A Model for Online Interactive Remote Education for Medical Physics Using the Internet
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BACKGROUND: Medical physics is a relatively small community but it spans great geographical distances, usually with a scarcity of experts whose expertise could greatly benefit students entering into the field. In addition there are many software systems for which an interactive education method would be most advantageous. OBJECTIVE: To develop a process to optimally use the Internet for real-time interactive remote education of medical physics and to present the experience of the study. METHODS: The project is a collaboration of the Department of Medical Physics at the Toronto-Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre in Canada and the Department of Radiology at the University of Malaya in Malaysia. A class of medical-physics graduate students at the University of Malaya attended lectures provided by lecturers in Toronto, using the Internet as the main tool of communication. RESULTS: The different methods that can be used to provide the real-time interactive remote education were explored, and various topics-including traditional classroom lectures as well as hands-on workshops-were also delivered. CONCLUSIONS: The concept of real-time interactive remote education is viable and holds promise for providing economical and practical tele-education to the medical physics community, but depends heavily on the availability of the Internet in many developing countries.
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