History of Graduate Programs in Medical Physics

Graduate training in medical physics was established in the department of radiology in 1955 with Professor Lester Skaggs as director, to provide master's-level training in radiotherapy physics and health physics. When Kurt Rossmann joined the department of radiology, this program was broadened to offer the Ph.D. degree and to include diagnostic imaging. The graduate programs in medical physics were headed by Charles Metz from 1979 to 1985 and now continue, with Kunio Doi as director, as a collaborative effort between the department of radiology and the department of radiation & cellular oncology, which was established as a separate entity in 1984. A unique aspect of these graduate programs is their integrated focus on diagnostic and therapeutic applications of medical image research. Twenty Ph.D. degrees and 19 S.M. degrees have been awarded since 1969 in the physics of diagnostic radiology, physics of nuclear medicine, and physics of radiation therapy. Currently, approximately 20 students are working toward the Ph.D. degree, several of whom are supported by a training grant from the National Cancer Institute.