Curriculum for Hands-On Physics Education of Residents in Diagnostic Radiology

The curriculum for hands-on physics education includes a series of laboratory operations illustrating and elucidating the fundamentals of imaging physics, instrumentation, and radiation safety, while highlighting their applicability to the daily practice of clinical radiology. The current curriculum includes 35 laboratory operations, covering x-ray tube function, x-ray projection imaging, fluoroscopy, Computed Tomography, ultrasound, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and gamma camera/SPECT/PET (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography/Positron Emission Tomography). Each laboratory operation includes a specific objective, description of procedures, results, discussion points, and review questions. Some laboratory operations are further divided into sub-operations, for example, the laboratory operation “effect of kV and mAs on image quality and radiation exposure” includes two sub-applications of “effect of kV” and “effect of mAs”.

This curriculum makes “real” the theoretical concepts gleaned from the existing RSNA/AAPM Physics Modules. Education of those in the field is an on-going, continually evolving process as we keep abreast of the current procedures and practices in diagnostic medical physics.

The target audience comprises principally diagnostic radiology residents, but the curriculum can be extended to fellows in cardiology, and residents in other disciplines such as surgery and endoscopy whose practice requires understanding of imaging physics.