Core tenets

What are good practices 
in medical physics?

Approaches, principles, expectations, postures, and ways of being that allow us to be better partners to the practice

Background image mobile

Good Practices

1. Strive for excellence in all aspects of your practice.
2. Be actively involved with the clinical practice.
  1. Form opinions based on professional knowledge and experience, regardless of the topic at issue, and share them freely with the practice team: This is our real value as scientists, critical thinkers, and problem-solvers.
  2. Engage regularly with physicians, technologists, administrators, clinical engineers, referring physicians, and others involved in the practice.
  3. Establish a regular physical presence in the practice, and do not rely exclusively on electronic communications.
  4. Provide clear and concise documentation of all work to everyone involved in your work. This includes ongoing QA, procedure development and modification, and technology implementation. Everyone should be clear about what was done and why.
  5. Respect the diversity of all colleagues and members of the practice team (clinical, divisional, departmental). Recognize that everyone on the team can benefit and learn from your unique perspective and knowledge, and all offer you the same learning opportunity.
3. Never forget that each patient is a person and that contributing to each patient’s care is our primary purpose.
  1. Always respect the privacy and dignity of each patient. This means knocking before entering a room, introducing yourself, explaining what you are going to do before doing it, asking if there are questions about it before you do something, ask if there is anything else before you leave.  Do not talk in front of the patient to colleagues while ignoring the patient. Involve the patient in the discussion. The patient should never wonder who, what, when, where, or why when you leave a room.
4. Become the absolute expert in one’s area of medical physics and maintain that expertise as your field evolves.
  1. Recognize that this does not mean you will instantly have the right answer to any question that may come up – if you don’t know, have the confidence to say so, and then go find the answer.
  2. Strive for professional growth and development to maintain expertise in the field.
  3. Embrace accountability by taking ownership of your work including your errors and omissions.
  4. Place special emphasis on knowledge of dose (of whatever energy source is in use in your specialty area), risk, and patient safety.
  5. Understand quality in a systems context, and how your specialty area ultimately contributes to the overarching goals of practice excellence and positive patient outcomes.
5. Be a critical thinker.
  1. Double check your work - assume everything you do is wrong until you prove to yourself that it is correct.
  2. Be actively engaged and actively apply critical thinking skills even when performing repetitive tasks, and avoid the tendency to do any work “on auto-pilot”
  3. Examine and question the work of others in a respectful manner.
  4. Also, be welcoming of critical examination of your work by others on the practice team.
6. Actively seek problems in the practice and offer creative solutions based on physics skills and knowledge.
  1. Become involved with new procedures and processes – they are by definition a 'change' in the practice, and offer opportunities for physics involvement and engagement with colleagues.
  2. Also seek opportunities to improve even long-standing processes.
7. Cultivate relationships and collaborations.
  1. Within your immediate practice, this will maximize the value you bring to your clinical teams and the practices you support, and allow you to develop your standing as the technical leader and recognized expert on the clinical practice team
  2. Beyond your immediate practice this will allow you to contribute to and remain current on recent developments in your field, further enhancing your role as technical expert and leader in the practices you support.