Purpose: The world of medical physics is changing, from prescriptive and technical, to dynamic and patient-facing. Residency education needs to change with it, to prepare future leaders to thrive in this new ecosystem. Our residency made improvements and enhancements to multiple modules to begin incorporating this training.
Methods: Earlier this year, we incorporated new facets, to guide the transition from a technical emphasis to one that resonates with the Medical Physics 3.0 ethos: expanding our role in patient care, with a mindset of both safety and value. We added role-playing exercises, in which staff physicists play the part of worried patients or caregivers and the residents are transmitting their knowledge. Residents learn about our significant advances in nomenclature, automation, and development of standard operating procedures—all of which have contributed to meaningful simplification. During coaching for motion management simulations, residents are getting both communication training and decision-making training, in addition to routine technical aspects. The resident’s self-evaluated confidence score is surveyed prior to and after each training module for both technical and communication competency; this is paired with the staff’s evaluation of their performance and both are tracked.
Results: Our residents who have received this enhanced education are still in training, but we believe that they will be poised to drive systems level change, both in their work environments, and in the radiation oncology community.
Conclusion: Enhancing the full value of physicists towards human health, from industry to clinic to research, is important in resident education. We are embracing Medical Physics 3.0 in our residency program by enhancing our curriculum, offering new and different opportunities to demonstrate independent professional relationships with our patients, and finding innovative ways to partner with our physician colleagues to leverage all of our unique skills in the pursuit of better patient treatment.