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Physics and medicine in San Diego

College Park, MD, 14 July 2003 -- The American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) will hold its 45th annual meeting on August 10-14 at the San Diego Convention Center. Almost 1000 abstracts will be presented on a variety of subjects at the intersection of physics and medicine. Many of these topics deal with the development of state-of-the-art imaging and therapeutic devices, and the methodologies that go along with them.

The AAPM meeting webpage (http://www.aapm.org/meetings/03AM/) contains links to the full program. In early August, the site will link to a Virtual Pressroom with additional information.

INTRODUCTION
Physics and medicine are close allies. Ever since the discovery of X-rays and their potential for medical imaging, physicists have been vital to the advancement of medicine. Fundamental research in optics, acoustics, electromagnetism, and particle and nuclear physics has led to an array of indispensable medical tools. Magnetic resonance images (using microwaves), CAT scans (using X-rays), PET scans (using gamma rays), ultrasound scans (using sound waves) and various types of radiotherapy are among the physics-based devices that help doctors diagnose and treat ailments ranging from broken bones to cancer.

The AAPM includes more than 4800 members dedicated to advancing medical technology. Medical physicists contribute to the effectiveness of radiological imaging procedures by developing new imaging procedures, improving existing techniques, and assuring radiation safety of imaging procedures. Physicists working in medical imaging inspect and model equipment to ensure that images are acquired at the highest possible quality for effective diagnosis of possible abnormalities. Medical physicists working in radiation therapy commission and develop new therapeutic techniques; collaborate with radiation oncologists to design improved treatment plans; and calibrate
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Contact: Phil Schewe
pschewe@aip.org
301-209-3092
American Institute of Physics
14-Jul-2003


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