Medical Physics Practice Guidelines
The American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) has long advocated a consistent level of medical physics practice, and has published many guidelines and position statements toward that goal, such as Science Council Task Group reports related to calibration and quality assurance, Education Council and Professional Council Task Group reports related to education, training and peer review, and Board-approved Position Statements related to the Scope of Practice, physicist qualifications, and other aspects of medical physics practice.
Despite these concerted and enduring efforts, the profession does not have a clear and concise statement of the acceptable practice guidelines for routine clinical medical physics. As accreditation of clinical practices becomes more common, Medical Physics Practice Guidelines (MPPGs) will be crucial to ensuring a consistent benchmark for accreditation programs.
At the 2011 AAPM annual meeting, the AAPM Board of Directors granted approval to develop MPPGs. The Professional Council is charged with executing the development and publication of the MPPGs. In creating MPPGs, a formal framework for developing Practice Guidelines was defined which can be referenced by clinical physicists, accreditation bodies, regulators, and hospital administrators when determining the minimum acceptable level of medical physics practice to support a clinical service.
The AAPM will lead the development of MPPGs in collaboration with other professional societies. The MPPGs will be freely available to the general public. Accrediting organizations, regulatory agencies and legislators will be encouraged to reference these MPPGs when defining their respective requirements.
MPPGs are intended to provide the medical community with a clear description of the minimum level of medical physics support that the AAPM would consider to be prudent in all clinical practice settings. Support includes but is not limited to staffing, equipment, machine access, and training. These MPPGs are not designed to replace extensive Task Group reports or review articles, but rather to describe the recommended minimum level of medical physics support for specific clinical services.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Lynne Fairobent who will coordinate all questions and suggestions for consideration to the leaders of the Council and committee
- AAPM Medical Physics Practice Guideline 1.a.: CT Protocol Management and Review Practice Guideline published in the Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics (JACMP). Volume 14, Number 5 (2013). [ISBN: 978-1-936366-27-9]
- AAPM Medical Physics Practice Guideline 2.a: Commissioning and quality assurance of X-ray–based image-guided radiotherapy systems published in the Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics (JACMP). Volume 15, Number 1 (2014). [ISBN: 978-1-936366-31-6]