Physics in Medicine

Physics in Medicine – Creating a New Generation of Practicing Physicians and Medical Researchers

The “Physics in Medicine” (PIM) program is a multi-and trans-disciplinary R&D effort focused on fulfilling critical needs in medical education and research. Developed and directed by Dr. Ed Szuszczewicz, it is supported by the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation. The underpinnings of the program are threefold: (1) That physics is the most mature and most fundamental of all physical sciences; and the first-order connection of the laws of physics to living organisms, to clinical medicine, and to medical research is compelling; (2) Expert panels repeatedly point out that practicing physicians, medical researchers and cancer biologists need to appreciate the power of physics to advance their knowledge of first-order cause-effect relationships involving the diseases and maladies they study, diagnose and treat; and (3) The same expert panels also report that medical education has stagnated and has not kept pace with the basic sciences or the emerging and frontier technologies in the diagnosis and management of disease.

In a series of Forum events and workshops in a multi-year effort tailored to specific needs in the hierarchy of medical training, practice and research the program will:

1) Focus on Physics as the foundational science of all life sciences in developing essential trans-disciplinary and integrative approaches to medical curricula across the continuum from pre-med through continuing medical education;

2) Educate the medical and physics teaching and research communities the important needs-for and applications-of a first-principles cause-effect understanding of life science processes while getting doctors to think like physicists and physicists to think like doctors;

3) Involve a team-based “buddy system” of researchers, teachers and practitioners in Physics and in Medicine who envision for themselves a scholarly, trans-disciplinary and collaborative role in developing important innovations to medical education while they advance their own practice and research discipline. This “buddy system” is specifically designed to develop and launch collaborative scientific and educational research efforts expected to result in previously unforeseen multi-and trans-disciplinary advances in medicine – a goal at the core of the PIM program that will be intensely pursued; and 

4) Develop the guiding principles, motivational forces, intellectual resources and learning modules for a new generation of medical care and research that promises innovations with more effective and expedient diagnoses, treatments and cures of everything from cardiovascular and neurological diseases to cancer.