Medical physicists at BC Cancer contribute significantly to patient care. They work with radiation therapists and radiation oncologists on patient treatment plans, new technique development and are responsible for the safe operation of all radiation therapy equipment. They provide technical and scientific support to clinical trials that involve radiation treatments keeping BC Cancer at the forefront for new and emerging techniques to provide patients with the best possible evidence-based care.
From June 22 – 25, BC Cancer physicists joined others in their field across Canada at the Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists (COMP) Annual Scientific Meeting. The virtual gathering is the premiere event for medical physicists in Canada to share the latest research, participate in workshops and educational seminars and to acknowledge significant achievements in the field. This year, BC Cancer staff from centres across the province received highly competitive awards and were recognized for their achievements.
- Dr. Steven Thomas, senior medical physicist at BC Cancer – Vancouver received the Oral Presentation Award for his presentation on Determining respiratory and cardiac motion margins for use in Cardiac Radiosurgery. The award is judged on scientific merit and clarity of communication.
- Dr. Ray Yang, medical physics resident at BC Cancer – Kelowna received the Poster Award for his poster on Visualization Tool to streamline and teach Radiation Vault Design. This award is also judged on scientific merit and clarity of communication.
- Dr. Michelle Hilts, professional practice leader, medical physics at BC Cancer – Kelowna was one of only three recipients of the Fellowship of COMP Award which recognizes an active member who has made a significant contribution to the field of medical physics.
“We have a world class medical physics program at BC Cancer,” says Dr. Wayne Beckham, provincial medical physics leader at BC Cancer and COMP president. “These awards are a result of having medical physicists that are on top of their game in research, academics and professional service. They underscore the leading-edge talent at BC Cancer and our commitment to excellence which in turn helps us continue to attract some of the best individuals our field has to offer.”
Dr. Beckham also notes a few other lead roles from BC Cancer staff at this year’s COMP Annual Scientific Meeting. Dr. Nathan Becker from BC Cancer – Kelowna was the overall Chair of this year’s meeting and Dr. Deidre Batchelar, also from BC Cancer – Kelowna was the Chair of the Scientific Sessions.
Also announced at the meeting, several physicists achieved certification status with the Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine (CCPM) including:
- Dr. Tania Karan (medical physicist, BC Cancer - Vancouver) and Dr. Nick Chng (senior medical physicist, BC Cancer - Prince George) both achieved the advanced Fellowship level certification.
- Dr. Haley Clark (medical physicist, BC Cancer - Surrey) and Dr. Zahra Anjomani (medical physicist, BC Cancer - Abbotsford) both achieved the Membership level certification.
Certification is how a medical physicist is independently assessed and deemed skilled enough to work with patients. Certification is challenging and involves written and/or oral exams.
Congratulations to all BC Cancer award winners and milestone makers for their success at this year’s COMP Annual Scientific Meeting and for their ongoing efforts to provide patients with the best care possible!