The 2016 “Engineering and Physical Sciences in Medicine” (EPSM) conference was held in Sydney during November 6 – 10. On the final day, all delegates came together for a panel-led discussion to consider how medical physicists can adapt to the changing landscape of medicine, how they can make the patient journey as smooth as possible and how they can remain relevant in society. The discussion was facilitated by media personality Julie McCrossin, who has become a vocal advocate for radiation oncology following her own personal patient journey, and radiation oncologist Sandra Turner. Martin Ebert from our group was a member of the discussion panel. The discussion centred around novel ways of raising the profile of medical physicists, particularly in terms of communicating the relevance of their work to the “consumer population”. Julie McCrossin presented an impassioned plea for medical physicists to make contact with patients and their carers to ease the anxiety associated with the daunting prospect of radiotherapy treatment, and to make better use of the many social media platforms now available for making contact with the wider population.
A public portal, describing the utility of radiation oncology for cancer therapy and promoting it as a treatment modality, can be found at http://www.targetingcancer.com.au/.