun to walk upright and use tools. It's not just about portal imaging anymore - the EPI conferences have reflected the evolution of imaging technology in the real world, tracking the changing face of imaging equipment and uses. And EPI2k12 is no different.

 

In 2012, we focus on the wonderful ways we can make all this amazing imaging technology do our bidding: motion management, adaptive therapy, image registration using multiple imaging modalities. Treatment technology has progressed in leaps and bounds, limited only by our ability to see what is being treated in order to treat accurately and safely.

 

EPI2k12 will feature experts in imaging and motion management from around the world, a research symposium on the first day of the conference, hands on clinical workshops at Sydney hospitals, Q & A sessions with the vendors, refresher courses, CPD points - what more could you possibly ask for?

 

So come along to EPI2k12 and TAKE A CLOSER LOOK!

 

For more information please visit http://epi2k12.org/

 

 

 

 

 
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.

Please view the Tripartite Radiation Oncology Practice Standards and Tripartite Radiation Oncology Practice Standards Supplementary Guide here. For a hardcopy of these documents please contact the ACPSEM office.

 
ACPSEM Office Update - July 2011

ACPSEM Office Update – July 2011

Aside from receiving membership invoices, have you been wondering how the ACPSEM is going with its large workload of training and education projects, membership commitments and other supporting activities? This monthly update is designed to bring to the ACPSEM membership a snapshot of the issues and activities that are being addressed or progressed on your behalf.
If you would like further information on any of the matters below, or wish to discuss other aspects of membership, training or continuing professional development, please don’t hesitate to contact the General Manager, Gary Disher on 02 9700 8522.

ACPSEM office Update July 2011

 
Summer School 2011

The 2011 summer school on functional imaging in radiotherapy will be run just prior to EPSM 2011 in Darwin on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th of August at the Crowne Plaza in Darwin.

While the primary target audience are medical  physic registrars, all ACPSEM members can benefit.

You can also email Amy ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or you have further questions.

Summer School Infomation 2011

Summer School Registration Form 2011

ACPSEM summer school 2011: Functional Imaging in Radiation Oncology Program

 
Lyn Oliver Receives Order of Australia

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.

 
Digital Mammography Workshop - Brisbane - Friday 16th September 2011
ACPSEM will be running a Digital Mammography Equipment Assessors course.
This is a one day course open to those that are already certified Mammography Equipment Assessors that are wanting to update their qualification to include digital, which will soon become a requirement for all certified assessors.
The course is also open to those not previously certified, although some pre-course work will be required, with the end result becoming a certified Digital Mammography Equipment Assessor, if anyone is interested in obtaining a film screen qualification please email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to register your interest.
The course location will be announced shortly.
We have a maximum number of 30 attendees to this workshop, so please fill in the Brisbane Mammography Registration Form  and submit your deposit to ensure your place.
 
36th ARPS Conference


 
Registration is now open for the 36th ARPS Conference
Crown Promenade Hotel, Melbourne from 16 - 19 October 2011.
 


REGISTER NOW AT EARLY BIRD PRICES!
Early Bird Registrations are now open until Friday 5 August 2011.

The committee is currently assembling an excellent technical program.
Each day will include keynote and concurrent sessions incorporating elements
of the conference theme 'Risk Perceptions: Safety & Security'.
The program will also include a pre conference workshop and post conference tour to The Australian Synchrotron and ARPANSA.
Please click here for all registration details
and to access the online registration form.
 


THE CALL FOR ABSTRACTS HAS BEEN EXTENDED!

Abstract submissions have been extended until 24 June 2011.

Please click here for more details and to download the Call for Abstracts
 


SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES SELLING FAST!

Limited sponsorship opportunities are still available.
Be quick to secure your package!

Please click here for more information or contact
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for a Sponsorship Prospectus
 


We look forward to receiving your abstract submissions
and welcoming you to the 36th ARPS Conference in Melbourne.

For more information please visit the
36th ARPS Conference Website
 

http://www.arpsconference.com.au/2011/

 
RORIC Communiqués

The final RORIC Communiqués from the RORIC meetings of 12 November 2010 and  8 April 2011, both held in Melbourne are now available for viewing.

RORIC Communique 12 November 2010

RORIC Communique 8 April 2011

 
ESTRO Endorsed Radiobiology Course

ESTRO Endorsed Radiobiology Course
Rotorua
30 October – 3 November 2011
Early registration closes 31 July

The aim of the Basic Clinical Radiobiology Course is to provide an introduction to radiation biology as applied to radiotherapy. It will cover the basic mechanisms of cell death/survival and the radiation response of tumours and normal tissues. Formulas of tissue tolerance will be explained. The biological basis for current approaches to the improvement of radiotherapy will be described including novel fractional schemes, retreatment, conformal radiotherapy, modification of hypoxia and combined radiotherapy/ chemotherapy.

This is a highly regarded course which sold out when it ran in Sydney in 2009.

See http://www.nzradbio2011.org/ for more information

 
ARPANSA Review of Safety Guides

As per the invitation from ARPANSA below, the College and the Specialty Groups are interested in providing a profession wide comment to ARPANSA on the currency of three Safety Guides (Safety Guide for Radiation Protection in Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology 2008; Safety Guide for Radiation Protection in Nuclear Medicine 2008; and Safety Guide for Radiation Protection in Radiotherapy 2008) that supplement the Code of Practice for Radiation Protection in the Medical Applications of Ionizing Radiation (RPS 14).

You are invited you to submit comments to the Chair of your Specialty Group. These would then be collated to a College response.

Please provide your comments by Wednesday 15 June to your Specialty Chair:

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (Radiology)
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (Nuclear Medicine)
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (Radiation Oncology)

 

ARPANSA would like to draw your attention to the current comment period concerning the review of the three Safety Guides (Safety Guide for Radiation Protection in Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology 2008; Safety Guide for Radiation Protection in Nuclear Medicine 2008; and Safety Guide for Radiation Protection in Radiotherapy 2008) that supplement the Code of Practice for Radiation Protection in the Medical Applications of Ionizing Radiation (RPS 14).

ARPANSA invites comments on any aspects of these Safety Guides, including the need for improvements in clarity or detail, any provisions that are difficult to put into practice, or instances where better or more up to date advice than that given in the Safety Guides may be more appropriate. Comments should be made via the webpage Review of Safety Guides – Comments before 1 July 2011. ARPANSA also encourages you to let your members know about this request for comment.

The Radiation Health Committee will review comments received and determine whether revision of the Safety Guides is necessary.

 
Summer School Registration 2011

 Summer School registration is now open.

To register please return the Summer School Registration Form 2011 to the ACPSEM office.

For more infomation please see Summer School Infomation 2011

 
Review of the Training, Education and Accreditation Program (TEAP) for Radiation Oncology Medical Physicists (ROMPs)

On 18 September 2009, the Commonwealth engaged The Allen Consulting Group to provide consultancy services to undertake a review of the Training, Education and Accreditation Program (TEAP) for Radiation Oncology Medical Physicists (ROMPs).

The objective of this consultancy was to inform the Commonwealth, states and territories and the profession on the operation of TEAP since its commencement in 2003 in order to determine whether the current arrangements meet the training needs of the profession. The consultancy also provided advice to potentially assist the preparation of TEAP for accreditation by relevant jurisdictional bodies and other relevant government agencies.

The consultancy has now been completed and the Department has taken delivery of the Final Report from Allen Consulting which provides recommendations for improvement to TEAP and strategies for future development.

For further infomation please see http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/health-ro-teap-finalreport

 
The 6th Japan-Korean Joint Meeting on Medical Physics (JKMP)


The 6th Japan-Korean Joint Meeting on Medical Physics (JKMP)
The 11th Asia-Oceania Congress of Medical Physics (AOCMP)

http://www.jkmp-aocmp2011.org/index.html
September 29 to October 1, 2011 in Fukuoka, Japan
Deadline for abstract/proceeding submission: June 12, 2011

Dear Colleague,
On behalf of Japan Society of Medical Physics, we would like to express our sincere compassion to the victims of the Great Tohoku Earthquake, and we would like to recognize the warm concerns sent from medical physics societies overseas to our society. In spite of the terrible damages the northern region of Japan has suffered, we would like to announce that we have decided to host the 6th Japan-Korea Joint Meeting on Medical Physics and the 11th Asia-Oceania Congress of Medical Physics in the City of Fukuoka, where fortunately there has been no damage from the earthquake. We genuinely hope these meetings will be successful and will become a step to reconstruction.

In the Pre-Congress Course, prominent speakers from all over the world will give educational lectures and special lectures. In the main congress, researchers from Japan, Korea and other Asian countries will discuss about the rapidly progressing field of medical physics. The main topic of the main congress is the recent Fukushima nuclear power plant explosion and radiation in Japan. Experts in nuclear engineering and medical physics will describe the accident that led to damage at the nuclear plant and what the risks are to public health of radiation releases. Themes of the main congress are radiation therapy, diagnostic imaging, radiation protection the related topics.

Please be reminded that the deadline for the Joint Congress of 6th JKMP and 11th AOCMP abstract and paper submission is June 12, 2011.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Fukuoka.

Sincerely yours,

Masahiro Endo, Ph.D.
President,
The 6th Japan-Korean Joint Meeting on Medical Physics

Fukai Toyofuku, Ph.D.
Congress Chair, The
11th Asia-Oceania Congress of Medical Physics

 
EOI for Radiological Physics

Expressions of interest are being sought from medical physics seeking to become accredited in Radiological Physics.

 
EOI will be received up until 5:00pm Sunday 1st May 2011.


Expressions must be accompanied by a non refundable deposit of $55 which will be deducted from the accreditation fee should the application be successful.

Please see the Radiology Physics Accreditation - Candidate's Kit 2011

For further infomation please see https://www.acpsem.org.au/index.php/psb-mainmenu/accreditation-about/radiology-about

 
Victorian Medical Radiations Workforce Supply and Demand Projections (2010-2030)

This report provides a high level overview of the workforce supply and demand for Victorian medical radiation services over the next 20 years. The medical radiation workforce demand estimates are mainly derived from population ratios, service utilisation and effective infrastructure methods. The projection of workforce supply is based on various data sources and applies a ‘stocks and flows’ methodology. The supply and demand modelling is produced for three streams of medical radiations: radiation oncology, medical imaging and nuclear medicine. Within these streams, nine medical radiation professions are modelled, applying the common assumption of ‘business as usual’ during the projection period (2010–2030). Data regarding current supply and workforce characteristics were collected from a number of sources, including surveys. These were combined with demand data to project required supply.


The modelling also identifies the number of workforce entrants required each year in order to achieve the required supply.

For the full article please read Victorian Medical Radiations Workforce Supply and Demand Projections (2010-2030)

 
Call for Expressions of Interest for the 2011 Summer School on Functional Imaging

Call for Expressions of Interest for the 2011 Summer School on Functional Imaging


This year the 2011 Summer School will be held in Darwin on the 12th and 13th August. The topic will be Functional Imagining. Places are strictly limited to maintain an interactive atmosphere. Medical physics registrars (of all disciplines) will be given priority but anyone interested in attending should register their interest NOW with This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
Mediaportal Report


Mediaportal Report


21/02/2011
Plucky Olivia still fighting to beat the odds
Canberra Times, 21/02/11, General News, Page 1
By: Ewa Kretowicz

19/02/2011
It’s Operation Re-build
Townsville Bulletin, 19/02/11, General News, Page 10
By: None

Nuclear family opts for Canberra lifestyle
Canberra Times, 19/02/11, General News, Page 8
By: Christopher Knaus

For the full articles please see the Mediaportal Report

 
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.

For the full article please see Australasian award for Waikato physicist

 
Shortage of medical physicists concerns

Australasia is facing a severe shortage of medical physicists as the number of cancer cases continues to grow, says a Waikato man at the forefront of training such physicists.

Medical physicist Howell Round, a senior lecturer in Waikato University's faculty of science and engineering, said there were currently 340 clinical medical physicists in Australia and about 64 in New Zealand.

But that was not nearly enough to meet demand.

Medical physicists make sure hi-tech equipment in hospitals is used correctly and safely.

Dr Round was recently acknowledged for his work in helping develop a system called TEAP, when he was presented with a Distinguished Service Award by the Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine.

TEAP helps in the education, training and accreditation of medical physicists in clinical practice for Australasia.

When Dr Round started out there was no such prior training – he learnt on the job at Waikato Hospital.

But with demand increasing for medical physicists, about nine years ago Dr Round set about creating the training programme – along with an Australian colleague, John Drew.

The first intake of trainees was in New Zealand in 2003, followed then by Australia.

Six universities are now accredited to do the initial training – mostly for physicists who oversee the installation and safe operation of machines used for treating cancer (radiation oncology).

But it'll be a long time before the shortage is solved.

"There is a real international problem that there are not enough medical physicists, especially in radiation and oncology," Dr Round said.

"The need for cancer services is expanding very quickly because we are coming up against a cancer epidemic, if you like.

"We're finding that the rate at which linear accelerators are being installed to treat the disease is at such a rate we just haven't got the people trained.

"So even after all these years of work... we've still got the same problem."

For the full article please see Shortage of Medical Physicists Concers

 
Increased Safeguards for Radiotherapy Treatment

THE HON CATHERINE KING MP
Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing
Increased Safeguards for Radiotherapy Treatment


Australian cancer patients and others requiring radiotherapy will have increased safeguards to their treatment with the launch of the Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service (ACDS) today – World Cancer Day.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Catherine King, launched the $2.875 million centre operated by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), at its Yallambie Melbourne premises.
ARPANSA will operate the ACDS for an initial period of three years, under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Health and Ageing.

Please see the full artice Increased Safeguards for Radiotherapy Treatment for more infomation.

 
Exploring New Territory: Innovative Solutions in Medicine and Health Physics

Exploring New Territory: Innovative Solutions in Medicine and Health Physics
                      
August 2011 will be here before we know it!

That means another EPSM-ABEC conference is fast approaching, and this time it will be THE conference of the year for all medical physicists, clinical engineers, biomedical technicians, radiation safety workers and mining workers to attend. Join us for this first ever Darwin gathering which will be a unique and invigorating event to be held at the dazzling Darwin Convention Centre, NT.

We are proud to announce our 2011 Keynote Speakers, the distinguished Prof David Brenner, Prof Wolfgang Dorr and Dr Joseph Smith.

For the first time, there will be a workshop held on Radon and Radiation Protection in Uranium Mining with Professor David Brenner and invited speaker Mr Russel Robinson (Manager of Environmental Health, Radiation Protection, Department of Health and Families) providing incite and interesting discussions about the important radiation safety and research areas in the mining industry. A Medical Physics workshop is being organised prior to the conference, with dates and subject details to follow in the upcoming months. For young Biomeds, there will be the Annual Development Workshop held by the Clinical Engineering Panel.

Darwin will prove to be a stimulating venue, with breathtaking scenery and wildlife, including Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks.  We look forward to receiving your emails of interest, potential conference sponsorship, and abstracts for oral or poster presentations in the months ahead.

Abstract submissions by the 29th April 2011.

For all information and contact details please see the conference website: http://www.epsmabec2011.org/

 
PET Acceptance Testing & Quality Control Course 2011 - Call for EOIs

We are currently collecting expressions of interest for PET Acceptance Testing & Quality Control Course 2011. This course will be run over two days in May 2011. The course location is yet to be decided but an east coast venue is likely.

This course is intended to provide practical, hands on experience in PET acceptance testing and QC for experienced nuclear medicine physicists. Successful completion of the course will meet the requirement of practical experience for the PET/CT acceptance testing and QC certification. However, completion of the course is in itself insufficient for certification in PET acceptance testing and QC and the other certification requirements outlined in the “Certification/Accreditation in PET Acceptance Testing and QC” must also be satisfied.

The course will assume that participants have the knowledge and competency of experienced nuclear medicine physicists, including general knowledge of acceptance testing and QC of nuclear medicine equipment. In addition, all participants are expected to be competent in handling unsealed sources and nuclear medicine radiation protection principles. This allows concentration on the key components of the course, without having to provide a refresher on nuclear medicine physics, which would otherwise substantially lengthen the course beyond the current 2 day duration.

If you can please indicate whether you have any preference towards a weekend run or during business hours.

The number of participants is limited, preference will be given in order of expressions of interest.

The cost of running the course will be determined by the location, whether F18 needs to be purchased and the number of people in attendance.

This course will be open to both members & non-members.

Please register your interest by sending an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 
QLD Flood Update

Dear Members,

I’ve received several emails from friends and colleagues interstate to see how we are doing up here in QLD and I’m sure many other QLD branch members have been as well, so  I thought up update might be appropriate.

To my knowledge there are no RT or major Diagnostic centres that will be directly impacted by flooding.  Many will be closed or running reduced services until next week, with the
major issue been staff and patients unable to access the centres and medical services are been redirected to support emergency cases only.

I certainly haven’t been in contact with everyone in the local college community, but those I have contacted have been safe & well.  I’ve no doubt though that some are in flood affected homes
and are been confronted with very real and immediate problems to deal with

There are some power outages and the like, so  contacting people may be difficult for a few days, but as they get through your well wishes and offers of assistance will certainly be appreciated.

Regards
John Kenny
Chairman
QLD Branch ACPSEM

 
3rd Modelling of Tumours (MOT) Meeting

It is a tribute to the energy and dedication of the organisers that a meeting on such a specialised topic succeeded in attracting close to 100 participants to one of the most geographically isolated cities in the world. The programme covered a wider spectrum of topics then its title suggests; my own talk on the first afternoon was one of the very few to deal strictly with the subject of “Tumour Modelling”. The best way to summarise the proceedings in to pick out a few of the highlights.

For the full article please see 3rd Modelling of Tumours (MOT) Meeting

 
Vale David Robinson

Vale David Robinson

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.

 
A message from the President

Dear Colleagues,
It has been an eventful month, including the passionate members discussion on the article published in the Sydney Morning Herald. The ACPSEM response can be found at: http://www.acpsem.org.au/index.php/news-and-events/media
Also, Gary Disher has written a good article (see below) on dealing with media.

Currently applications for funding are open through a Health and Hospitals Fund (HHF) – Regional Priority Round (closing date 3 December 2010). The HHF is part of a broader infrastructure program instituted by the Commonwealth Government.  There are three Funds – the HHF, an Education Investment Fund (EIF) and a Building Australia Fund.  The Government has committed to spend up to $1.8 billion for the HHF focussed on regional health infrastructure. As part of the project, funding is allocated to workforce training infrastructure - to support approaches to improve the health and medical workforce, to deal with the increase in numbers of people training to be health professionals. As a result we are currently preparing a project proposal for trainee positions for diagnostic imaging (nuclear medicine and radiology) medical physicists. 

In addition, on December 17, we are also planning to meet with the First Assistant Secretary of the Workforce Branch, DoHA to discuss workforce shortages and training needs in the Diagnostic Imaging Medical Physics Specialties.  

On another note, I am not sure how many of you are aware that we have opened up the doors for Radio Pharmaceutical Scientists to join the College. We might assist them to run their accreditation program under ACPSEM umbrella. Initially they will fall under Nuclear Medicine Specialty with a possibility to form a new Special Interest Group if the numbers call for it.

And finally, things to look forward to in near future: EPSM 2010 in Melbourne (including ACPSEM Annual General Meeting)  preceded by the Summer School on Image Guided Radiation Therapy and followed by a Mammography – digital top up course.

Best wishes
Eva Bezak
President

 
EPSM 2010

The Annual conference will this year be held at an unusual venue, the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground, from 5 -9 December.

The program promises to be of interest to all members, with international speakers such as Michael Brada, Royal Marsden Hospital; Joseph Rizzo, Harvard Medical School and Paul Rizzo, Medical Dosimetry Group, UK. In addition, many local experts have been invited. The program, with all abstracts, is available on-line http://www.epsmabec2010.org.au  A great program.

The welcome reception is to be held in the National Sports Museum at the MCG. This is a national heritage listed venue containing an exciting mix of sporting heritage and entertainment. A great venue.

The Conference Dinner will be held in the Great Hall of the National Gallery of Victoria. A great night.

Register now if you have not done so. It should be a great conference.

 
Summer School

One of the exciting new features of ACPSEM is the annual summer school. We started this last year in Canberra with a school on Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) organised by Brendan Hill and Sean Geogeghan. This year we will tackle Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT).

The IGRT summer school will be held on December 3 and 4 directly before the EPSM conference in Melbourne. We will have one and a half days of lectures held at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre followed by practical sessions at a number of locations.

The main invited overseas speaker is Stine Korreman from Denmark. Stine has been involved with IGRT and motion management for many years and has recently headed the ESTRO ... Stine is an excellent speaker and I look forward to having her in Melbourne for the summer school.

However, also a large number of other lecturers will be involved, including physicists from all over Australia and colleagues from other disciplines.

At this point in time, the ACPSEM summer schools are financially supported by the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) in Canberra as a workforce measure for Radiation Oncology Medical Physicists. This determines the focus on radiation oncology themes. However, this is not cast in stone and we hope to work through a wide variety of topics in the future - for next year PET is pencilled in. If you have any ideas, please let us know.

The common features of the summer schools are starting to emerge as:
• held over two days just prior to EPSM
• concerned with a single topic of interest
• features one high profile speaker (thanks to DoHA an international one but in the future more likely a local one)
• includes half a day of practicals and a small test at the end
• limited numbers - typically a maximum of 80 participants
• aimed at 'budget' end - this year participation of TEAP enrolled registrars are free (applies to ALL disciplines)
 
There are a few places remaining unfilled. Please contact Amy Milner on 02 9700 8522 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you would like to join us.

 
You never know who might be listening

As professionals in a highly visible health sector, we are often asked to present our research, policy positions, or other work at public forums such as conferences and workshops.  These opportunities are usually very welcome as they help to raise the profile of the work, the presenter or the organisation they represent.

But profile raising can also be a double edge sword. If you are invited to speak at a conference on your research or other work, beware that the conference organisers are also on the hunt to raise the profile of the group holding the meeting. This is usually achieved by having a media or public relations person attached to the conference whose job it is to attract media attention to the conference. Big conferences often have select reporters covering the whole conference for the duration. This is where the unsuspecting speaker can slip if care is not taken.

The media loves nothing more than controversy. Shonky builders, unsubstantiated health benefits, celebrities falling from grace and the neighbours from hell seem to be the staple of a variety of television, radio and print media. As health professionals we can unwittingly present our own work in a manner that can invite controversy, if viewed as interesting enough to the general public.

Consider the headlines: “Workforce numbers in Australia well short of international recommendations” or “Australia fails to meet world’s best practice” or even “Medical Physicists critical of government policy”. These words may not have been spoken by the presenter or written in their paper, but it is how a reporter could view the material in an effort to get prominence for their story.

There are a couple of things that presenters can do to avoid falling foul of the media:

1. Know your audience. Never assume it is only other health professionals. Conferences are attended by many others with an interest in the topic area. Check with the session convenor, or ask the audience when you start “Who here is not a medical physicist?” and apologise for the reliance on technical data. You will then know that not everybody in the audience is on the same page as you.

2. Control the message you wish to get out into the public arena. If asked a question by a reporter, focus on no more than three key messages and never allow questions to draw you away from those messages. You would have heard a politician or two thank a member for their question and proceed to answer something completely different. It is a skill.

3. If the message relates to data, have a handout of the key data points and their interpretation. Write these as bullet points, not prose and write these from the point of view of a member of the general public, not a physicist. This is what the journalist is doing, so to avoid misinterpretations, misquoting or out of context quotes, do the work for them.

4. If using a power-point presentation keep the information on each slide to a minimum. And only use information on the slide which you are happy to release to the media and the public, as media may be in attendance.

5. Try not to use words that conjure up controversy such as bad, recalcitrant, failed to deliver, incorrect, at fault, mistake or medical error. (NB This is not an exhaustive list)

And if you do present controversial topics, make sure of your facts, be clear about what you are not saying as much as what you are saying and be prepared to stand by your claims and defend them in the public arena.

It is often good to go through potential media question scenarios with a person who also knows your topic area very well. This can pre-empt any negative media and give you some ideas as to how to negotiate the difficult questions.

Your College can also be a way for opinions to be expressed without fear or favour. The College has a voice which is independent of industry and government and can use this in advocating on behalf of patients and the profession.

Speaking to the media is a skill that can be mastered. Essentially this is the use of defensive language in an adversarial situation. Many hospitals have media/PR professionals on staff and they can always advise you if you feel that the material you are about to present make spark controversy.

The best thing to remember is that the media are just other human beings at the end of the day. Not something to be afraid of. Know your topic area well, look out for any potential icebergs and most importantly, enjoy the process!

Gary Disher
General Manager
ACPSEM

 
New Members

We would like to extend a warm welcome to the following new members who have joined the ACPSEM in the past month.
Ordinary Member
• Johnny Morales  - NSW
• Guangli Song  -  NSW

Associate Member
• Ramachandran Prabhakar - VIC
• Chris Low  - TAS
• Lok Kei Yuen -  TAS
• Elise Pogson - NSW
• Somangili Sivakumar - WA

Correction
Please note Farshid Salehzahi  - Ordinary Member is from the ACT and not NSW as reported last month.

Please logon to the website and update your specialty group preferences so you can receive the appropriate  communication and keep in touch with the latest news, events and training courses.

For membership information, please contact Louise Weston, Membership Services Officer, ACPSEM at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone (02) 9700 8522.

 
TEAP Co-ordination Group for Radiation Oncology (TCG)

This group comprises individual members who hold TEAP Radiation Oncology Co-ordinator or Preceptor positions in New Zealand and each Australian State. TCG was formed in September 2009 to act as an advisory group on matters relevant to TEAP Radiation Oncology and as a networking group to support TEAP Radiation Oncology development  across Australia and New Zealand.

Some of the key activities that members of the CTG have been involved in include:
• review and development of mechanisms for competency assessment, performance indicators and progressive assessment of registrars in conjunction with the Assessment Task Group formed by ROAP;
• Cert IV Training and Assessment Train-the-Trainer course, as part of the Ro-STAMP project and;
•  content development for course modules on the TEAP Radiation Oncology on-line learning website.   http://elearning.acpsem.org.au/

As we move forward, the work of this group will be pivotal to the success of many of the TEAP initiatives and critical to the ongoing success of TEAP Radiation Oncology development in general.

 
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
 
Supporting the Lae Cancer Unit

Simon Downes, on behalf of the Colleges’ Asia Pacific Special Interest Group reports on the achievements arising out of the recent fundraising effort Everyday Hero.

Firstly I would like to thank all members who have supported APSIG in raising money for our project to support the Lae Cancer Unit. Your generosity will pay dividends for cancer patients throughout PNG.

It is opportune to provide you with an update on what is happening with the Lae Cancer Unit in Papua New Guinea and the internet connection which money was raised for through the ACPSEM Medical Research Foundation.  A lot has gone on so grab a coffee and please read to the end. 

I recently received some very good news in the form of an email from the Chief Radiation Therapist at the Lae Cancer Unit to say that there wireless internet connection is working!  This might be a surprise since none of the money has yet been sent up there from the funds raised!  This is because NDoH paid for the installation of a wireless connection themselves (stealing our initiative in the process). It is actually very good news as it has meant we can use the money raised to keep the internet connection operational for a very long time to come. I am following up with them to find out the best way that the funds can be used so I'll keep you informed.

Now for the really good news...


As you may or may not know, we have not been able to find a VIDA Medical Physicist for the Lae Cancer Unit since we advertised at the end of last year.  There has been some interest from some but for a few reasons, it has not been possible.  I attended a VIDA (Volunteers for International Development from Australia) function recently and spoke with a few people and by happy coincidence, found out that VIDA is currently allowing short term assignments for 1-2 months (3 months is normally the minimum which has been one of the reasons why we could not get anybody). 

I am very pleased to report that Tony Knittel, a physicist from our centre  (with plenty of leave to use up!) has confirmed that he is willing to go up to Lae for up to 2 months.  Tony is an ideal person for this assignment as he has already been up there and is very experienced in manual LDR brachy and Co-60 units.  Don’t take this to mean that our search for a long term VIDA Medical Physicist is over as the Lae Cancer Unit will require long term support so if you are interested, please contact me or APSIG.

In addition to this, we are to receive a generous donation from a friend of a cancer sufferer in PNG who wishes to make a real difference to the Lae Cancer Unit and its patients.  The donor wishes to support our cause for a physicist to go up to Lae to commission LDR brachytherapy for cervix patients and help set up the remote planning support (external beam and brachy) via the internet connection that money was raised for.  This is fantastic news and will really help this project to consolidate its efforts.

Other good news is the Nuigini Department of Health has just finalised the contract renewal for the Australian Radiation Oncologist, Dr John Niblett to return to Lae after some delay.  This has been a very big hurdle to overcome and is extremely good news.  It will hopefully mean the VIDA Radiation Therapist Trainer position that we helped the AIR to obtain can now go ahead as well. 
Again a big thank you to all members who have helped raise funds for this project. Without your support we would not have been able to achieve much support for Radiation Therapy in PNG. I would be grateful of any further donations and these can be made through the ACPSEM Medical Research Foundation.


Simon Downes

 
A message from the President

Dear colleagues,


Welcome to the last quarter of the year – and generally the conference season here and overseas. I heard very positive comments only about the International Solid State Dosimetry Conference held last month in Sydney, so I would like to congratulate the organizing committee on the job well done.

The Australian Radiation Protection Society and IAEA hosted the 3rd Asia Region ALARA Network (ARAN) workshop in Adelaide last week. The workshop dealt with occupational exposures in medical radiations with the aim to improve the management of occupational radiation exposures in medical practices throughout countries of the Asia and Pacific Region.  Delegates from up to 17 nations participated and I had the opportunity to briefly attend the meeting on behalf of the ACPSEM.  I was also asked by the IAEA representatives whether the ACPSEM would like to unify all organizations/networks in Australasia and set up one network dealing with radiation exposures. Hmmm, that is a big ask, definitely requiring some thinking – anyone up to the task?

It might be of interest to our members that a new website hosted by IAEA was opened just 2-3 weeks ago. It is called Occupational Radiation Protection Networks: ORPNET.  It really is a network of networks, linking together all networks dealing with occupational exposures, covering all stakeholders (for specific topics or sectors, or for all sectors, by region or worldwide): http://www-ns.iaea.org/tech-areas/communication-networks/norp/default.asp


Our registrars (and anyone else for that matter) could also find this document an excellent resource:
“Frequently Asked Questions on ALARA……optimization of doses for occupational exposure” containing answers to about 76 questions. (http://www-ns.iaea.org/tech-areas/communication-networks/norp/faq-list-en.pdf)


The Nuclear Medicine and Radiology project aiming to restructure and update the current TEAP, headed by John Cormack has come to an end. John has done an excellent job preparing new syllabus that is in line with the IAEA training recommendations and that will see both radiology and nuclear medicine physics registrar conducting largely the same training, but specialising in one of these imaging specialties in year 4 of TEAP. This training structure will produce physicists with strong background in both specialties. The new training material is now with the corresponding accreditation panels. And last, but definitely not least I would like to extend once more a warm welcome to our new General Manager Gary Disher.

Best Wishes
Eva Bezak

 
New Members

We would like to extend a warm welcome to the following new members who have joined the ACPSEM in the past month.

Ordinary Member
• Farshid Salehzahi   - NSW 
• Trent  Aland   - QLD

Associate Member
• Michael Bernardo  - QLD  
• Matthew Sobolewski - NSW
• Jennifer Guille  - NSW
• Ali Asad - WA
• Nathan Annabell - VIC
• Vincent Ung - WA
• Simon Atkins - VIC
• Tracy Wright - VIC
• Sisira Herath – VIC

Please logon to the website and update your specialty group preferences so you can receive the appropriate communication and keep in touch with the latest news, events and training courses.

For membership information, please contact Louise Weston, Membership Services Officer, ACPSEM at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone (02) 9700 8522.

 
Supporting the Lae Cancer Unit

Simon Downes, on behalf of the Colleges’ Asia Pacific Special Interest Group reports on the achievements arising out of the recent fundraising effort Everyday Hero.

Firstly I would like to thank all members who have supported APSIG in raising money for our project to support the Lae Cancer Unit. Your generosity will pay dividends for cancer patients throughout PNG.

It is opportune to provide you with an update on what is happening with the Lae Cancer Unit in Papua New Guinea and the internet connection which money was raised for through the ACPSEM Medical Research Foundation.  A lot has gone on so grab a coffee and please read to the end. 

I recently received some very good news in the form of an email from the Chief Radiation Therapist at the Lae Cancer Unit to say that there wireless internet connection is working!  This might be a surprise since none of the money has yet been sent up there from the funds raised!  This is because NDoH paid for the installation of a wireless connection themselves (stealing our initiative in the process). It is actually very good news as it has meant we can use the money raised to keep the internet connection operational for a very long time to come. I am following up with them to find out the best way that the funds can be used so I'll keep you informed.

Now for the really good news...


As you may or may not know, we have not been able to find a VIDA Medical Physicist for the Lae Cancer Unit since we advertised at the end of last year.  There has been some interest from some but for a few reasons, it has not been possible.  I attended a VIDA (Volunteers for International Development from Australia) function recently and spoke with a few people and by happy coincidence, found out that VIDA is currently allowing short term assignments for 1-2 months (3 months is normally the minimum which has been one of the reasons why we could not get anybody). 

I am very pleased to report that Tony Knittel, a physicist from our centre  (with plenty of leave to use up!) has confirmed that he is willing to go up to Lae for up to 2 months.  Tony is an ideal person for this assignment as he has already been up there and is very experienced in manual LDR brachy and Co-60 units.  Don’t take this to mean that our search for a long term VIDA Medical Physicist is over as the Lae Cancer Unit will require long term support so if you are interested, please contact me or APSIG.

In addition to this, we are to receive a generous donation from a friend of a cancer sufferer in PNG who wishes to make a real difference to the Lae Cancer Unit and its patients.  The donor wishes to support our cause for a physicist to go up to Lae to commission LDR brachytherapy for cervix patients and help set up the remote planning support (external beam and brachy) via the internet connection that money was raised for.  This is fantastic news and will really help this project to consolidate its efforts.

Other good news is the Nuigini Department of Health has just finalised the contract renewal for the Australian Radiation Oncologist, Dr John Niblett to return to Lae after some delay.  This has been a very big hurdle to overcome and is extremely good news.  It will hopefully mean the VIDA Radiation Therapist Trainer position that we helped the AIR to obtain can now go ahead as well. 
Again a big thank you to all members who have helped raise funds for this project. Without your support we would not have been able to achieve much support for Radiation Therapy in PNG. I would be grateful of any further donations and these can be made through the ACPSEM Medical Research Foundation.


Simon Downes

 
TEAP ROMP reaches the milestone of 100 enrolments

The Radiation Oncology, Training, Education and Accreditation Program now has 100 registrars enrolled in the program. They are employed across the 33 ACPSEM accredited clinical training institutions throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Welcome to our new TEAP ROMP Registrars in 2010


ACPSEM approved 19 new enrolments this year and we warmly welcome our new colleagues to the profession. Our new TEAP enrolments since June this year are:

Brendan Chick, North Coast Cancer Inst, Port Macquarie. NSW
Nicole Willetts, Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital. QLD
Steven Goodman, Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital. QLD 
Christopher Low, WP Holman, Launceston Hospital. TAS

 
Final call for ARECQA applications

A reminder to all physicists that applications for Accreditation in Commissioning and Quality Assurance of Radiotherapy Equipment.(ARECQA) will cease on 31st December 2010 and that no further applications will be accepted after this date.


Full details of the accreditation process are contained in the candidate kit. For more infomation see https://www.acpsem.org.au/index.php/home/governance-/specialty-groups/radiation-oncology

 
2010 accreditation awards in Radiation Oncology

Congratulations to the following members who have been awarded ACPSEM accreditation;

In Radiotherapy Equipment Commissioning and Quality Assurance


 Mr Koki Mugabe of the Dept. of Medical Physics, Waikato Hospital NZ
 Mr Sankar Arumugam of the Dept. of Medical Physics, Liverpool Cancer Therapy Centre NSW
 Mr Chris Gehrke of the Dept. Radiotherapy, Bendigo Hospital VIC
 Mr Andrew Howie of the Cancer Care Centre, St George Hospital NSW
 Mr Guangli Song  of the St Vincents Clinic, Radiation Oncology Associates NSW
 Mr Vinod Nelson of the Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centre, Campbelltown Hospital NSW
 Dr Hema Vaithianathan of the William Buckland Radiotherapy Centre, Latrobe Regional Hospital VIC
 Ms Jaysree Ukath of the Adelaide Radiotherapy Centre SA
 Mr Richard Short of the St Vincents Clinic, Radiation Oncology Associates NSW

In Radiation Oncology Medical Physics


 Mr Dean Inwood of the Dept. Radiation Oncology, Prince of Wales Hospital NSW
 Dr Mebratu Madebo of the Dept. Physical Sciences, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, East Melbourne VIC
 Mr Jonathan Griffin of the Dept. Oncology and Haematology, Dunedin Hospital NZ
 Ms Sian Price of the Dept. Radiation Oncology, Prince of Wales Hospital NSW
 Mr Ajit Mullen of the Dept. Physical Sciences, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, East Melbourne VIC
 Mr Trent Aland of the Medical Physics Group, Premion, QLD
 Ms Soo Min Heng of the Dept. Radiation Oncology, Prince of Wales Hospital NSW

 
Call for CPD Committee Volunteers
Do you have a passion for continuing the high standard of all current & future medical physicists? Do you have vision for future CPD training & events? A fondness for preparing course outlines & evaluations?  Liz Claridge-Mackonis (ROMP Sydney) is currently looking for members across all specialties to join our CPD committee. This dynamic team will be responsible for the sourcing the content for elearning , setting the CPD events calendar and assigning CPD points.  This committee will meet via teleconference monthly and administration support will be provided by the office. If you are interested in volunteering, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it expressing your interest.
 
Summer School

IGRT Summer School registration has been launched! The Summer School will be held prior to the EPSM – ABEC 2010 on Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th December 2010 at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne. International Speaker Stine Korreman from Denmark will be presenting as well as many of our own national medical physicists.

To register please see the link below.
https://acpsem.org.au/index.php/news-and-events/events?task=view_detail&agid=119&year=2010&month=12&day=03

 
Digital Mammography

The Mammography Equipment Assessors course was held in Canberra Hospital in August of this year. 28 individuals attended the course presented by John Heggie, Lee Collins, Jenny Diffey and Ravinder Grewal. Special thanks must go out to Sean Geoghegan who organised use of the fantastic facilities at Canberra Hospital and volunteered his time over the weekend.

Mammography Equipment Assessors Course - Melbourne

A Mammography Equipment Assessors course will be run off the back of the EPSM, it will be held at The Alfred at Prahan on Friday 10th December 2010. This course is open to those previously certified that require the digital component only. To register for this course please visit our website and complete the registration form. https://acpsem.org.au/index.php/news-and-events/events?task=view_detail&agid=128&year=2010&month=12&day=10


Please register and provide your deposit promptly to secure your place as places are limited to 35 and they are filling fast!

 
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 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 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 ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) for more information.
 
Elekta Travel Award 2010
ACPSEM's APSIG (Asia-Pacific Special Interest Group) are pleased to announce the annual Elekta Travel Award. This award is to enable Medical Physicists to travel between Australia or New Zealand and a developing country (in the Asia-Pacific region) for educational purposes. It has been fully sponsored by Elekta.

The objective of the Travel Award is to assist with, in alternate years,

a)  The cost of a Medical Physicist from a developing country in the Asia Pacific region to attend the annual Engineering and Physical Sciences in Medicine (EPSM-ABEC) conference in Australia/NZ, and visit at least one Medical Physics department in Australia/NZ; and

b) The cost of a Medical Physicist from Australia to attend the annual Asia-Oceania Congress of Medical Physics (or similar) and visit at least one Medical Physics department in the host country.

Only one award will be granted each year (up to a maximum of AU$5000), and will be based on the quality of the applications. The attendee is expected to present at the respective conference, and submit a report to Elekta, and to the ACPSEM.

The 2010 award is for an eligible Medical Physicist from a developing country in the Asia-Pacific region to visit Australia in December 2010 to attend EPSM (Engineering and Physical Sciences in Medicine) to be held in Melbourne, Victoria from December 5-9, 2010 and to visit at least one Medical Physics department in Australia or NZ. To be considered for the Award, all application materials must be received by the ACPSEM no later than 5:00pm AEST August 13th, 2010. The name of the successful applicant will be announced by August 31st, 2010.

For selection criteria, conditions and details of the application process, please go to http://www.acpsem.org.au/index.php/elekta-travel-award, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.
 
Radiation too high in CT scans

AUSTRALIAN CT scans have been found to generate up to a third more radiation than necessary to yield a clear diagnostic image, needlessly exposing patients to an increased risk of cancer.

The findings have emerged amid concerns about the growth in referrals for CT scans and as radiation safety experts and radiologists prepare a national monitoring scheme to keep radiation doses to the minimum necessary.

Read the full article http://www.theage.com.au/national/radiation-too-high-in-ct-scans-says-study-20100407-rs6v.html

 
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.

 

The ACPSEM council

 
Expression of Interest IGRT Summer School

Are interested in Image Guidance? Is IGRT an acronym that gets you going? Do you think of radiotherapy when you hear CBCT?


Then you may be interested in the second ACPSEM summerschool on Image Guided Radiation Therapy to be held prior to this years EPSM conference in Melbourne on December 3 and 4, 2010. We will provide overview presentations on different technologies, discuss QA and applications and have planned to spend one afternoon in a hospital to do some hands on activities related to IGRT.
Places are strictly limited to maintain an interactive atmosphere. Medical physics registrars (of all disciplines) will be given priority but anyone interested in attending should register their interest NOW with This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd visits Royal North Shore Hospital

Maxine McKew, Federal Member for Bennelong “I recently inspected the new PET scanner at Royal North Shore Hospital with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. This scanner is a great boost for cancer treatment for our area, making a difference in diagnosis and patient treatment. Originally requested in 1997, the Rudd Government has delivered this important piece of medical technology. I am delighted that my interest in this project has helped produce results.”

PM at Royal North Shore Hospital

 
Changes to the Medicare items for radiation oncology treatment verification

Please see below is a letter from the Director of Radiation Oncology Section of the Department of Health and Ageing, Mr Abel MacDonald, regarding changes to the Medicare items for radiation oncology treatment verification from 1 May 2010.

Read the full article Changes to the Medicare items for radiation oncology treatment verification

 
Call for Volunteers: Mentoring of Philippine Supervisors of ROMP Residents.

APSIG is seeking Expressions of Interest (EoI) from ROMPs willing to mentor supervisors of residents (registrars) enrolled in the RCA/IAEA ROMP clinical training program in the Philippines. The workload should be quite minor with communication with the Philippine supervisors being by email.

If willing to participate then please forward your EoI by 7 May to Brian Thomas ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) indicating number of years of experience as a ROMP, current position, experience as a supervisor of TEAP registrars and any other TEAP involvement.

(23rd May, 2010)

 
APESM journal now available through HINARI

Since our journal is now available online, it has also been added to the HINARI database. This database, set up by WHO together with major publishers, enables eligible developing countries to gain access to a large of biomedical and health literature. For further information, see

http://www.who.int/hinari/en/

For a list of eligible countries, see

http://www.who.int/hinari/eligibility/en/
(23rd April, 2010)

 

 
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