News

The Bachelor of Medical Physics is an interdisciplinary course for those interested in exact science, computational resources, technologies, biomedical sciences and laboratory research

The Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo (FMUSP) and the Instituto de Física (IF) da USP have joined together to create the undergraduate course in Medical Physics to be taught in both institutions, located in the city of São Paulo, from the next school year. USP, which already offers the course inserted in the same career on the campus of Ribeirão Preto, approved through the University Council (CO), in March 2021, the constitution of the new course in the capital.

For the implementation, a working group was formed, which includes three professors from each of the partner institutions and is under the coordination of Professor Elisabeth Mateus Yoshimura, Head of the Department of Nuclear Physics at IFUSP. “We are eagerly awaiting the entry of curious students who have good performance in the exact sciences area and who want to deepen their knowledge in the area of health. May our dream be theirs too!” declares Professor Elisabeth.

A long process of study about the course was covered for many years and several proposals were made in the past, however, this time, the success was achieved, according to Professor Paulo Roberto Costa, Associate at the Department of Nuclear Physics at IFUSP. “The conversations have matured in the last ten years, through the co-participation of IFUSP with FMUSP. The resumption took place in the last three to four years, when the negotiation of the project materialized, in its current format, and was approved by the CO", says Professor Paulo Roberto.

Medical Physics comprises the application of knowledge of exact sciences in the context of medicine, "the concepts, laws, models, agents and methods of Physics for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases, playing an important role in medical care, in biomedical research and in the optimization of radiological protection”, says Professor Marcelo Tatit Sapienza, Associate at the Department of Radiology and Oncology at FMUSP.

The course aims to train professionals to work in clinics and hospitals that make use of imaging and treatment technologies, in industries that manufacture equipment and/or household appliances, in calibration laboratories, universities and research, development and innovation institutes. “The commitment of FMUSP and IFUSP is to prepare professionals who competently attend a labor market linked to health care for the population and creatively collaborate with research projects in areas of Medicine-Physical interface”, says Professor Elisabeth Yoshimura, from IFUSP.

Within the Faculty of Medicine at USP, a collaborative culture is encouraged, as well as care and comprehensive care for the patient. Prof. Roger Chammas, Vice-Director of FMUSP, assures: “we are committed to training physicians, speech therapists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists who know how to work as a team, in addition to developing individual technical skills. We promote the training of innovative professionals, with critical thinking and who use the scientific method. All these competences that we instigate will also be extended to students and future medical physicists”.

Curricular structure

In total, 25 places will be made available, with classes at night and lasting for five years. The course will be divided into three major modules: the first consisting of basic training in physics, mathematics, computing and biomedical sciences; next, biomedical applications; and, finally, practical internships in hospital environments. 

As support, the Medical Physics course will have the structures of both IFUSP and FMUSP, there are rooms for theoretical and practical classes, didactic and research laboratories, rooms with computers, multimedia environments, auditoriums, libraries and diagnostic imaging equipment . The entire FMUSP Hospital das Clínicas complex will be available for practical classes in some disciplines and/or internships, in particular, the Radiology Institute (InRad) and the Cancer Institute (ICESP).

The study of Medical Physics involves a set of disciplines that address the "application of the knowledge of physics in the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures of medicine, with emphasis on performance in the areas of medical imaging, radiological protection, radiodiagnostics, radiotherapy, nuclear medicine and dosimetry", says Professor Marcelo Tatit Sapienza, from FMUSP.

At the FMUSP, the following curricular subjects will be taught: Introduction to Medical Physics, Medical Informatics I, Elements of Anatomy and Human Physiology, Medical Statistics I, Medical-Hospital Equipment, Medical Imaging, Diagnostic Imaging Physics I , Radiological Protection I, Nuclear Medicine, Radiotherapy, Diagnostic Imaging Physics II, Introduction to the Hospital Environment, Advanced Topics in Mathematics and Physics in Medicine, Introduction to Occupational Health, and Legal Medicine and Ethics in Medical Physics.

At the IFUSP, the courses available are: Physics I, Experimental Physics I, Physics II, Experimental Physics II, Physics III, Experimental Physics III, Physics IV, Experimental Physics IV, Physics of the Human Body, Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation and Non-Ionizing, Mathematical Physics I, Quantum Physics, Mechanics I, Radiation Physics I, Radiation Dosimetry Laboratory, Quantum Mechanics I, and Electromagnetism I. 

Future perspectives

Medical Physics has been strengthened as a profession around the world, due to the increased complexity of diagnostic and therapeutic techniques resulting from technological advances and the recognition that interdisciplinary actions bring more efficiency in patient care. “There are two main areas of activity for medical physicists: the clinical area and research. In Brazil, there is a demand for both professional profiles, and the link between FMUSP and IFUSP enhances both, as students will have the support of professionals and researchers in both physics and medicine, which will allow for an excellent education regardless of the area of action they choose”, says Professor Paulo Roberto Costa, from IFUSP.

The announcement of the course takes place against the expressive development of the field of medical physics and the need for very well-trained professionals. “If we want to innovate, we need to have this plurality of perspectives, we need people with the eye of technology to propose solutions that we want to imagine. With diversity it is possible to create an environment that is more exciting and that challenges us”, explains Prof. Roger Chammas. The Vice-Director of FMUSP also adds: “we want to provide full patient care, for that we will have to have multiple professionals with different perspectives on the technique, working together to complement our limitations. So, we need to look for competencies that isolated individuals do not have, but that the institution may have. This search for other perspectives on health is what the Faculty of Medicine aspires to, having professionals with different backgrounds”.

Admission

The form of admission is through the entrance exam organized by the University Foundation for the Entrance Exam (FUVEST) and/or Unified Selection System (SISU), as well as for other courses at USP. The selection via FUVEST is already open for applications and the first phase of the competition is expected to be held in December 2021, check it out at: fuvest.br/vestibular-da-usp/. Regarding SISU, follow it at: sisu.mec.gov.br.

For more information click here.