The rapid advances in nuclear medicine have made it essential for medical physicists to have a strong understanding of the field, its relevant technologies and clinical applications. With the increasing utilization of nuclear medicine in patient care, more and more medical physicists–whether to prepare for the boards or to understand new challenges in the workplace–are looking to increase their knowledge of nuclear medicine. We have fielded a few emails from readers regarding books and resources on nuclear medicine, so we have put together a listing of resources we feel are helpful to those looking for one or two nuclear medicine reference. And, as always, we welcome reader feedback: share your thoughts on our selections. Did we miss any books on our list? Leave a comment to let us know! Read more
With the upcoming ABR Physics exams this summer, we have received several questions in regards to how to prepare. If you are taking Part 1 this summer, concentrate on that; don’t concern yourself with Parts 2 and the Oral examination (just yet). That said, the first thing you will want to do is review the topics covered on Part 1 of the physics exam. Fortunately, the ABR has laid out the subjects you will be tested on in the Initial Certification Study Guide. The ABR has yet (as far as we have heard) to veer from those topics, so you will not be tested on subjects outside their study guide. In fact, the guide is quite accurate in terms of the scope of the questions you will be asked. The next thing you will want to do is gather resources that cover those topics well.
The internet is strewn with information that is helpful in prepping; the resources are scattered through the Web and take time to find. One site worth bookmarking provides lecture notes on several physics topics listed in the Initial Certification Study Guide as well as a few practice questions. Another site with lecture notes on relevant topics is the course site for Diagnostic Radiology Imaging Physics at UW. More practice question can be found here and here (though at this site, you will have to register to access the free tests).
Your main allies will be your own lecture notes and good prep books. While cross-referencing is always helpful, the following texts have been helpful to other students who took the ABR Part 1 Physics exam in the past. The first is “Review of Radiologic Physics” by Walter Huda. The book is 272 pages with over 500 practice questions, and the material covered is high-yield. The next two texts are pricey, but serve as good reference texts to have in your possession. They are “The Essential Physics of Medical Imaging” by Bushberg et al and “Medical Imaging Physics” by William Hendee and E. Russell Ritenour. We have also heard that reviewing Raphex exam questions is also key in preparing. There are still a few copies of the very old exams available for purchase on Amazon.com. You can also find copies of recent exams for free on the Web: Raphex 2006 Questions and Answers, Raphex 1998 Questions, Raphex 1997 Questions and the Raphex 1997 Answers.
Last, but certainly not least, talk to people who have taken the exam within the last few years. They will be able to tell you what the ABR has been stressing on the exam these days. Ask them how they prepped and what they found to be useful. Start early, and with the resources listed above in addition to those you locate on your own, you should be well-prepared to tackle Part 1 with ease and success.
Readers who have been us since the launch of MDPhysics.com in March 2009 know that we started with just a weblog. Shortly thereafter, we added a listing of funding opportunities, a medical physics job board as well as a calendar of medical physics events. In addition, a physics classifieds section has been in the works for awhile, and now with coding complete, we’re excited to add this new functionality to the site. As always, a direct link to the page can be found in the navigation bar at the top of the site. Classifieds listings, like job listings, are free. All ads expire after 50 days and can be removed at anytime using an access code you receive via email. Read more
IMRT – IGRT – SBRT: Advances in the Treatment Planning and Delivery of Radiotherapy (published by Karger in 2007 and edited by John L. Meyer) is Volume 40 of the Frontiers of Radiation Therapy and Oncology series. Recently, I had the opportunity to review this book and found it to be an excellent reference that offers a guide to the new technologies of radiotherapy and their major applications in the modern radiotherapy clinic. Whether you are a newcomer to the profession of medical physics or a seasoned veteran of the field, reading this book–whether in part or in entirety–would be an asset for your professional advancement since many modern radiation oncology facilities offer the technologies covered in this book for cancer treatment.
The book is a practical resource and its scope encompasses several areas of concurrent development that have advanced in the field. It covers not only explanations and discussions of the techniques and technologies (IMRT and IGRT), but also applications of these technologies in the clinical setting (such as in the treatment of breast, head and neck, and prostate cancers) as well as guidelines for their current clinical use. The last section, 75 pages, is devoted solely to SBRT (Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy)–from basic concepts to clinical application. The book is expensive but comparable to other high quality educational and/or clinical reference texts available on the market.
Also, just FYI, as of a few minutes ago, Amazon.com was indicating that there are only 3 more copies of IMRT, IGRT, SBRT: Advances in the Treatment Planning and Delivery of Radiotherapy left in stock (but with more on the way!).
For further information on this or other volumes of books in the Frontiers of Radiation Therapy and Oncology series, go to www.kargar.com/frato.