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DMP Curriculum

The DMP Medical Physics Program offers only the discipline of diagnostic medical physics. The track requires a minimum of 50 credit hours of didactic classroom and laboratory instruction, 6 credit hours of independent study, and 36 credit hours of clinical training (clinic rotations). Years 1 and 2 will emphasize the didactic classroom and laboratory instruction. Clinical training will total a minimum of 24 months. Limited introductory clinical training called Practicum (approximately 3 full-time equivalent months) will occur in Year 2; the intent is to introduce each student to the clinical environment with a standard set of minimal experiences and requirements to complete and submit for grading. The student will receive 6 credit hours for the successful completion of the Practicum.

Additionally, students must pass an oral qualifying exam by the end of their fifth term in the program.

Students in the DMP program who complete all of the necessary degree requirements for the MSMP. degree, including passing the oral qualifying exam, are awarded the MSMP (in passing). Thus, DMP students entering year 3 are regarded as having completed a graduate degree in medical physics and can correctly be referred to as “medical physics residents.”

Beginning with the Summer Semester of Year 2 and with intended completion in the Summer of Year 3, the student will choose a doctoral independent study topic (6 credit hours), a mentor, and a Research Project Committee from the Medical Physics Faculty. The independent research topic subject matter and the mentor must be approved by the Program Director. The independent study will include a literature survey, experimental design of materials, equipment, and methodology, experimental measurements, and/or theoretical calculations (as required). The chosen research proposal will be presented formally to the Research Project Committee. Data collection, final data analysis, results and conclusions will complete the research experience. The study will be the equivalent of four to five months full-time effort. A final report in manuscript format consistent with medical physics literature manuscript submission is required. Additionally, the student is encouraged to submit the research subject matter in an abstract form appropriate for presentation at a national scientific meeting or a peer-reviewed medical physics journal. An oral presentation of the subject material before the Research Project Committee and including medical physics faculty, staff, and students will conclude the independent study. Final independent research grade evaluation will be the responsibility of the mentor.

At the conclusion of Year 2 (Summer), the student will be assigned a Clinical Physics Mentor by the Program Director. The Clinical Physics Mentor will be responsible for the student’s completion of Year 3 and Year 4 requirements. Each of the clinical rotations for Year 3 in both the radiotherapy and diagnostic tracks will be repeated in Year 4. The intent of the repeat rotations is that the student will observe and participate during Year 3 and will gain the necessary training and experience for competency in each clinical area in Year 4. Evaluation for completion of each rotation may include, treatment planning documentation, quality assurance reports, and competency examinations. The Clinical Physics Mentor will be responsible for collection and scoring of the evaluation materials. Academic grades for individual rotations will be on the scale A, B, C, or Fail. Semester grades will be submitted to the School of Medicine Registrar’s Office with a copy given to the Program Director. The student must successfully complete the necessary requirements and acquired clinical skills before the Clinical Physics Mentor and Program Director will allow progression to the next rotation. Should the student not successfully complete a rotation with the minimum grade of C, the Clinical Physics Mentor and Program Director will meet with the student to discuss remedial action to resolve the discrepancy. The student will be required to correctly complete all documentation and reports in a timely manner and may be required to take a written or oral examination over the materials within that rotation; the student’s failing semester grade cannot be raised above a grade of C. Should the student not successfully complete the remedial assignments and/or fail the oral examination, that rotation must be retaken at the conclusion of Year 4 (Summer). Hence, this will extend the clinical rotation(s) beyond the normal twenty four month period. The DMP Medical Physics Program and the School of Medicine require a cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the time of graduation. With the successful completion of all clinical rotations, the student will have received a total of 30 credit hours during Years 3 & 4. Specific degree requirements for both tracks are listed below.