I am honoured to be elected the Chair of Medical Physics World Board (MPWB) committee of the IOMP for the term 2022-25. MPWB is the important backbone of the IOMP. Its main function is to facilitate collaboration among the different medical physics communities globally and to provide instant and regular updates to IOMP members via website, newsletter and journals. The former MPWB committee under the leadership of Prof Magdalena Stoeva has done a wonderful job in fulfilling these goals. I am truly honored to have this opportunity to continue what the committee has established.
Through my recent years of participation in the IOMP activities, I have observed a rapid increment of members subscription rates for both IOMP Newsletter and Webinars from around 2k in Feb 2020 to more than 20k in Feb 2022. This is a very promising trend that reaffirms that IOMP continues to provide a strong, efficient and timely platform to connect medical physicists worldwide. Our vision is to achieve 30k subscribers by the end of 2022.
When asked about my passion about medical physics, I remember that during my first physics class in secondary school, my physics teacher started and ended the class with “physics is fun”. This must be the magic word that has led me to the medical physics world then. When I was in high school, only a minority of female students chose physics as a core subject. When I continued BSc in health physics, the ratio hit 1:2 for female:male; and when I pursued Master in Medical Physics, about half of the class were females. In my current workplace, the numbers of male and female medical physicists are fairly equal. However, at the higher levels of decision-making, women remain as the underrepresented group. Gender bias is not new, but more often, the biases are engendered by the women themselves, primarily due to the lack of confidence and the culture of self-sacrificing for family or the loved ones.
Being a female scientist shouldn’t be any different from being any other positions in the society. We are fortunate to have the privilege of living in a time and place where women are free to pursue their dreams. My advice to the young (and female) medical physicists is “do what you love and let yourself go wherever your heart is content”. Not everyone is keen to climb the leadership ladder, but don’t let anyone steal your dream.
I would like to quote Oprah Winfrey — “Don’t worry about being successful but work toward being significant and the success will naturally follow”.