It may seem strange to some that one would want to get out of bed at 7.30 on a Sunday morning to sit in lectures all day, but I was raring to go this morning. A full day of lectures on CT was awaiting and I was ready to learn.
The morning session started with Sue Edyvean (Public Health England) giving the basic principles of CT physics and technology, to an eager audience. It was nice to start at the beginning, it being a refresher for some and a new concept for others. We then moved on to image quality performance parameters and how these effect and are affected by, the human observer. After a short break CT dose was on the menu and John Boone (Sacramento, USA) gave very convincing arguments as to why we should change the way radiation dose is measured in CT. This was followed by an excellent description by Gareth Iball (Leeds), of the acceptance and quality checks that should be carried out.
After a slightly shorter lunch than planned, Dianna Cody (Houston, USA) gave the pitfalls of CT tube current modulation followed by the nuances of iterative reconstruction and application of dual energy CT systems where there were many things to consider should you wish to use any of these techniques.
The highlight of this session was Elly Castellano (London) describing the method of CT protocol review and some of the challenges that we, as medical physicists, face. It really brought home the idea that to reduce doses as low as reasonably practical, a lot of time is needed to get to know a scanner and to change scan parameters in a way that radiologists don’t instantly notice.
It was then on to the public lecture from the HPA, given expertly by Francis Duck MBE (Bath), on the topic of the history of medical physics. Medical Physics it seems goes a lot further back in history than most people expect or recognise. Even in 1814 Jean Halle gave the definition of medical physics, which still resonates true today, to be
“Physics applied to:
- Knowledge of the human body…
- To its conservation…
- And to the cure of its illnesses.”
It was then the final act of the day to open the conference proper.