Fit for purpose? Evaluation of an MSc. in Medical Physics

Van der Putten, W. J. (2014) Fit for purpose? Evaluation of an MSc. in Medical Physics. Physica Medica, 30 (3). pp. 358-364. ISSN 11201797 (ISSN)

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The National University of Ireland in Galway established a Master in Science (MSc.) program in medical physics in 2002. The course was designed to be 90 ECTS. 11ECTS : European Credit Transfer System [13]. credits and of one calendar year duration. From the outset the MSc. was designed to be part of an overall medical physics training program. MSc. programs are now widely used as part of the training and education of medical physicists. There is however paucity of data on the effectiveness of such courses and the purpose of the study reported here is to provide information on one particular MSc. course in medical physics. This is relevant to medical physicists who are involved in the development and running of medical physics training programs. The study used as methodology the Kirkpatrick levels of professional training. It was conducted through an online survey, both from students who graduated from the course and from students who were in the process of completing the course.The survey proved to be an effective way to determine attributes of modules such as learning outcomes, knowledge imparted, quality of teaching materials and others. The survey proved to be remarkably able to demonstrate interventions in the individual course modules. Although the course was shown to be effective in the imparting of the knowledge required to become a qualified medical physicist several areas for improvement were identified. These are mainly in the areas of increased practical experience and in course delivery. © 2013 Associazione Italiana di Fisica Medica.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Export Date: 23 February 2015; CODEN: PHYME; Correspondence Address: Van der Putten, W.J.; Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering, Galway University Hospitals and School of Physics, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland; email:; References: Aldrich, J.E., The Canadian organization of medical physics (1995) Anew Kind of Ray, , The Canadian Association of Radiologists, Montreal, Quebec, J.E. Aldrich, B.C. Lentle (Eds.); (2011) Upgrading informal apprenticeship models skills for employment policy brief, , The International Labour Organization, Geneva; Bogdanich, W., Rebelo, K., Harris, R., (2010) The radiation boom; they check the medical equipment, but who is checking up on them?, , New York Times; (2009) Clinical training of medical physicists specializing in radiation oncology, , IAEA Training Course Series Issue 37, IAEA, Vienna; (2010) Clinical training of medical physicists specializing in radiation oncology, , IAEA Training Course Series Issue 47, IAEA, Vienna; (2011) Clinical training of medical physicists specializing in radiation oncology, , IAEA Training Course Series Issue 50, IAEA, Vienna; Eudaldo, T., Olsen, K., The European Federation of Organisations for medical physics. Policy Statement No.12: the present status of medical physics education and training in Europe. New perspectives and EFOMP recommendations (2010) Phys Med, 26 (1), pp. 1-5; Eriksen, J.G., Beavis, A.W., Coffey, M.A., Leer, J.W., Magrini, S.M., Benstead, K., The updated ESTRO core curricula 2011 for clinicians, medical physicists and RTTs in radiotherapy/radiation oncology (2012) Radiother Oncol, 103 (1), pp. 103-108; Geleijns, J., Breatnach, E., Cantera, A.C., Damilakis, J., Dendy, P., Evans, A., Core curriculum for medical physicists in radiology. Recommendations from an EFOMP/ESR working group (2012) Insights Imaging, 3 (3), pp. 197-200; Del Guerra, A., Bardies, M., Belcari, N., Caruana, C.J., Christofides, S., Erba, P., Curriculum for education and training of medical physicists in nuclear medicine: recommendations from the EANM Physics Committee, the EANM Dosimetry committee and EFOMP (2013) Phys Med, 29 (2), pp. 139-162; (2008) Training prospectus for medical physicists and clinical engineers in health care, , IPEM (Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine), IPEM, York. UK;, [accessed 18.03.13], [accessed 18.03.13]Schreiber, E., Xu, Z., Lorenzen, A., Foskey, M., Cullip, T., Tracton, G., PLanUNC as an open-source radiotherapy planning system for research and education (2006) Med Phys, 33 (6);, [accessed 18.03.13]Kirkpatrick, D.L., Techniques for evaluating training programs (1979) Train Dev J, pp. 78-92; Galloway, D.L., Evaluating distance delivery and e-learning; is Kirkpatrick's model relevant? (2005) Perform Improv, 44 (4), pp. 21-26; Holton, E.F., The flawed four-level evaluation model (1996) Hum Resour Dev Q, 7 (1), pp. 5-22. , Spring;, [accessed 18.03.13]Malone, S.A., (2005) Apractical guide to learning in the workplace, , The Liffey Press, Dublin
Uncontrolled Keywords: Education; Educational survey; Training; University education; article; course evaluation; diagnostic imaging; dosimetry; education program; graduate student; health physics; human; knowledge; learning; learning environment; masters education; medical device; medical student; program effectiveness; radiotherapy; safety; teaching; work experience; workshop; Ireland; medical personnel; outcome of education; physicist; physics; professional knowledge; quality control
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2015 20:14
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2015 17:31

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