Welcome to SDAMPP


Upcoming Coffee Break Discussions

June 6, 2023 2 PM ET

Problem Residents: "Failure to Fail"

Please join us in the coffee break to discuss what we mean when we say "problem resident," how we address or remediate, and whether we ever fail residents. (Example Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6324719/)

Panelists: Joseph Salama, MD; Christopher Watchman, PhD; Dandan Zheng, PhD

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May 8, 2023 2 PM ET

Allocation of Time for Graduate Programs

A survey was conducted among graduate program directors (27 respondents) to collect information on the amount of time spent administering programs, teaching courses, and mentoring thesis/PhD students. The results of this survey will be presented with open discussion on the topic to follow.

Speakers/Moderators: Shannon O'Reilly PhD, Wayne D Newhauser PhD

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April 28, 2023 2 PM ET

SDAMPP PIC Forum for Residency Program Directors: What Professional Issues Can We Help Address? – Part II

A forum for program directors to bring forward their most pressing issues/concerns with medical physics residency training and education. We will prepare a few items that we have identified that need solving/standardization in our field, but we would like to get feedback from the community on what is most pressing for us to work on as a committee in the year ahead.

Speakers/Moderators: Irina Vergalasova PhD, Dandan Zheng PhD, Rajat Kudchadker PhD, Lynn Rill PhD, Christopher Watchman PhD, Janet Ching-Mei Feng PhD

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March 21, 2023 2 PM ET

Pros and Cons of Being Part of the GME for Medical Physics Residency

Some medical physics residencies are part of the GME, and some are not. It is a session for people to discuss the pros and cons of joining the GME to help people who have options decide if they would like to be part of the GME. Time will be provided for questions and discussion.

Speakers/Moderators: Jean L. Peng, PhD and Janet Ching-Mei Feng, PhD

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March 1, 2023 2 PM ET

The Dialog with CAMPEP Leadership on Annual CAMPEP Residency Survey

We will review the survey modifications proposed by the Ad Hoc Committee on Surveys, engage in the dialog with CAMPEP leadership including Mike McNitt-Gray, John Antolak and George Starkschall, and seek the feedback from the directors of the residency programs.

Speakers/Moderators: Yulia Lyatskaya, PhD and Courtney Buckey PhD

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February 21, 2023 3 PM ET

CAMPEP Residency Program Renewal Process

CAMPEP presentation on what’s needed/advice/timelines in accreditation or reaccreditation for the residency program. Time will be provided for questions and discussion.

Speakers/Moderators: John Antolak, PhD and Zheng Feng Lu, PhD

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January 24, 2023 2 PM ET

Medical Physics Residency Interviews – Candidate Experiences with the Virtual Residency Interview Process

Three current residents will provide their experiences after recently interviewing for a residency position. They will address the following questions:

  • What virtual client did you find the most successful? Why was this method so successful?
  • What virtual interview format did you prefer?
    1. e.g., multiple/ single interviewer(s) per session, specific time to meet with current residents, opportunities to meet with additional (non-physics) faculty and staff
  • Did you attend any virtual social events associated with the interview? What was the best part of these social events?
  • From your personal perspective, what recommendations would you provide program directors to have a successful virtual interview?

Time will be provided for questions and discussion.

Speaker/Moderator: Joel St-Aubin, PhD

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January 11, 2023 2 PM ET

Nurturing Medical Physics Research Leaders

As clinical demands on time grow, medical physicists in academic centers have less time to devote to research. Dr Brian Pogue will discuss an “Emerging Leaders Symposium” that was hosted at the University of Wisconsin to help early career medical physicists develop their research avenue. One of the attendees, Lindsay Douglas, will be available to provide the perspective of an attendee. Discussions will follow as to how this paradigm impacts other centers, residencies, and the wider field of what we define as medical physics.

Panelists: Brian Pogue, Sam Armato, Lindsay Douglas

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December 6, 2022 1 PM ET

Medical Physics Residency Recruitment – Open discussion on experiences learned and plans for the 2023 recruitment season
Coffee break for an open discussion on topics including:

  1. Are programs doing interviews in person or virtually? Why are they choosing this option?
  2. For programs doing virtual interviews, are they also holding open houses? If so how are they managing this?
  3. What are some positive experiences that programs had with virtual / in person interviews? Negative experiences?
  4. Are programs planning on using the new MedPhys match interview scheduler?

Panelists: Joel St-Aubin and Kristi Hendrickson

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SDAMPP Webinar: Concept Inventories in Medical Physics Education

November 7, 2022 at 3:00 PM Eastern Time

Ever wonder if your students are learning what you are teaching? Wish there was a better way for assessing understanding of fundamental medical physics concepts? Join us for this webinar where you can learn about what concept tests are, be introduced to new initiatives in medical physics education research within SDAMPP, and learn how you can participate in upcoming educational research.

Panelist: Ashley Cetnar
Moderator: Anna Rodrigues

Video Link

November Coffee Break Discussions

November 8, 2022 1 PM ET

Discussion of Proposed By-Law Amendments
Do you have questions about the proposed by-law amendments? Come and discuss them with SDAMPP Secretary and other members.

Panelist: Sam Armato, SDAMPP Secretary

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November 1, 2022 2 PM ET

It Takes a Village: Cross-Institutional Residency Training
Cross-institutional residency training has become increasingly more common in recent years. These activities span from multi-institutional journal clubs/webinars, shadowing at other institutions, resident exchanges, and even international rotations. These programs are a great way for residents to connect with others in the field and learn about different technologies, workflows, and cultures outside of their own institution. This coffee break will start with a few short presentations from programs that have experience setting up and implementing various cross-institutional training activities. We will then have a guided discussion to dive into the practical details and barriers involved in participating in cross-intuitional training (e.g. funding, liability, HIPAA, timing, connecting/collaborating with other institutions). The goal is that these discussions will (1) be helpful for institutions interested in establishing their own cross-intuitional programs and (2) help determine what resources and best practice guidelines could be provided by SDAMPP to better facilitate cross-institutional training during residency.

Moderator: Abby Besemer
Panelists: Derek Brown, Angelia Landers, Taoran Li, Vrinda Narayana

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September Coffee Break Discussions

September 9, 2022 2 PM ET

A Peek into NMS Residency Match Data and Trends
Joe Dise Chair of SCOMM will present NMS Match data and trends from 2019-2022 and guide a discussion of expectations, goals and initiatives to aid all MedPhys Match Participants.

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September Coffee Break Discussions

September 13, 2022 2 PM ET

So, You Want to Become a Graduate Program Director? A Conversation with Two Seasoned Program Directors
Aspiring medical physics educators who wish to learn more about becoming an academic program director will benefit from this conversation (as will newly appointed program directors). The coffee break will consist of short presentations by the two speakers (covering topics such as student funding, CAMPEP accreditation, and mentoring) followed by a question-and-answer session.

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SDAMPP Webinar: Patient Communication Training for Graduate Students

September 26, 2022 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time

As the role of clinical medical physicists evolves, we may find ourselves increasingly interacting directly with patients. Unfortunately, communication training in this area is currently extremely limited and not available at the graduate level. In this webinar, we present the design and implementation of an introductory patient communication training for medical physics graduate students. We will discuss the advantages and obstacles of implementing this curriculum and show data characterizing its impact on participants’ confidence and competence in these skills in a dual institution deployment.

Panelists: Anna Rodrigues, Laura Padilla

Video Link

September Coffee Break Discussions

September 27, 2022 2 PM ET

SDAMPP PIC Forum for Residency Program Directors: What Professional Issues Can We Help Address?
There are many old and new professional issues residency PDs may be faced with: resident visa application, how do we provide training on new or soft topics such as data science and professionalism, 2-year residency vs. 3- or 4-year residency, preceptor NRC form for AMP, physicist shortage-opportunity or challenge... Come and join us for a discussion to let us know what are your professional issue challenges and how can SDAMPP help.

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SDAMPP Webinar on A Qualitative Investigation of Resilience and Well-Being Among Medical Physics Residents

June 7, 2022 at 03:00 PM Eastern Time

Medical physics residents will define and shape the future of physics in medicine. In a first of its kind qualitative investigation, we explored the experiences of residents related to mentorship, work/life integration, and discrimination. During this webinar, we will discuss some of the key themes that emerged from this study, including the demanding nature of medical physics residencies, the negative impacts of residency on trainees, strategies that can be used to cope with this stress, and the role of leadership in addressing residency-related change.

Participants in this study shared views about gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment that were polarized. Many participants shared personal experiences of discrimination and harassment, including those related to unequal compensation, discrimination against mothers, discrimination during the hiring process, gender-biased assumptions about behaviors or goals, communication biases, and overt and persistent sexual harassment. We will discuss these shared experiences and potential ways to address gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment in medical physics.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Begin to understand the lived experiences of medical physics residents related to mentorship, work / life integration, and discrimination
  2. Discuss interventions to address residency experience-related concerns
  3. Consider potential future investigations that would broaden our understanding of the medical physics trainee experience

Panelist: Kelly Paradis
Host and Moderator: Kristi Hendrickson

View the June 7, 2022 Webinar Recording

March Coffee Break Discussion

March 23, 2022 2 PM ET

ABR 1 Pass Rate Discussion
ABR 1 pass rates appear to be declining in the past several years. This coffee break will bring together ABR trustees/leaders and program directors to discuss the results and possible causes/reasons/solutions. Can also discuss ABR 1 exam dates.

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SDAMPP Webinar on MedPhys Match Rules and Ethics: Training Modules for Program Director Use

December 15, 2021 at 12:00 PM Eastern Time

Through survey information, it is known that only some program directors or programs in the match currently train interview participants in the MedPhys Match rules and ethical behaviors including EEOC rules for fair interview experiences. In this webinar, three recorded modules of 5-7 min each on the topics of (1) MedPhys Match rules and allowed/ethical behaviors, (2) EEOC rules and allowed vs illegal questions during interviews, (3) unconscious bias and other specific biases that affect interviews. Join this webinar to view the modules and to participate in a live Q&A with the panelists and module creators. The modules will be available for download so that PDs can use them to train in their own programs.

Panelists: Leah Schubert, Anna Rodrigues, Titania Juang, Kristi Hendrickson

Downloadable Modules and FAQ

SDAMPP Webinar on Professional Issues Related to Residency Training

Please join the SDAMPP Professional Issues Committee (PIC) for an insightful webinar tackling professional training, policies and issues as they apply to medical physics residencies. As program directors of residencies, we tend to focus our attention on the didactic and clinical skillset of our residents and are often unprepared to handle the more difficult and unanticipated questions that may arise for us as administrators. The goal of this webinar is to convey more information regarding professionalism and help you to tackle some of the associated issues.

Irina Vergalasova
Rajat Kudchadker
Chris Watchman
Dandan Zheng

Host and Moderator: Fang-Fang Yin

Video Link

SDAMPP Webinar on Advising Students on Non-Clinical Careers

Academic medical physics programs prepare students for employment in clinical settings, research institutions, the academy, government, and industry. A great deal of attention has been paid to defining clear pathways to clinical careers (such as the SDAMPP report available here). Relatively less attention has been paid to non-clinical careers in medical physics, including considerations of programs’ graduate curricula, academic advising of students, and general awareness of the enormous range of non-clinical opportunities. These include R&D, customer support, training, sales, intellectual property, regulation, and others. In this one hour workshop, our expert speakers from industry and government will provide academic advisors with the basics information they need to advise and inform their graduate students regarding careers in industry and government.

Paul Naine, Elekta
Julie Sullivan, US FDA
Katherine Tapp, NRC

Host and Moderator: Wayne Newhauser, LSU/MBPCC

Video Link

Coffee Break Discussions

NEW!! SDAMPP will be hosting monthly, informal coffee break Zoom meetings for interested SDAMPP members. Each coffee break meeting will be 50 minutes long, allowing time for a brief introduction of the topic by the moderators and ample time for open discussion by the assembled group. Click to learn more about upcoming Coffee Break Discussions and how to add your ideas for future coffee break topics!

Save the Date: SDAMPP Annual Meeting

Please save the date for our annual meeting on Saturday July 22, 2023, which will take place on-site in Houston, TX right before the start of the 2023 AAPM Annual Meeting. We have an exciting agenda planned and hope to see you all there!

UPDATE: The ABR has accepted SDAMPP’s recommendation and will move the Medical Physics Part 1 Qualifying Exam back to August. The exam will be offered in both January and August 2023. Beginning in 2024, the exam will be offered only in August. SDAMPP's board voted unanimously in November to inform the ABR that we recommend that the ABR Medical Physics Part 1 Examination be held in August. It further recommends the exam not be held in January. This is based on an analysis of data from 45 respondents (of 66 contacted) to a survey on the matter. The board expresses its gratitude to colleagues at ABR and AAPM for their cooperation on evaluating this issue. SDAMPP will continue to participate in this discussion as requested.

New ABR Policy Regarding Family Leave

The ABR has instituted a new policy starting in July 2021 regarding family leave. That policy can be viewed here. SDAMPP’s Education Practices Committee would like to hear from directors regarding their plans for implementation and any outstanding questions (chair.education.practices.committee@sdampp.org). Stay tuned for more details about a forum for SDAMPP members to openly discuss this new policy.

ABR Update on Remote Exams - Geoffrey S. Ibbott, PhD

Click here to view the video.

ABR Fee Schedule Changes

Working with AAPM Education Council, a summary of the ABR fee schedule changes was prepared, along with guidance for program directors to share with their students and trainees.

5 April 2021

Dear Students, trainees, and program directors,

It has recently come to the AAPM’s attention that the ABR has revised their fee structure. Some initial certification candidates that are preparing to sit for their exam have seen an updated invoice that now reflects an outstanding balance. AAPM has been in touch with the ABR regarding this recent change. The ABR has stressed that the overall cost for initial certification has not changed. While you should seek formal guidance from the ABR, it is our understanding that these additional fees can be deferred or paid in installments without penalty or finance fees, and you can still sit for the exam if you are unable to pay the additional fee by April 15th. You should receive an official communication from the ABR with further clarification soon. Candidates should contact the ABR office at (520) 790-2900 to make arrangements to defer their payments, to pay an installment, or if you have additional concerns.

Joann I. Prisciandaro, Ph.D., FAAPM
Chair, AAPM Education Council

AAPM’s Education Council has Recently Published Guidance Documents for Graduate Programs
AAPM Report #365, certificate programs/alternative pathways Task Group #298, and AAPM Report #373 on DMP programs.

Combined Clinical and Research Training in Medical Physics in a Multi-Institutional Setting: 13-year Experience of Harvard Medical Physics Residency Program
This article highlights the 13-year experience of a Multi-institutional clinical and research training program in Medical Physics. To read, click here.

Interviewing for Residency Positions While Completing a Graduate Degree: Considerations for Graduate Students, Mentors, and Program Directors
The pipeline of new clinical medical physicists in the United States includes graduate education followed by residency training. A major bottleneck occurs as students on the verge of completing their advanced degree programs seek positions in residency training programs. There is little guidance for graduate students in balancing their limited time to be spent on the competing tasks of interviewing for a residency position and simultaneously completing their degree. This editorial seeks to raise an awareness of key factors that students and their faculty mentors should consider as they navigate through the bottleneck. To view the editorial, click here.

New Study on the Medical Physics Residency Experience
A new study published in JACMP sought to better understand the residency experience as related to resilience and well-being through the lens of current Medical Physics Residents and Medical Physicists working with residents. For more information, click here.

New Study on Aspects of Medical Physics Match
A new study published in JACMP gauges the experiences of applicants and program directors in the Medical Physics Match to determine the most important characteristics factors influencing the decision making for applicants and programs during various stages of the application/interview/ranking process. For more information, click here.

Introduction to SDAMPP in Medical Physics International Journal
Several members of the SDAMPP board of directors published an introduction to SDAMPP in the Medical Physics International Journal. The manuscript can be downloaded here.

New Rules and Strategic Plan

SDAMPP’s board of directors recently approved new rules for the organization and set forth it's Strategic Plan for CY 2022. More info can be found here.

Amendments to By-Laws

Results of the voting on proposed changes to bylaws are as follows. 123 ballots were cast out of 176 members (regular and emeritus) who received ballots. 118 “yes” votes were required to pass a proposal.

  • Proposal 1 (wording updates throughout): 123 yes (passed)
  • Proposal 2 (increase numbers of at-large Board members): 115 yes, 7 no, 1 abstain (failed to pass)
  • Proposal 3 (change number of votes required to amend by-laws): 121 yes, 1 no, 1 abstain (passed)
  • Proposal 4 (relieve President of Membership Committee Chair responsibility): 123 yes (passed)

The participation rate was high, which reflects well on the level of engagement of our members. We are grateful for the direction you provided.


Click here to see the instructions and form to propose a webinar of interest to program directors and medical physics educators.

Interview Calendar

The SDAMPP online Interviewing calendar, a popular feature freely available to all, is available for CY 2022.