ACR revises physicist accreditation requirements

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The American College of Radiology (ACR) has released revisions to its accreditation standards that will require board certification and stronger degree requirements for medical physicists and MR scientists.

Others modifications include clarifications to language associated with medical physicist assistants and requirements for facilities who provide MRI, CT and nuclear medicine/PET exams to become accredited by Jan. 1, 2012.

Also, language has been added to address the use of medical physicist assistants and clarifiy the levels of supervision and accessibility qualified physicists must provide to guarantee expert guidance and oversight. In each program, the ACR said that a qualified medical physicist/MR scientist is responsible for the conduct of surveys of diagnostic imaging equipment.

These revisions come after finding variations of certification requirements across accreditation programs that often “recommend but do not require board certification for medical physicists,” according to the ACR. The revisions also result from a push from the ACR Quality and Safety Commission and ACR accreditation subcommittees on physics, individuals providing medical physics services and ACR legal counsel.

New requirements take effect on Jan. 1, 2010. The new revisions, along with grandfathered clauses, are posted on the ACR's Web site.