The medical physics expert in radiology: tasks and role
In the course of the update of the Radiation Protection Act in January 2019, the medical physics expert must be involved in certain radiological examination procedures. This article provides a compact summary of which examination procedures these are and what other tasks a medical physics expert has.
What does a medical physics expert do?
The German Radiation Protection Act (StrlSchG) defines the medical physics expert in §5 Para. 24 as follows:
A medical physics expert is a person with a master's degree in physics or a person with equivalent training in medical physics with a university degree, who in each case has the required expertise in radiation protection.
When do you need a medical physics expert?
According to the German Radiation Protection Ordinance, last updated as of January 2019, a medical physics expert is mandatory when persons are exposed to high doses of radiation during
- radiodiagnostic examination procedures
- interventional radiology applications
However, the regulation does not stipulate that the medical physics expert must be present at every examination. However, he must be consulted regularly for optimization and quality assurance of the application as well as for advice on radiation protection issues.
Medical physics expert for radiology
According to the Radiation Protection Ordinance, the medical physics expert has the responsibility for the dosimetry of persons on whom radioactive substances or ionized radiation are applied.
Other tasks of the medical physics expert in support of radiologists:
- Optimization of radiation protection
- Determination, implementation and monitoring of quality assurance
- Control of the acceptance test
- Monitoring of medical radiological equipment
- Training of medical staff
- Consulting on medical-radiological equipment
Dose management systems for digital documentation
Radiologists can facilitate the work of employed or consulting medical physics experts by using a dose management system.
A dose management system receives the relevant information directly from the modalities and makes it available digitally for evaluation and assessment in accordance with the Radiation Protection Ordinance. Digital documentation is mandatory for radiation protection in radiology in Germany as of January 2023.
Further information on radiation protection in radiology
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