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July 14, 2022 — The work and knowledge that a medical physicist brings to medical imaging and treatment typically focuses on science and technology. But increasingly, these scientists are taking the lead in a people-centered approach to improving health care for those who need it.

During the President’s Symposium “Important Conversations” at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) Annual Meeting, three keynote speakers will discuss the human condition of patients served by medical physics and opportunities for development for medical physics to make a strong contribution to healthcare innovation in the United States. The AAPM’s 64th Annual Meeting and Exposition will be held in Washington, DC, July 10-14, with the symposium scheduled for 10:15 a.m. on July 11.

“The 2022 Annual Meeting: ‘Celebrating Medical Physics That Transforms Human Health’ highlights the accomplishments of medical physicists over the decades, as well as, given the era of COVID, an opportunity to come together now said J. Daniel Bourland, MD, president of the AAPM. “Our Members, Affiliates and Associates look forward to being together and sharing our scientific, educational and professional discoveries and achievements.

“Whether making an impact through new technology or scientific discovery, or through the compassionate delivery of medical physics-based care to a particular patient, medical physicists are transforming human health through the applications of medical physics – we “improve health through medical physics”. ”

The President’s Symposium keynote speakers will provide “important conversations” for the medical physics community and all those invested in improving healthcare approaches for patients.

The Alzheimer’s epidemic

Edward G. Shaw, MD, Radiation Oncologist and Geriatrics Counselor/Caregiver from Wake Forest School of Medicine, will discuss the most common type of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, which is progressive and incurable.

Shaw will compare the patient experience of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease and describe the role of the medical physicist in the epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease. He will share his professional and personal perspectives as an academic radiation oncologist specializing in the treatment of brain tumors who was also a caregiver for nine years to his 53-year-old wife, who was diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s disease.

What we can learn from patients and why we need to listen to them

Rebecca Milman, MD, associate professor and diagnostic medical physicist at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, will detail the dynamics of patient engagement and how patients have been absent from discussions about diagnostic imaging and radiation therapies.

Milman will discuss how actively seeking out patient perspectives and experiences can help further the AAPM’s mission of improving health through medical physics.

Moonshot Health and Cancer Advanced Research Project Agency

Tara Schwetz, Ph.D., acting senior deputy director of the National Institutes of Health, will discuss two health research initiatives prioritized by President Joe Biden’s administration: the Agency for Advanced Health Research Projects and Cancer. Moonshot.

Schwetz will provide the latest information on these two national initiatives that are positioned for a meaningful and transformative impact on human health – catalyzing healthcare innovation and ending cancer – including challenges and opportunities that are relevant for contributions from the medical physics community.

The AAPM Annual Meeting and Expo attracts approximately 4,000 attendees to the world’s largest program of scientific, educational, and professional presentations, as well as technical exhibits and social programs that specifically target the medical physics community. This year’s event is a live, in-person meeting on “Celebrating Medical Physics: Transforming Human Health.”

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