IOMP School Webinar: Women in Medical Physics (on the occasion of the International Women’s Day)

February 22, 2023

Women in Medical Physics(on the occasion of the International Women’s Day)

Wednesday, 8th March 2023 at 12 pm GMT;

Duration 1 hour
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Organizer: Magdalena Stoeva and Eva Bezak
Moderator: Loredana MarcuTitle: Improving Women Health: the needs of medical imaging and the IAEA perspective 

Speaker: Virginia Tsapaki, PhD

Medical Physicist (Diagnostic Radiology), Dosimetry and Medical Radiation Physics Section, Division of Human Health, Department of Nuclear Applications, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Medical Physicist specialised in radiology at the DMRP Section, Division of Human Health, IAEA since August 2019. Since then, involved in multiple regional, national training courses, as well as various missions and activities related to human health. Scientific Secretary of 3 IAAEA publicaitons and contributor to 3 other related guidance documents. From 2004 until 2019, an IAEA expert sent in several missions, analysing data and publishing scientific papers from various IAEA surveys. Clinical experience for approximately 30 years with more than 150 publications in national/international journals/conference proceedings and more than 200 presentations/posters in national/international conferences. Participated in multiple European projects such as the Clinical Diagnostic Reference Levels, ENEN+ project, Basic Safety Standards Transposition project, ENETRAP III, Paediatric Diagnostic Reference Levels, EUTEMPE-RX, EMAN, SENTINEL, DIMOND II/III research projects. Served as a chair or member of committees in international organizations (AAPM, IOMP, EFOMP, ESR, EURAMED). Chair of Organizing committee of 2 European conferences (2016, 2018).Abstract:The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) assists Member States in nuclear sciences and applications to benefit human health and to ensure safe, high quality and effective medical uses of radiation. The overall goal of the IAEA Human Health programme is to build capacity and transfer technology for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases in radiation medicine according to best practices. Various activities to support the above efforts, relevant to improving women health are: a) Guidance documents, training and professional matters; b) Coordinated Research Activities; c) Development of training resources; and d) Clinical audit programmes. All these will be presented in more detail during the session.

Title: Pioneer women in medical physics from the Middle East
Speaker: Huda Al Naemi, PhD

Executive Director, Hamad Medical Corporation, A/Professor, Weil Cornel Medicine, Qatar
Dr. Huda has been working in Hamad Medical Corporation for almost 3 decades and she is the Executive Director of Occupational Health and Safety Department since 2006. Dr. Al Naemi represents Qatar in a number of international and global organizations such as; International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), IPEM and World Health Organization (WHO) and implement some of their projects at the national level. Dr. Al Naemi is an active member in many international organizations such as, European Society of Radiology(ESR), American Organization of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), IOMP, Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) and, Gulf Nuclear medicine association.In 2019 Dr. AlNaemi was appointed as Assistant professor of Medical Biophysics Research in Radiology at Weil Cornel Medicine (WCM). Dr. AlNaemi’s role in WCM is to collaborate in education and training for medical students and to conduct research at the cutting edge of knowledge to provide the highest quality of care to the community. Dr. AlNaemi has collaborated on several research and educational projects including some funded by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). These have led to several peer-reviewed publications, this research focused on radiation dose optimization in imaging modalities for patients including pregnant women and pediatrics. The two projects funded by QNRF were in collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School USA and Geneva University Hospital Switzerland.Dr. AlNaemi was elected president of the Middle East Federation of Organization of Medical Physics (MEFOMP) for the term 2018 – 2022 and she is also the president of the Qatar Medical Physics Society (QaMPS) since 2018. As MEFOMP president Dr. AlNaemi led the MEFOMP efforts for the publication of a chapter in a published book on “Medical Physics during the COVID-19 Pandemic. In 2019 Dr. Al Naemi was awarded the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) The Healthcare Gold Medal. In 2017 she was awarded the State Encouragement Award for Medical Sciences Category, Doha Qatar. In 2022 Dr. Huda received an appreciation from IOMP for her strenuous efforts in her work as president of MEFOMP  from 2018-2022. In 2022 Dr. Al Naemi has been elected as a regular member of the IDMP, one of the IOMP committees.Abstract:Main ObjectivesTo Believe in ourselves as women and face the challengesTo do the maximum energy in work and givingTo be always optimistic and believe of better future.Middle Eastern women have a very limited opportunity when it comes to professional career and they are thought to be better off staying at home taking care of the household. Yes indeed, such fact existed in the old days. It has rooted from the very own families of the Arabs and continued in primary school where girls and boys studies separately. There is an opportunity then for women, but it was limited only to teaching and nursing profession. But gone are those days; opportunities have opened for women. Slowly, the colleges started admitting women in the so-called “men field” especially in the healthcare industry.Eventually, I started work in healthcare as senior radiation physicist then became the Executive Director of Occupational Health and Safety Department where I direct various health and safety sections including the Radiation Safety Section which was later named as Medical Physics Section. Being the only Medical Physicist in Qatar then, I represented the country internationally and had the opportunity to work with various international organizations such as WHO, IAEA, UNEP to name a few, and has implemented some of their projects at the national level. It has always been my aspiration to further the advancement of the medical physics profession locally and regionally. I established the Qatar Society of Medical Physics (QSMP) and co-founded the Middle East Federation of Medical Physics (MEFOMP) which I also became the President in 2018-2021.

Title: Wearing more than one hat – is this the new fashion trend for women in medical physics? 

Speaker: Iuliana Toma-Dasu, PhD

Medical Radiation Physics Division, Stockholm University and Karolinska Institutet, Cancer Center Karolinska, 171 76 Stockholm
Iuliana Toma-Dasu is Professor in Medical Radiation Physics and the Head of the Medical Radiation Physics division at the Department of Physics, Stockholm University, affiliated to the Department of Oncology and Pathology at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, and the Editor in Chief of Physica Medica – European Journal of Medical Physics.Iuliana Toma-Dasu studied Medical Physics at Umeå University, Sweden, where she also became a certified medical physicist and received a Ph.D. degree. In parallel with her involvement in the educational program for the medical physicists run at Stockholm University, her main research interests focus on biologically optimised adaptive radiation therapy, including particle therapy, modelling the tumour microenvironment and the risks from radiotherapy.Abstract:Achieving gender equality has been one of the objectives of the medical physicists’ community in many European countries, as well as in many other places around the world. This objective has been partially reached, nowadays women in the medical physics being much less underrepresented than in other physics fields. Becoming a medical physicist and performing clinical duties is, therefore, possible for many women due to the various strategies developed and implemented at institutional, national or international levels within the professional associations under the IOMP umbrella. Reaching, however, higher positions in the hierarchy on either clinical or academic side in medical physics is still a considerable challenge for women compared to men. The question therefore is: how many hats should a woman wear, how many accolades should she receive, how many merits should she prove, to be regarded as successful in medical physics and accede to a leading position? This talk would attempt to answer some of these questions while highlighting the importance of successful women in medical physics to share their experience to inspire others and help the policy makers develop the most successful strategies to continue the work towards offering the same opportunities to all genders in the medical physics field.

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