Medical physicist certification and training program accreditation

Publication Name

Health and Technology


As a profession, medical physics combines an advanced understanding of physics and math with knowledge of biology, anatomy and physiology. Consequently, rigorous education and training is required to assure that medical physicists have the requisite fundamental knowledge, specialized technical skills, and clinical understanding to contribute to the medical care of patients safely. There is, therefore, an interest in standardizing the educational pathways and in developing mechanisms to assure that competency is achieved and maintained. Throughout the world, several countries, regions, and professional organizations have developed mechanisms for accrediting medical physics educational programs, both for didactic work performed in undergraduate or post-graduate settings, and for clinical training conducted in hospitals and clinics. In addition, several national and international programs exist for certifying individual medical physicists. In some cases, once initial certification is achieved, the diplomate enters a program of maintenance of certification, to ensure that the skills obtained during training are not lost over a career. This article explores the differences and similarities in the training program accreditation and physicist certification mechanisms.

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