International Day of Medical Physics Date in the current year: November 7, 2024

International Day of Medical Physics The International Day of Medical Physics (IDMP) is celebrated annually on November 7. It was inaugurated by the International Organization for Medical Physics to raise awareness of medical physics around the globe and commemorate the birthday of Marie Skłodowska-Curie, a renowned Polish-French physicist and chemist who pioneered research on radioactivity.

Medical physics is an area that applies the concepts and methods of physics to medicine, particularly in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human diseases. Medical physicists are healthcare professionals who typically practice in one or more subfields of the discipline.

The main areas of medical physics are medical imaging physics (X-rays, angiography, computed tomography, mammography, ultrasound, MRI, etc.), radiation oncology (radiotherapy), nuclear medicine (nucleology), health physics (radiation safety), physiological measurement (for example, electrocardiography), and healthcare informatics and computational physics.

The International Day of Medical Physics was launched in 2012 by the International Organization for Medical Physics (IOMP) that represents nearly 30,000 medical physicists around the globe. The IOMP was founded in 1963 to advance medical physics in all aspects and facilitate international cooperation in medical physics and allied subjects.

It was decided to celebrate the IDMP on November 7 to honor Marie Skłodowska-Curie, a Polish-French chemist and physicist who studied radioactivity alongside her husband Pierre Curie. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person to win a Nobel Prize twice, and the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different fields (physics and chemistry). Her contributions to medical physics includ studies into the radiation treatment of neoplasms and development of mobile radiography units for field hospitals.

Of course, Skłodowska-Curie isn’t the only scientist remembered on this day. Notable scientists who laid the foundation and made significant contributions to the development of medical physics include Wilhelm Röntgen (discovered X-rays), Henri Becquerel (researched radioactivity), Harold E. Johns (researched the use of ionizing radiation to treat cancer), Rosalind Franklin (worked on X-ray diffraction), and many others.

Every year, the IOMP chooses a new theme for the IDMP. Past themes have included “Radiation exposure from medical procedures: ask the medical physicist”, “Looking into the body – advancement in imaging through medical physics”, “Better medical physics = better cancer care in radiation oncology”, “Education in medical physics – the key to success”, “Medical physics: providing holistic approach to women patients and women staff safety in radiation medicine”, “Medical physics for patient benefit”, “It’s a medical physics world!”, “Medical physicist as a health professional”, “Communicating the role of medical physics to the public”, “Medical physics for sustainable healthcare”, and “IOMP’s 60th anniversary: Standing on the shoulders of giants”.

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