IC MP Requirements
An important change in the eligibility requirements for taking Part 1 of the Medical Physics exam was initiated in 2012. Refer to the CAMPEP policy statement that was approved by the ABR Board of Trustees on October 13, 2007, and updated in March 2010.
- Part 1
- Part 2
- Please click here for information on applying for the Part 1 exam.
- Please click here for information on applying for the Part 2 exam.
- Part 3
The Part 1 and Part 2 exams are administered at Pearson VUE Test Centers throughout the country. For information about the length of the exams, including break time, please click here. For information about exam dates and locations, please click here.
Please note that there is a limit for the time from approval for Part 1 and passing the Part 1 examination. More information on the time limits and the training requirements to re-enter the certification process are available here.
Candidates have 10 calendar years from passing Part 1 to become board eligible. More information on this policy is available here.
Additionally, candidates have specific time limits for remaining board eligible. Please see the Time Limitation for Attaining Initial Certification (Board Eligibility Policy).
For more information about attaining a certificate in an additional specialty of medical physics, click here.
The first exams you will take are computer-based exams, collectively called the Part 1 Examination. Part 1 consists of a General and a Clinical exam. To be eligible for Part 1 on a new application, you must be enrolled in and in good standing with, or have graduated from, a CAMPEP-accredited program (graduate program, DMP program, certificate program, or medical physics residency). (Note: CAMPEP has a service for review of individual courses. This is not the same thing as a CAMPEP-accredited certificate program and is not an acceptable credential for admission to the Part 1 exam in medical physics.)
For candidates who are fulfilling requirements for previously submitted applications, the coursework must be completed by December 31, 2014.
The next part of the examination process is again computer-based, and is called Part 2. Part 2 is specific to a particular specialty: diagnostic medical physics, therapeutic medical physics, or nuclear medical physics.
Part 2 requirements for candidates applying for certification after July 1, 2013:
- You must have passed the Medical Physics Part 1 examination (General and Clinical).
- You must have completed a CAMPEP-accredited residency by August 31 of the year in which the Part 2 exam is to be taken.
Part 2 requirements for candidates who applied for certification prior to October 31, 2012:
- You must have passed the Medical Physics Part 1 examination (General and Clinical).|
AND YOU MUST SATISFY ONE OF THESE TWO REQUIREMENTS:
- If you submitted your initial application before June 30, 2011, you must hold a master's or doctoral degree from an approved institution (program accredited by one of the organizations recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation, or its successors), or an equivalent foreign degree, in medical physics, physics, or another relevant physical science or engineering discipline. Foreign degrees must be substantiated by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).4
- If you submitted your initial application July 1, 2011, or later, and used enrollment in a CAMPEP-accredited degree program as the basis for qualification to take Part 1, you must complete the CAMPEP-accredited degree. If you choose to leave the CAMPEP-accredited degree program for a CAMPEP-accredited residency, this is permitted if you have at least an MS degree in medical physics or a related field, and you must complete the CAMPEP-accredited residency to advance to Part 2. You must notify the ABR prior to transferring between CAMPEP-accredited programs. If you used enrollment in a CAMPEP-accredited residency as the basis for qualification to take Part 1, you must complete the residency before advancing to Part 2.
AND YOU MUST COMPLETE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
- You must have completed a CAMPEP-accredited residency by August 31 of the year in which the Part 2 exam is to be taken.
- **PLEASE NOTE** Beginning with applications for the 2024 Part 2 exam and beyond, we will no longer accept 36 months of clinical experience as a pathway to medical physics certification. All candidates who have not been approved for Part 2 by the 2023 exam must complete a CAMPEP-accredited residency (by August 31, the year of the exam) for admission to the Part 2 exam, regardless of their initial application date.
- You must have had at least three years (36 months) of full-time equivalent clinical experience under the supervision2 of a certified medical physicist in active association with an approved department, division, or practice in the specialty(ies) in which certification is sought. The supervisor must attest that the supervision was as described in AAPM Medical Physics Practice Guideline 3.a: "Levels of supervision for medical physicists in training." The supervisor must also attest that the training covered the items in the attached list of ABR standards. (Note: Any training items not completed at the time of application must be completed by May 31 of the year in which the exam will be taken.) These standards are derived from and similar to the material described in AAPM Report 249 (Section 2.5, 3.5, or 4.5). In the area of general medical physics competency, the supervisor must attest that the candidate is trained in appropriate medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and systems-based practice as described in AAPM Report 249. Finally, the supervisor must attest that the candidate meets the commonly accepted canons of ethical behavior such as those described in the AAPM Code of Ethics and is qualified to practice medical physics independently. This credit can be acquired through any combination of the following activities:
|Master's level medical physics program that includes a clinical component 1||Up to 6 months|
|Doctoral level medical physics program that includes a clinical component 1||Up to 12 months|
|Postgraduate clinical medical physics internship or residency 1||Full time credit|
|Postdoctoral clinical/research program 1
(Credit for clinical only, with preceptor's confirmation of hours spent in clinical duties)
|Full time credit|
|Postgraduate employment in a department, division, or practice providing clinical experience in the specialty(ies) of medical physics in which you seek certification 1||Full time credit|
|Your program may be arranged through a department other than radiology or radiation oncology, but the work you perform must be in the specialty(ies) of medical physics in which you seek certification.|
No credit is given for experience gained as an undergraduate, nor for extracurricular experience gained before your graduate degree is awarded, nor for time spent in a residency until the residency is completed. No more than 12 months of clinical training credit can be given for all graduate degrees.
In addition to the above:
- You currently must be working as a medical physicist in a clinical medical physics environment under the supervision2 of a certified medical physicist or a qualified medical physicist (the latter if you are working in a foreign country). Documentation of this current employment must be provided with your Part 2 application.
- In special circumstances upon formal request, volunteer positions as an alternative to traditional employment will be considered. See the policy on volunteer positions3 .
If you have not completed a CAMPEP-accredited residency, you must include with your Part 2 application the name and contact information of an ABR-certified diagnostic radiologist or radiation oncologist who can serve as a reference. The physician must have personal knowledge of your experience, training, and ethical standing, and must certify that you are qualified to take the examination.
Footnotes for Part 2
1Your practical training and/or supervised experience in medical physics must be under the supervision2 of a certified medical physicist. To be eligible for NRC recognized status (i.e., AMP or RSO), at least 24 months of the required 36 months of supervised clinical training must be under the direction of an ABR-certified medical physicist.
2 Role of supervisor: The certified medical physicist designated as the supervisor of clinical training must interact with the candidate (trainee) on a regular basis. Although same-location supervision is preferable, electronic means of review for candidates at a distance are acceptable to supplement face-to-face interactions. Through these interactions the supervisor must:
- review the professional activity/output of the candidate;
- become thoroughly familiar with the professional quality of the candidate's work;
- provide input and guidance on professional activities;
- determine the candidate's capability of working independently in the designated field of medical physics;
- be willing to provide, if requested, a statement to the ABR attesting to the above and to certify, at the end of the training period, that the candidate is capable of working independently in the designated field of medical physics.
3Volunteer Positions - Conditions for Acceptability
The following represents an alternative that may be granted in lieu of the requirement that the candidate be employed in a clinical medical physics environment under the supervision of a certified medical physicist. Upon request by application, the Medical Physics Credentials Evaluation Committee (MPCEC) will consider a volunteer position as an alternative to traditional employment. To be judged acceptable and equivalent to employment-based environments, volunteer positions must satisfy the following conditions:
- The volunteer position is fully recognized, formally structured, and officially sanctioned within the participating department or institution.
- The candidate practices in the volunteer position no less than half time. The equivalent experience will be prorated for part-time positions.
- A written description of the activities, responsibilities, and training opportunities of the volunteer position is provided.
- The interactive role of the certified medical physicist supervisor must be defined to provide:
- review of the professional activity/output of the candidate;
- familiarity with the professional quality of the candidate's work;
- input and guidance to the candidate on professional activities;and
- opportunity to evaluate the candidate's capability of working independently in the designated field of medical physics .
At the end of the training period, the certified medical physicist supervisor must submit a statement in writing to the ABR attesting that the conditions in Points 1-4 above have been met and that the candidate is capable of working independently in the designated specialty of medical physics.
4International candidates within medical physics residency programs who hold only non-United States (U.S.) or Canadian degrees must provide documentation that their foreign degrees are equivalent to those granted from an approved institution in the U.S. and that the granting institution is equivalent to a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. Please refer to the ABR-approved Credentials Evaluation Organizations for information on the process for providing this documentation through use of approved educational credential evaluation services.
PART 3 - The Oral Exam
You must have passed Parts 1 and Part 2 to take the oral examination.
Overview: Examination Structure and Timelines
Part 1 consists of two exams: General and Clinical
- If you pass General and fail Clinical, you must retake Clinical only.
- If you pass Clinical but fail General, you must retake all of Part 1 (General and Clinical).
Part 2 consists of three exams, covering the three specialties. You may elect to take one, two, or all three of these examinations depending on your chosen career path. You must pass the Part 1 exam before you will be approved for Part 2. (See Part 2 eligibility requirements in the sections above.) The three exams for Part 2 are:
- Therapeutic Medical Physics
- Diagnostic Medical Physics
- Nuclear Medical Physics
Part 3 is an oral examination that will be taken in the specialty in which you are seeking certification (see Part 2 description immediately above). You must pass all of Part 1 and your chosen exam(s) in Part 2 to be eligible for Part 3.
Revocation of Certificate
Certificates issued by this Board shall be subject to revocation in the event that:
- the certificate was issued contrary to or in violation of any rule or regulation of the ABR; or
- the person to whom the certificate was issued was not eligible to receive it; or
- substantial misstatement or omission of a material fact to the ABR in an application or in any other information submitted to the ABR;
- any license of the person to practice is not, or ceases to be, a valid and unrestricted license to practice within the meaning set forth in the Rules and Regulations of the American Board of Radiology. In the event that a diplomate's license to practice is suspended, revoked or restricted in any state in which the diplomate practices, holds a license or has held a license, the diplomate's board certification may be revoked or suspended; or
- violation of rules and regulations relating to the Written Qualifying, Oral and Maintenance of Certification Examinations and applications to take the examinations; or
- presenting or distributing, or aiding, or assisting another person(s) to present or distribute, a forged document or other written instrument purporting to have been issued by or under the authority of the ABR to evidence that a candidate, diplomate, or any other person(s) is currently or was previously certified by the ABR, when that is not the case, or claiming orally or in writing, or assisting another person(s) to claim, that a candidate, diplomate, or any other person(s) is currently or was previously certified by the ABR, when that is not the case; or
- engaging in any conduct that materially disrupts any examination or that could reasonably be interpreted as threatening or abusive toward any examinee, proctor or staff; or
- failure to cooperate with the ABR or its Hearing Committee at any point during the investigation of a matter arising under Article X of the ABR Bylaws
Before any such certificate shall be revoked, a notice shall be sent by registered or certified mail to the last known address of the holder of such certificate (as it appears on the records of the ABR). The notice will set forth the act, omissio, or conduct alleged or complained of, and give the holder of the certificate a reasonable opportunity to answer in writing thereto. Such certificate holder shall have not less than 30 days in which to reply thereto. The Board of Trustees may at its discretion make such further investigation as it deems necessary and proper.
The Board of Trustees of this Corporation shall have the sole power, jurisdiction, and right to determine and decide whether or not the evidence or information before it is sufficient to constitute one of the grounds for revocation of any certificate issued by the Board. The decision of the Board of Trustees in the premise shall be final.
The Board reserves the right to make changes in its fees, policies, and procedures at any time and cannot assume responsibility for giving advance notice thereof.