The M.Sc. in Medical Physics is a full time course which aims to equip you for a career as a scientist in medicine. You will be given the basic knowledge of the subject area and some limited training. The course consists of an intense program of lectures and workshops, followed by a short project and dissertation. Extensive use is made of the electronic learning environment "Blackboard" as used by NUI Galway. The course has been accredited by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (UK).
Syllabus Outline. (with ECTS weighting)
Human Gross Anatomy (5 ECTS)
The cell, basic tissues, nervous system, nerves and muscle, bone and cartilage, blood, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, nutrition, genital system, urinary system, eye and vision, ear, hearing and balance, upper limb – hand, lower limb – foot, back and vertebral column, embryology, teratology, anthropometrics; static and dynamic anthropometrics data, anthropometric dimensions, clearance and reach and range of movement, method of limits, mathematics modelling.
Human Body Function (5 ECTS)
Biological Molecules and their functions. Body composition. Cell physiology. Cell membranes and membrane transport. Cell electrical potentials. Nerve function – nerve conduction, nerve synapses. Skeletal muscle function – neuromuscular junction, muscle excitation, muscle contraction, energy considerations. Blood and blood cells – blood groups, blood clotting. Immune system. Autonomous nervous system. Cardiovascular system – electrical and mechanical activity of the heart. – the peripheral circulation. Respiratory system- how the lungs work. Renal system – how the kidneys work. Digestive system. Endocrine system – how hormones work. Central nervous system and brain function.
Occupational Hygiene (5 ECTS)
Historical development of Occupational Hygiene, Safety and Health at Work Act. Hazards to Health, Surveys, Noise and Vibrations, Ionizing radiations, Non-Ionizing Radiations, Thermal Environments, Chemical hazards, Airborne Monitoring, Control of Contaminants, Ventilation, Management of Occupational Hygiene.
Medical Informatics (5 ECTS)
Bio statistics, Distributions, Hypothesis testing. Chi-square, Mann-Whitney, T-tests, ANOVA, regression. Critical Appraisal of Literature, screening and audit. Patient and Medical records, Coding, Hospital Information Systems, Decision support systems. Ethical consideration in Research.
Practicals: SPSS. Appraisal exercises.
Clinical Instrumentation (6 ECTS)
Biofluid Mechanics: Theory: Pressures in the Body, Fluid Dynamics, Viscous Flow, Elastic Walls, Instrumentation Examples: Respiratory Function Testing, Pressure Measurements, Blood Flow measurements. Physics of the Senses: Theory: Cutaneous and Chemical sensors, Audition, Vision, Psychophysics; Instrumentation Examples: Evoked responses, Audiology, Ophthalmology instrumentation, Physiological Signals: Theory Electrodes, Bioelectric Amplifiers, Transducers, Electrophysiology Instrumentation.
Medical Imaging (10 ECTS)
Theory of Image Formation including Fourier Transforms and Reconstruction from Projections (radon transform). Modulation transfer Function, Detective Quantum Efficiency.
X-ray imaging: Interaction of x-rays with matter, X-ray generation, Projection images, Scatter, Digital Radiography, CT – Imaging. Fundamentals of Image Processing.
Ultrasound: Physics of Ultrasound, Image formation, Doppler scanning, hazards of Ultrasound.
Nuclear Medicine : Overview of isotopes, generation of Isotopes, Anger Cameras, SPECT Imaging, Positron Emitters and generation, PET Imaging, Clinical aspects of Planar, SPECT and PET Imaging with isotopes.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging : Magnetization, Resonance, Relaxation, Contrast in MR Imaging, Image formation, Image sequences, their appearances and clinical uses, Safety in MR.
Radiation Fundamentals (5 ECTS)
Review of Atomic and Nuclear Physics. Radiation from charged particles. X-ray production and quality. Attenuation of Photon Beams in Matter. Interaction of Photons with Matter. Interaction of Charged Particles with matter. Introduction to Monte Carlo techniques. Concept to Dosimetry. Cavity Theory. Radiation Detectors. Practical aspects of Ionization chambers
The Physics of Radiation Therapy (10 ECTS)
The interaction of single beams of X and gamma rays with a scattering medium. Treatment planning with single photon beams. Treatment planning for combinations of photon beams. Radiotherapy with particle beams: electrons, pions, neutrons, heavy charged particles. Special Techniques in Radiotherapy. Equipment for external Radiotherapy. Relative dosimetry techniques. Dosimetry using sealed sources. Brachytherapy. Dosimetry of radio-isotopes.
Workshops / Practicals
Hospital & Radiation Safety [11 ECTS]
Workshop in Risk and Safety.
Concepts of Risk and Safety. Legal Aspects. Fundamental concepts in Risk Assessment and Human Factor Engineering. Risk and Safety management of complex systems with examples from ICU and Radiotherapy. Accidents in Radiotherapy and how to avoid them. Principles of Electrical Safety, Electrical Safety Testing, Non-ionizing Radiation Safety, including UV and laser safety.
- NUIG Radiation Safety Course.
Course for Radiation Safety Officer.
- Advanced Radiation Safety
Concepts of Radiation Protection in Medical Practice, Regulations. Patient Dosimetry. Shielding design in Diagnostic Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy.
- Medical Imaging Workshop
Operation of imaging systems. Calibration and Quality Assurance of General
radiography, fluoroscopy systems, ultrasound scanners, CT-scanners and MR scanners. Radiopharmacy and Gamma Cameras Quality Control.
Research Project [28 ECTS]
A limited research project will be undertaken in a medical physics area. Duration of this will be 4 months full time