The ESTRO-EFOMP core curriculum 2021 (3rd revised edition) is aiming to define a baseline standard for the education and training Medical Physics Experts (MPE) in RT.
- provide a framework for national regulatory bodies to guide their own curriculum development
- contribute to harmonization in Europe in order to facilitate cross-border mobility of professionals
- improve the standard of training across Europe
- make it explicit to politicians what an acceptable standard of training is
The cc revision was based on:
• latest EC guidelines on MPE (RP-174)
• EFOMP PS 12.1 Recommendations on Medical Physics Education and Training in Europe 2014
• CanMEDS methodology (the concept of competency-based education was reinforced)
This AI curriculum is the first attempt to create a guideline expanding the current educational framework for Medical Physicists in Europe. It should be considered as a document to top the sub-specialties’ curricula and adapted by national training and regulatory bodies.
The proposed educational program can be implemented via the European School of Medical Physics Expert (ESMPE) course modules and – to some extent – also by the national competent EFOMP organizations, to reach widely the medical physicist community in Europe.
Results: For the Basic section, KSCs were stratified in four subsections:
- Medical imaging analysis and AI Basics;
- Implementation of AI applications in clinical practice;
- Big data and enterprise imaging,
Regulatory and Ethical Issues of AI processes. For the Advanced section instead, a common block was proposed to be further elaborated by each subspecialty core curriculum. The learning outcomes were also translated into a syllabus of a more traditional format, including practical applications.
To provide a guideline curriculum covering theoretical and practical aspects of education and training for Medical Physicists in Nuclear Medicine within Europe.
Material and methods: National training programmes of Medical Physics, Radiation Physics and Nuclear Medicine physics from a range of European countries and from North America were reviewed and elements of best practice identified.
An independent panel of experts was used to achieve consensus regarding the content of the curriculum.
This new joint EANM/EFOMP European guideline curriculum is a further step to harmonise specialist training of Medical Physicists in Nuclear Medicine within Europe. It provides a common framework for national Medical Physics societies to develop or benchmark their own curricula.
The responsibility for the implementation and accreditation of these standards and guidelines resides within national training and regulatory bodies.
The following guidelines with respect to competencies and core curriculum items can be used for the development of the local curriculum for medical physicists in radiology.
The core curriculum aims at bringing the medical physicist in radiology up to the level of a qualified medical physicist. A qualified medical physicist is an individual who is competent to practice independently and to register as a Medical Physicist, in one or more of the subfields of medical physics. To act as an expert further experience is required and an involvement in a programme for Continuing Professional Development is recommended.
Radiology involves many subspecialties, e.g. radiography, mammography, computed tomography, X-ray guided interventions, and paediatric radiology but also magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound imaging.
The medical physicist in radiology who is recognised as a Medical Physics Expert must have a high level of expertise in X-ray imaging. In addition, but depending on local conditions, it may also be desirable or even required that the medical physicist in radiology acquires a certain level of expertise in MRI, ultrasound imaging, and nuclear medicine. Consequently, a trainee is not expected to cover all elements of this curriculum.
Medical physicists in radiotherapy are members of the multi-disciplinary clinical teams responsible for radiotherapy of cancer patients. Their role is to provide critical scientific input on the physical processes and technology that underpin the whole radiotherapy pathway.
Generally, the medical physicists in radiotherapy design and develop the framework of radiation dosimetry, treatment planning, quality assurance of individual patient’s treatments, of the radiation therapy equipment and other aspects of the treatment process including the radiation safety of the patient, staff and public. Specifically, the medical physicists in radiotherapy provide expert advice on the purchase, development, implementation and improvement of treatment techniques, equipment and processes. They also provide expert input during the treatment for individual patients.
This includes having a leading role in the strategic planning, commissioning, safe utilisation and optimisation of advances of radiotherapy technologies and techniques. In summary, the medical physicists in radiotherapy play a key role in assuring the delivery of safe, state-of-the-art radiotherapy.