History of the Program

Mark Yudelev, Ph.D.
WSU Superconducting Cyclotron

The Wayne State University MS Medical Physics program dates back over 30 years.  In the early days, under the direction of Ken Corrigan and operated through the Radiology Department, there were only a few didactic lecture courses and most credits were earned as 'directed study'.  In the late 1970's, under the direction of Jack Krohmer, also through the Radiology Department, more lecture courses were introduced and enrollment increased.  In 1984, upon the retirement of Dr. Krohmer, the program began being administered primarily through the Department of Radiation Oncology under the direction of Colin Orton.  By 1994, total enrollment in the MS program had reached its peak of 40 and there were 19 graduates in that year.  Between 1980 and 1992, the number of classroom teaching hours offered per year increased threefold, from 180 to 540.  The MS program was granted accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Graduate Programs in 1988 and reaccredited in 1995 and 2000.  Following the retirement of Dr. Orton in 2003, Jay Burmeister assumed direction of the graduate programs.  Dr. Burmeister initiated several changes to the program including increasing recruiting efforts and admissions standards, implementation of program oral review sessions and the addition of radiological anatomy, ethics and professions topics modules to the program.  By 2005, enrollment had again reached its peak with more than 40 students enrolled in the MS and PhD Programs.  In 2005 and 2010, the program was re-accredited by CAMPEP for the maximum 5 year term.  To date, over 300 students have graduated from the MS Program.

The PhD program was approved by the University in June, 1986.  The program was given 'conditional accreditation" by CAMPEP in 1988 and was subsequently fully accredited in 1992 and re-accredited in 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010.  To date, 25 students have graduated from the PhD program.  A Graduate Certificate program was approved by the University in December 2012 and received CAMPEP accreditation in March 2013.  The first students were accepted into the program in 2013.

A Medical Physics Residency Program was initiated in 1992 when we received one of the first residency awards (ASTRO/AAPM).  Our program was granted a second ASTRO/AAPM Medical Physics Residency Award for 1996/98.  A third Residency position was funded by the Radiation Oncology Department for 1997/98, and two more in 2001/2003.  The program began its present state with the procurement of two permanent funded staff resident positions in 2007 within the Karmanos Cancer Center under the direction of Dr. Burmeister.  The curriculum was subsequently completely overhauled and the program received CAMPEP accreditation in 2010.

As we move forward, we continue to survey our graduates and use their feedback to improve our program and to elevate our students level of preparedness upon graduation.

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Division of Radiation Oncology