The practicum exposes students to the clinical aspects of the practice of medical physics. The practicum in diagnostic imaging offers hands-on experience in the essentials of clinical imaging physics. This includes such areas as: computed tomography, radiography, mammography, fluoroscopy, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound, and informatics. The radiation therapy practicum includes experience in linear accelerator calibration and quality assurance, patient simulation and treatment planning, and other clinical procedures such as brachytherapy, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), total body irradiation (TBI), and total skin irradiation (TSI) The nuclear medicine practicum includes opportunities for the students to use gamma cameras, positron emission tomography (PET) systems, dose calibrators, and other nuclear medicine instruments, and practical experience with nuclear medicine phantoms and image reconstruction. In addition, students shadow nuclear medicine physicians, technologists, and other professionals.
During the first semester of Year 2, Duke Kunshan University Medical Physics graduate students undertake clinical practicum training at Duke University Medical Center, one of the leading hospitals in the world, featuring modern equipment and techniques. During the Kunshan-based portion of the program, the Duke Kunshan University Medical Physics program also includes field trip experiences at leading hospitals in the Yangtze River Delta Region. Students may also arrange additional experiences at nearby hospitals on their own.
The MS thesis research project is a component of our medical physics graduate education that is popular among students. Skills and talents which this effort develops have been described as critical thinking, problem-solving, intellectual courage, confidence, research skills, presentation, writing, collaboration, project management, research aptitude, and scholarship. As these skills and talents are evolving, the student gains also expertise in the thesis topic area of his or her choosing.
Faculty advisors may be from Duke Kunshan University, from Duke University, or both. (Read about Duke University Medical Physics faculty and their research interests here: http://medicalphysics.duke.edu/faculty.) Advisors are not assigned but are instead chosen by mutual agreement of the student and the faculty member or members.
Students may work on their MS thesis research while at Duke Kunshan University and while at Duke University. Duke Kunshan students spend the summer after Year 1 (optional) and the first semester of Year 2 (mandatory) at Duke University. An extra high-speed internet connection facilitates communication between the two campuses. Available research topics range broadly across radiation therapy, imaging, and other fields.
The illustrations below present just a few of the research projects in the Duke University Medical Physics Graduate Program.
Computerized Phantoms for Research
and Clinical Applications
Robotic SPECT for Functional and Molecular
Imaging in Radiation Therapy
4D Radiotherapy with 4D-MRI,
4D-CT, and 4D-PET
Acquisition and Reconstruction for
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy
Dual Cone-beam CT
Some students in the MS program at Duke University find that they enjoy research, and they apply for the PhD program at Duke University. If admitted to the PhD program, these MS students have the advantage that, through their MS degree work, they have completed almost all of the course work required for the PhD, and in addition, their MS thesis work may be a good start toward their PhD research. Students with an MS degree from Duke Kunshan University will have similar advantages.
Seminars in Medical Physics
Our flagship course, MEDPHY 751K Seminars in Medical Physics, is a weekly seminar where program faculty and students gather. Our diverse programming includes cutting edge research, debates on hot button issues, special topics not covered in core courses, national conference preview/recaps, and workshops on professional skills. Speakers are drawn from researchers, physicians, and clinical staff from many departments, plus prestigious visiting faculty.
Should you have any inquiry or interest in our seminar topics, please contact our program coordinator Ms. Danni Shen for further information.
New seminar schedules will be available here in August.