The purpose of field trips and practicum courses is to expose students to clinical aspects of medical physics through hands-on experience at affiliated hospitals in China and/or the United States. The instructors include medical physicists who have engaged in professional clinical practice at leading hospitals in the United States and China, who guide the students through work with current, widely-utilized and emerging, state-of-the-art clinical procedures and equipment.
In the year-1 nuclear medicine physics course at DKU, students gain field-trip experience with gamma cameras, dose calibrators, and nuclear medicine facilities generally. The year-1 radiation therapy physics course at DKU includes basic experience with the treatment machines and treatment-verification imaging systems used in radiation therapy procedures.
Extensive coverage of clinical methods is provided in a full 3-credit-hour summer practicum course.
Spring semester of year-2, at DKU, includes a clinical practicum that covers IAEA QA protocols and a Special Procedures course that includes clinical field trips to leading hospitals in the Yangtze River Delta Region.
Located on the DKU campus is a state-of-the-art radiation therapy treatment planning system. Treatment planning is one of the most important core skills in medical physics. Training and experience on this system is included as part of practicum course work. In addition, students have the option to pursue further intensive training using this on-campus system, for example as part of a scholarship project. In contrast to treatment planning systems in most US and China hospitals, which generally allow only limited student access, this on-campus treatment planning system is solely for use by students, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Complementing practicum courses and field trips are seminar presentations by medical physicists in the United States and China. Seminar topics include state-of-the-art clinical methods, research into clinical technologies of the future, and developments in and practice of medical physics in China.