Study Guide for Medical Physics for Radiation Oncology
Last verified on January 3, 2020
Download this study guide in printable .pdf format
This exam tests your knowledge of the principles of radiation and cancer
biology underlying the practice of radiation oncology. Included are
questions on the general domains listed below. Exam performance will be
reported to you based on an overall pass/fail grade, with specific
information provided regarding quintile performance in the 10 individual
domains. Because of the nature of scientific knowledge and subcategories,
there may be some overlap of items across domains. Each exam will include
items from every domain, but individual subtopics may not be included in
every exam and the number of items per domain depends on the domain.
|I. Basic physics
||15% to 19%
|II. Radiation measurements and basic treatment planning
||23% to 27%
|III. Imaging, simulation, and treatment plan evaluation and verification
||17% to 21%
|IV. Advanced treatment planning and special procedures
||25% to 29%
|V. Safety, QA, and radiation protection
||10% to 14%
The ranges above are those generally in effect for the exam to be administered in 2020 and are intended only for guidance in candidate preparation. They do not necessarily represent a precise number of scorable items.
- Fundamental Physics
- Atomic and Nuclear Structure
- Production of Kilovoltage X-ray beams
- Production of Megavoltage X-ray beams
- Radiation Interactions
||Radiation measurements and basic treatment planning
- Radiation Quantities and Units
- Radiation Measurement and Calibration
- Photon Beam Characteristics and Dosimetry
- Electron Beam Characteristics and Dosimetry
Imaging, simulation, and treatment plan evaluation &
- Imaging Fundamentals
- Simulation and Treatment Verification
- Prescribing, Reporting, and Evaluating Radiotherapy Treatment
||Advanced treatment planning & special procedures
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
- Special Procedures
- Particle Therapy
- Stereotactic Radiosurgery/Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy
||Safety, QA, and radiation protection
- Quality Assurance
- Radiation Protection and Shielding
- Safety and Incidents
References are intended as resource for exam
takers and will form the sources for the majority of individual items in the
exam. Individual items may be sourced from references not cited in this
study guide. Primary references are intended to be the source of the
majority of exam items.
Secondary references are individual smaller categories of items. Additional
references may be the source of individual, selected items.
- Podgorsak EB. Radiation Oncology Physics: A Handbook for Teachers and
Students. Vienna, Austria: International Atomic Energy Agency; 2005
- Hendee WR, Ibbott GS, and Hendee EG. Radiation Therapy Physics. Hoboken,
NJ: Wiley-Liss; 2005
- Khan FM and Gibbons JP. The Physics of Radiation Therapy. Philadelphia,
Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2014
- McDermott, P and Orton, C. The Physics and Technology of Radiation
Therapy. Madison, WI: Medical Physics Publishing; 2010
- Dieterich S, Ford E, Pavord D, and Zeng J. Practical Radiation Oncology
Physics Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2015
- Metcalfe P, Kron T, and Hoban P. Physics of Radiotherapy X-Rays and
Electrons. 2nd edition. WI: Medical Physics Publishing; 2007
- Van Dyk J. The Modern Technology of Radiation Oncology. Volume 1.
Medical Physics Publishing; 1999
- Van Dyk J. The Modern Technology of Radiation Oncology. Volume 2.
Medical Physics Publishing; 2005
- Van Dyk J. The Modern Technology of Radiation Oncology. Volume 3.
Medical Physics Publishing; 2013
- Nath, R. , Anderson, L. L., Luxton, G. , Weaver, K. A., Williamson, J.
F. and Meigooni, A. S. (1995), Dosimetry of interstitial brachytherapy
sources: Recommendations of the AAPM Radiation Therapy Committee Task
Group No. 43. Med. Phys., 22: 209-234. doi:10.1118/1.597458
- Almond, P. R., Biggs, P. J., Coursey, B. M., Hanson, W. F., Huq, M. S.,
Nath, R. and Rogers, D. W. (1999), AAPM’s TG‐51 protocol for clinical
reference dosimetry of high‐energy photon and electron beams. Med.
Phys., 26: 1847-1870. doi:10.1118/1.598691
- Huq, M. S., Fraass, B. A., Dunscombe, P. B., Gibbons, J. P., Ibbott, G.
S., Mundt, A. J., Mutic, S. , Palta, J. R., Rath, F. , Thomadsen, B. R.,
Williamson, J. F. and Yorke, E. D. (2016), The report of Task Group 100
of the AAPM: Application of risk analysis methods to radiation therapy
quality management. Med. Phys., 43: 4209-4262. doi:10.1118/1.4947547
- Benedict, S. H., Yenice, K. M., Followill, D. , Galvin, J. M., Hinson,
W. , Kavanagh, B. , Keall, P. , Lovelock, M. , Meeks, S. , Papiez, L. ,
Purdie, T. , Sadagopan, R. , Schell, M. C., Salter, B. , Schlesinger, D.
J., Shiu, A. S., Solberg, T. , Song, D. Y., Stieber, V. , Timmerman, R.
, Tomé, W. A., Verellen, D. , Wang, L. and Yin, F. (2010), Stereotactic
body radiation therapy: The report of AAPM Task Group 101. Med. Phys.,
37: 4078-4101. doi:10.1118/1.3438081
- Klein, E. E., Hanley, J. , Bayouth, J. , Yin, F. , Simon, W. , Dresser,
S. , Serago, C. , Aguirre, F. , Ma, L. , Arjomandy, B. , Liu, C. ,
Sandin, C. and Holmes, T. (2009), Task Group 142 report: Quality
assurance of medical acceleratorsa). Med. Phys., 36: 4197-4212.