IAEA receives the 2017 AAPM Award for Innovation in Medical Physics Education

An IAEA e-learning programme on safety and quality for radiotherapy in August 2017 won an American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) award that honours innovation in medical physics education.

The AAPM is an association of medical physicists from 95 countries focusing on education, improving safety and efficacy of radiation oncology and medical imaging procedures. The association’s educational committee for innovative programs in medical physics education chooses recipients for the yearly award and honours the winner at its annual meeting, which concluded 3 August in Denver, Colorado.

“The committee selected IAEA based on the excellent presentation, coupled with the far-reaching impact of the IAEA work,” said Victor Montemayor, Chair of the Medical Physicists as Educators Committee.

The committee selects the winner based on submitted abstracts on team teaching, adult learning efforts or novel educational materials in medical physics.

“The quality of the work as well as the presentation has been increasing each year,” Mr Montemayor said.  
The IAEA e-learning programme, titled Safety and Quality in Radiotherapy,  guides students as they learn how to reduce and avoid radiotherapy incidents, improve safety culture and benefit from an incident learning system. Over 1100 students have enrolled in the five-hour programme since it was launched eight months ago, and almost 300 have successfully taken the final exam and earned a certificate of completion.  

Debbie Gilley, Radiation Protection Specialist at the IAEA, said the learning programme aims to improve radiotherapy staff understanding of patient safety needs. “Increasing the awareness through education of safety and quality can improve patient care and reduce the potential for significant harm from accidents and unintended radiation exposure in radiotherapy,” she said.

The IAEA also offers a separate e-learning programme on Radiation Dose Management in Computed Tomography. The programs are free and are accessible through an IAEA online learning platform, Cyber Learning Platform for Network Education and Training.

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