The Spanish Society of Medical Physics (SEFM) has celebrated the International Day of Medical Physics (IDMP), and during the weeks leading up to November 7 has developed several activities focused, fundamentally, on the dissemination through social networks and other communication channels of the work that medical physicists carry out in their daily work. It has also spread among its partners and followers the activities carried out by other organizations, especially the IOMP, in commemoration of this day.
The labor of the SEFM and the work of their members over the years has been widely recognized among professionals, but very little has yet reached society. Unfortunately, it is very common to find people who does not know what a medical physicist is. Not without reason this year’s motto for the IDMP, “Communicating the Role of Medical Physicists to the Public” refers to this lack in which we must work intensely.
We resolved to took advantage of the powerful tool that the social networks are, and with the especial collaboration of our younger professionals, fundamental protagonists in achieving the objective of publicizing the great contribution that medical physicists make, with their ease of using new communication channel, we spread the goodness of our profession, informing people and trying to involve them in many activities related to the IDMP. For instance, we launch a photographic contest in which the competitors presented excellent photographs on a free subject but related to Medical Physics. The award consisted in the free registration of the First Curie Day, which was the icing of the cake of this series of activities in honor of Medical Physics and our beloved Marie Curie. The contest was a success, and the competitors made real works of art, as the one in the Figure 1.
Figure 1: Left: Winer photograph (Author: Mario Martín Veganzones, Hospital de Cruces, Barakaldo). Rigth:Marie Curie in a radiocromic film (Author: Javier Ponce, Hospital Sant Joan de Reus, Tarragona)
The First Curie Day took place in Valencia on November 6th and was organized by the SEFM Youth Group (Figure 2). This is the first face-to-face meeting of the SEFM since the beginning of the pandemic which, added to the fact that the First Youth Day, held in November 2020, was also the first completely virtual meeting organized by our Society, shows the growing role of this group within the SEFM.
Figure 2: First Curie Day (Valencia)
Our First Curie Day was both academic and festive. There were several presentations in different areas of Medical Physics, among which the presentation of the GAIN (from the acronym in Spanish of support group for novice researchers) program deserves a special mention: this project has been conceived and designed for the promotion and assistance in scientific research of younger Spanish medical physicists. There was also room for humor, with monologues related to science; and for the game too, through a contest with questions on “hospital radiophysics” (name given to the health specialty equivalent to Medical Physics in Spain).
In summary, this have been an awesome experience, and for sure it will be the first of many Curie Days, the youngest professionals in our society having the leading role.
The Spanish Society of Medical Physics is enthusiastically committed to the objective of spreading the basic notions of Medical Physics through our society, and although the IDMP is the ideal scenario for doing so, we work intensively during the whole year to reach our goal, and let people know how necessary and relevant Medical Physicist are in the healthy area.