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AAPM/IOMP International Scientific Exchange Program

AAMP Newsletter - November/December 2005
By Saiyid M. Shah, Course Director

The 14th AAPM/IOMP International Scientific Exchange Program course and workshop in radiation therapy physics was held successfully in Manila, Philippines, August 1-5, 2005. This program was cosponsored by the Philippines Organization of Medical Physicists (POMP) as the host organization.

The objectives of this course/workshop were to update the knowledge of medical physics, to present advanced radiation therapy physics, to present advanced radiation therapy physics clinical physicists, to inter-compare calibration of photon beams using IAFA and AAPM TG-51 protocols, and to exchange information concerning the medical physics profession in the Philippines and nearby countries. Even though this course/workshop was intended for medical physicists, some radiation oncologists, dosimetrists and radiation therapists also attended. A total of 73 participants were registered, including one dosimetrist form Singapore and one medical physicist from Korea. Almost all the medical physicists in the Philippines were able to attend this program.

Mr. Gil Palcone, president of POMP, was the host director and co-director of this program. Ms. Agnette Peralta, director of the Philippines Bureau of Health Devices and Technologym and Mr. Raffy Solis from St. Luke Medical Center, also helped organize and plan this program. The AAPM faculty were; DRs. Faiz M. Khan Azam Niroomand-Rad, Ceferino H. Obcemea, Bhudatt R Paliwal, Saiyid M. Shah, and Raymond K Wu. The program began with a welcoming address by Celia Anatalio, MD, assistant director of the Elicano Cancer Clinic. Dr. Anatalio is known as the “Mother of Medical Physics” in the Philippines. The program ended with a presentation of Certificates of Participation and of Appreciation to the participants and faculty.

Evaluation forms were distributed to the participants and were collected upon completion of the program. General comments were noted by some of the respondents at the end of the evaluation form, many of which complimented the faculty on a great job and that this program provided a unique opportunity for the participants to interact with the faculty and benefit from their experiences.

The local expenses of the faculty were supported by the host institution, and their travel expenses were financed by funds provided by the AAPM and the following vendors; Advance Radiation Measurements, Assurance Controls Technologies Co., Brain Lab, Best Industries, Computerized Radiation Scanners, Elekta, Global Medical Solutions, Integrated Energy Systems and Resources, MDS Nordion, PTW, Scanditronix/Wellhofer, Siemens, Sun Nuclear and Varian. We are grateful to these companies for their generous contributions, The local expenses of this program were supported by POMP, the Philippines Bureau of Health Devices and Technology, IOMP, North American Chinese Medical Physicists Association and local vendors. This program would not have been possible without the support of these organizations and vendors. We would like to express special thanks for their generous contributions.

We also wish to acknowledge the commitment and effort of Ms. Agnette Peralta, Mr. Gil Palcone, Ms. Josephyn Limbo, POMP treasurer, and all other staff of the Local Organizing Committee who worked very hard in the past few years to organize and implement this program. They did a great job and the local arrangements (including the companion program) were superb. Their hospitality was extraordinary. We would also like to thank the AAPM faculty for volunteering their time and efforts in this endeavor.

Last, it is worth noting that there are several state-of-the-art radiation treatment centers in the Philippines and that every radiation treatment center is required by law to hire at least one medical physicist. This achievement is largely due to the active efforts and leadership of Ms. Agnette Peralta.

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