Medical physics is a relatively small professional community, usually with a scarcity of expertise that could greatly benefit students entering the field. However, the reach of the profession can span great geographical distances, making the training of students a difficult task. In addition to the requirement of training new students, the evolving field of medical physics, with its many emerging advanced techniques and technologies, could benefit greatly from ongoing continuing education as well as consultation with experts.Many continuing education courses and workshops are constantly being offered, including many web-based study courses and virtual libraries. However, one mode of education and communication that has not been widely used is the real-time interactive process. Video-based conferencing systems do exist, but these usually require a substantial amount of effort and cost to set up.The authors have been working on promoting the ever-expanding capability of the Internet to facilitate the education of medical physics to students entering the field. A pilot project has been carried out for six years and reported previously. The project is a collaboration between the Department of Medical Physics at the Toronto Odette Cancer Centre in Canada and the Department of Biomedical Imaging at the University of Malaya in Malaysia. Since 2001, medical physics graduate students at the University of Malaya have been taught by lecturers from Toronto every year, using the Internet as the main tool of communication.The pilot study explored the different methods that can be used to provide real-time interactive remote education, and delivered traditional classroom lectures as well as hands-on workshops.Another similar project was started in 2007 to offer real-time teaching to a class of medical physics students at Wuhan University in Hubei, China. There are new challenges as well as new opportunities associated with this project. By building an inventory of tools and experiences, the intent is to broaden the real-time teleteaching method to serve a wide community so that future students entering the field can have efficient access to high-quality education that will benefit the profession in the long term.
Woo, M., & Ng, K. H. (2008, January). Real-time teleteaching in medical physics. Biomedical Imaging and Intervention Journal. https://doi.org/10.2349/biij.4.1.e13