Dear FAMPO medical physicists,
7 November is the birthday of Marie Skłodowska-Curie, a Polish and naturalized-French
physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first
woman to win a Nobel prize, and the first person and te only woman to win the Nobel prize
It is no co-incidence that this date was chosen to become the International Day of Medical
Physics, which was first celebrated in 2013.
I wish to congratulate all FAMPO members on this 10th edition of the IDMP. The topic this year
is “Medical Physics for Sustainable Healthcare”.
A sustainable and resilient healthcare system is a system that improves, maintains, or restores
health, and remains able to do so while facing various adverse influences, like for example
inadequate staffing or budget cuts.
Sustainability also means that facilities continue to offer healthcare services to those with
inadequate means to pay for them. Sustainability may also involve the accreditation of a
healthcare facility or the associated training programmes. Sustainability may require a low risk
tolerance and practicing safety.
You need three main requirements to run a medical facility, and in particular an imaging or
radiotherapy department – capital equipment, consumables, and human resources.
The medical physicist can help specify high-end equipment, so that the right equipment with
the correct options is purchased.
A medical physicist who is intricately involved in the clinical environment can help play an
important role in streamlining consumables and deciding on which ones to use in a practical
and cost-effective manner.
And of course, the medical physicist plays in integral part in the safe running of a facility;
therefore, adequate staffing is a requirement to ensure optimal patient outcome.
In many countries in Africa, the clinically qualified medical physicist it not yet recognized as a
proper healthcare professional and does not require registration with a professional council. All
medical physicists should help build the structures that allow this to happen.
Therefore, the theme of this year’s day of medical physics – “Medical physics for sustainable
healthcare” – comes at an opportune time and my challenge to all is that we apply our minds in
what way we can play our part in keeping healthcare sustainable in the future.
I wish all of us a happy International Day of Medical Physics and hope to see many of you at the
first FAMPO conference later this week in Marrakesh, Morocco!
Prof. Christoph Trauernicht