This national institute has already established the Center for Medical and Radiation Physics (CMRP) to run this course, conduct research and other related activities in the field of medical and radiation physics. The master’s degree course is designed according to the syllabus prescribed by the Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI), Mumbai.
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Official sources said medical physics is an applied branch of physics that mainly deals with the applications of ionizing radiation in health care through radiotherapy, diagnostic radiology, nuclear medicine and the associated radiological protection. It is a discipline that is concerned with introducing new and more precise techniques into health-related investigation and treatment of individual patients.
The total number of registered medical physicists in India is about 1042. With the demand for equipment increasing, the number of medical physicists will also increase. There is a dire need for more trained medical physicists, said the NISER sources.
“Initially we have received approval for 10 seats for this course. Theory and practical classes will be conducted for the first two years. After this, students will go for mandatory internship in a big hospital. We have collaborated with AIIMS Bhubaneswar, Acharya Harihar Post Graduate Institute of Cancer (AHPGIC) at Cuttack and Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) in Mumbai for this internship programme,” said NISER Bhubaneswar director Sudhakar Panda.
NISER had invited online applications from undergraduate students with 60 percent marks in BSc (physics) for admission to this MSc programme. It got an overwhelming response from the students. “The institution has received as many as 251 applications for 10 seats. Interviews will be conducted for shortlisted candidates from July 1 to July 4,” said Bedangadas Mohanty, professor of physics and co-ordinator of CMRP.
He said some of the responsibilities of medical physicists are equipment selection, maintenance and installation planning of the high-end machines involving radiation treatment and diagnosis. They will also assure quality and radiation safety, provide education and training and conduct research and development works, he added.
Besides, the institution will offer two more new courses from this year. “Integrated PhD in chemistry and Integrated PhD in biology. We are also planning to bring more such courses in future,” said the NISER director.