The graduate program of the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) is one of the leading academic institutions in Nuclear Science and Engineering. Since its establishment more than 60 years ago, it led education and research in the intersection of nuclear and biological sciences and engineering. The UCSF Department of Radiation Oncology is well respected in the national and international community for both its physician faculty and its physics faculty. With one of the oldest medical physics residency programs in the country, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has a long history of education in medical physics. UCSF has a strong tradition of training in scientific research at the postdoctoral, graduate, and undergraduate levels. Because of its close geographical proximity to UCSF, the physics faculty at UCSF have developed close ties with colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB). Over the years, the majority of graduate and undergraduate students that have contributed to scientific research at UCSF have been students at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB).
The joint UCSF/UCB graduate program in medical physics has been designed from conception to fulfill the program goals and objectives espoused by the medical physics education profession as outlined in the Standards for Accreditation of Graduate Educational Programs in Medical Physics.
• To prepare our students for entry into a CAMPEP-approved medical physics residency program,
• To train our students for careers of leadership and innovation in medical physics,
• To deepen and broaden current knowledge through original research in technology and science,
• To benefit the public through service to national and international professional societies.
We aim to educate and inspire clinical scientists who will be leaders in the medical physics community as practicing medical physicists and researchers in medical physics science and technology. We believe a strong background in clinically relevant scientific research makes for a strong candidate in both settings. The field of medical physics has always been a unique blend of care in treating patients, excellence in the understanding and usage of technology, and innovative exploration of the underlying science. By preparing students for a CAMPEP-approved residency program, the joint UCSF/UCB PhD program will instill the value of each of these aspects into the next generation of medical physicists.
Our program goals and objectives incorporate the requirements laid out in the CAMPEP Standards for Accreditation with our mission and vision. Namely, to graduate from our program, our students will • Have a demonstrated understanding of the role of patient safety, ethics, and professionalism in the clinical and research practice of medical physics (ethics learning modules and clinical rotations);
• Have a firm grasp of the physics, mathematics, and other scientific knowledge required for research or clinical practice in medical physics (didactic course work);
• Have a well-developed understanding of how research and enquiry lead to both the creation of new knowledge and the reinterpretation of existing knowledge (original research and thesis preparation);
• Have honed their ability to analyze problems and develop solutions in both clinical practice and research scholarship; and, have demonstrated competency in the use of the research process to answer new questions and solve specific problems in research and clinical settings (thesis and clinical rotations);
• Have demonstrated their assimilation and working knowledge of current research and clinical practice in medical physics (clinical rotations and journal clubs);
• Have demonstrated awareness of the complexity of knowledge and differing approaches to solving problems, openness to possible alternative interpretations of current knowledge, and receptiveness to new knowledge and continual self-education after graduation (clinical rotations, journal clubs, thesis work, didactic coursework);
• Have the communication and interpersonal skills necessary to function in a collaborative environment (interaction with advisors, clinical medical physicists, and lecturers).