There are 21 regional AAPM chapters that are independently chartered. Each has a unique history. Chapters provide a venue for the networking of Medical Physicists working in hospitals, universities, government, service groups or for industries in a given area of the country. The following gallery frames provide a concise history for the Regional AAPM Chapters. Further information about each of the chapters can be found here:
Regional AAPM Chapters
The Philadelphia Radiological Physicists was formed on February 28, 1952. The society would meet on the last Thursday of every month, with the first meeting taking place on March 27, 1952. The group assimilated into the American Association of Physicists in Medicine when the organization was formed in 1958, and three of the chapter’s founders, James Bierly, Robert Gorson, and John Hale, were among the AAPM’s charter members. Gorson and Hale served as AAPM President in 1962 and 1969, respectively, and would be among the first recipients of the Achievement in Medical Physics Award (now the Edith H. Quimby Lifetime Achievement Award) in 1997 and 1998. Another AAPM Charter member from the Delaware Valley Chapter, Leonard Stanton, received the William D. Coolidge Award in 1996, and other chapter honorees include Nagalingam Suntharalingam (Coolidge Award, 1992), Bengt Bjarngard (Coolidge Award, 1998, not pictured), and James Galvin (Quimby Award, 2008). The Delaware Valley Chapter played host to the annual AAPM meeting in Philadelphia in 1972, 1996, and 2010. The 1972 meeting was the first to have an exhibit hall with twenty vendors displaying.
New England has a history of professional medical physics activities dating to the early days of the AAPM. The details are somewhat fragmentary, though the original constitution which created the New England chapter has survived. The document was signed by then AAPM president Edward (Ted) Webster. While Ted Webster was from New England, his signature on the constitution was as AAPM President, and not as representative of the New England chapter per se.
After 1964, no records for the New England Chapter have surfaced which detail any activities for almost a decade. However, two other New England medical physics groups existed at this time: the Boston Medical Physics Group (BMPG) and the New England Radiological Physics Organization (NERPO). Edward (Ned) S Sternick served on the executive board of NERPO starting in 1971, when the board began to discuss evolving NERPO and the BMPG into the NEAAPM. Ned was ultimately elected to serve as Chairman to the new reconstituted NEAAPM board for 1974-1975. In addition to Ned as chair, the board consisted of Saul Aronow as secretary/treasurer, Bengt Bjärngard as AAPM board representative with John Cardarelli and Philip Judy as members at large. All of these original members went on to have long distinguished careers in medical physics in the New England region. One of the tasks before the 1974-1975 NEAAPM board was to update the original constitution, although no surviving copy of the 1975 constitution has been found. The restructuring of the board introduced at that time is similar to the board structure as it exists today.
Other notable events from the early days of the chapter included Ned Sternick serving as local arrangements chair when the 1981 AAPM Annual Meeting was held in Boston; the first “Physics Phun Run” was held on the banks of the Charles River that year. In 1987, Connecticut, which was included in the original NEAAPM constitution, declared independence and started the CAMPS chapter. Some physicists retain membership in both chapters. The AAPM Annual Meeting returned to Boston in 1995.
Our Purpose and Programs
When the Southeast Chapter of the American Association of Physicists In Medicine (SEAAPM) was formed in 1969 its purpose was to provide an opportunity for medical physicists from the region to come together to interact and exchange ideas and information through personal discussions and presentations in annual meetings. A special effort was made to involve students with an opportunity to attend scientific meetings and present papers on their activities and projects.
For several years the meetings were in Atlanta on the Emory University Campus because it was centrally located and meeting facilities were available at no cost. As the membership increased, the meetings began moving throughout the Southeast. These were often hosted by the local physicists and included visits to interesting clinical and medical physics activities at that location.
Beginning in 1990 the SEAAPM began the annual Educational Symposia along with the annual Scientific Meetings to provide in-depth continuing education to support the needs, especially for clinical medical physicists, associated with the many developments and advances of clinical procedures and medical physics applications. The topics each year generally indicate the state of the science and technology at the time that required educational opportunities. Although provided by the SEAAPM, the Symposia are of national scope with faculty and participants from throughout the AAPM membership.
An example are the proceedings of first Symposium in 1990 on Film-Screen Mammography: Imaging Considerations and Medical Physics Responsibilities directed by Gary Barnes and Donald Frey with a faculty from throughout the country that were published and used as a guide by physicists for conducting quality assurance procedures. This was especially significant by providing in depth knowledge and understanding of the physics behind the ACR accreditation procedures that were being conducted.