Program evolution and history

In 2006, Oregon State University (OSU) and Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) entered into negotiations to offer a graduate degree in medical physics; the newly created program was called the Oregon Medical Physics Program (OMPP). The motivation behind this joint degree program was, and continues to be, born of a desire to tap into local experts in radiation physics (OSU) and medicine (OHSU). Our goal is to offer an optimal educational experience for future clinical and research medical physicists. Initially accredited by CAMPEP in 2011, the program has grown to a current enrollment of about 12 students, with an approximate 3:1 MS to PhD ratio. In the past two years, the OMPP has expanded from solely radiation oncology physics to include a graduate track in diagnostic imaging physics. Also, in an effort to increase the time students spend in the clinic, students will now matriculate directly to OHSU, where they remain for the entirety of their degree program. Oregon State University still offers coursework, expertise, and faculty to the students' jointly branded degree, but students can establish their research projects and more deeply root their understanding in medical physics with the program being administered in one location: the teaching hospital, OHSU.

Oregon Medical Physics Program students

Program goals and objectives

The OMPP has one simply-stated goal (and a few basic objectives), which align directly with CAMPEP's published standards.

The OMPP's overarching goal is:

To provide education, clinic-based training, and experience to our medical physics students in order to prepare them for success in their future careers.

The following basic objectives are the drivers for achieving this goal:

  • To demonstrate consistent practices which reinforce safety, continual learning, collegiality, and ethical behavior at all times
  • To teach the theoretical underpinnings of the processes involved in clinical medical physics so students are equipped to make accurate judgment calls when confronted with clinical problems
  • To prepare graduates for the clinical rigors of residency through a combination of didactic and hands-on therapeutic and diagnostic medical physics course work in a large hospital setting
  • To expose students to a wide array of educational references, research areas, and clinical situations, which will allow them the breadth of information to choose the area in medical physics that suits their interests and abilities
  • To critique students in didactic, research, and clinical work in an effort to establish truthful self-assessment within each individual
  • To encourage innovative and clinically translatable research, providing students with the guidance and tools to accomplish their research goals
  • To integrate an ethical framework within education and practice which makes teamwork and self-awareness inextricable components in medical physics practice