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Session: Education General ePoster Viewing [Return to Session]

Introduction of Mind Mapping Technique to Enhance Medical Physics Graduate Studies

I Z Wang1,2*, F West2, (1) Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, NY, (2) University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY


PO-GePV-E-7 (Sunday, 7/25/2021)   [Eastern Time (GMT-4)]

Purpose: Challenges exist in medical physics education due to its interdisciplinary nature requiring clinical knowledges and critical thinking skills. Medical physics professionals are also involved in advancing technology and safety in healthcare through their scientific and clinical research. Trainees also participate in such research developments either through graduate dissertation projects or residency rotations. In this work, we introduced the mind mapping technique to assist graduate students to succeed in their medical physics studies.

Methods: The mind mapping technique utilizes a colorful spider diagram to help structure information from various sources visually resembling the human thinking process. The idea of “mind mapping” was first introduced by Tony Buzan in the 1970s and has since become popular with many educators. It has been applied in the education of many fields including medicine and basic sciences that are related to medical physics. Mind mapping tools have been introduced to some students in our graduate program in two areas, study of didactic courses and innovation of research projects.

Results: Example mind maps will be presented. Mind maps in didactic courses, e.g., anatomy/physiology and therapy physics, demonstrated that organizing information through mind mapping assisted students in memory retention and concept understanding. Mind mapping on how to motivate students in their research bridged gaps between professor and students to help students more effectively achieve their goals. Mind maps developed by students during literature search and brain storming helped find opportunities for research projects through connections that have yet to be investigated.

Conclusion: Mind mapping is a useful tool to some students in their didactic course studies and research projects. Developing mind maps visually make study more efficient and enjoyable by stimulating both brain hemispheres. It can also assist students to organize thoughts and balance logical and creative thinking in an interdisciplinary field such as medical physics.



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