Medical physics aspects of cancer care in the Asia Pacific region: 2014 survey results

Tomas Kron, H. A. Azhari, E. O. Voon, K. Y. Cheung, P. Ravindran, Djarwani Soeharso Soejoko, K. Inamura, Y. Han, N. M. Ung, Bolortuya TsedenIsh, U. M. Win, R. Srivastava, S. Marsh, S. Farrukh, L. Rodriguez, Men Kuo, S. Baggarley, A. H. DilipKumara, C. C. Lee, A. KrisanachindaX. C. Nguyen, K. H. Ng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It was the aim of this work to assess and track the workload, working conditions and professional recognition of radiation oncology medical physicists (ROMPs) in the Asia Pacific region over time. In this third survey since 2008, a structured questionnaire was mailed in 2014 to 22 senior medical physicists representing 23 countries. As in previous surveys the questionnaire covered seven themes: 1 education, training and professional certification, 2 staffing, 3 typical tasks, 4 professional organisations, 5 resources, 6 research and teaching, and 7 job satisfaction. The response rate of 100 % is a result of performing a survey through a network, which allows easy follow-up. The replies cover 4841 ROMPs in 23 countries. Compared to 2008, the number of medical physicists in many countries has doubled. However, the number of experienced ROMPs compared to the overall workforce is still small, especially in low and middle income countries. The increase in staff is matched by a similar increase in the number of treatment units over the years. Furthermore, the number of countries using complex techniques (IMRT, IGRT) or installing high end equipment (tomotherapy, robotic linear accelerators) is increasing. Overall, ROMPs still feel generally overworked and the professional recognition, while varying widely, appears to be improving only slightly. Radiation oncology medical physics practice has not changed significantly over the last 6 years in the Asia Pacific Region even if the number of physicists and the number and complexity of treatment techniques and technologies have increased dramatically.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-501
Number of pages9
JournalAustralasian Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2015

Keywords

  • Asia Pacific region
  • Radiation oncology medical physics
  • Resources
  • Work practice
  • Workload

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