Eric Pace
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Eric Pace

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W​​​hat is your name and what is your
official designation within the Ministry for Health?​
My name is Eric Pace and I am a Medical physicist, Medical physics expert & Area coordinator at the Medical Imaging Department, Mater Dei Hospital

How long have you been working with the PublicService?
8 years​

Are there any specific qualifications required for your post?
The international Atomic Energy Agency and European Commission specify a bachelor degree in physics or engineering, followed by a Masters degree in medical physics and a minimum of two years full time structured
supervised training in a clinical environment​
 
Following two further years of full time employment as medical physicists and appropriate continuous professional development, they may be recognised as medical physics experts. Further readings to this are found below*

What attracted you to take up your profession and to the health service?
This profession offered an opportunity to delve into a field where many sciences come together for the benefit of the patient and to improve the quality of service for our community.

What motivates you most?
From hands-on work on medical imaging systems, to spreadsheet and software development, to reading up on legislation and current scientific publications and research, our work is rarely repetitive. However, above all, it is the satisfaction that the efforts put forward improve the effectiveness, efficiency and safety of the healthcare service.

What about the teamwork between different professions/roles involved in relation to patient care?
We collaborate with many different professions and are stakeholders in a wide spectrum of projects. We work with radiologists and radiographers to understand imaging techniques, procedures and clinical requirements; we work with biomedical engineering on procurement projects; we work with IT on software projects to facilitate and automate analyses to improve efficiency.

Can you give us one challenge and one success story?
Challenge
The number and sophistication of medical imaging devices and associated software is expanding extremely rapidly. 
The current number of medical physicists is insufficient to handle this growth. However I am glad to note that many students are preparing themselves for entry into the profession. We must now look into developing a training programme to be able to address the need for additional medical physicists within our team.

Success
Over the past few years we have not only managed to provide a quality assurance service to X-ray and CT systems,
but also managed to expand our quality assurance to ultrasound, MRI, and additional systems outside our immediate department, such as cardiology. We have become a point of reference for radiographers, radiologists, and biomedical engineering with regard to technical specifications, system issues and advice with regard to patient radiation safety.

What advice would you give to young students considering taking up this profession?
Medical Physics is an exciting, dynamic, technology oriented profession for anyone having a strong background in physics who would like to apply own physics knowledge and skills to the improvement of healthcare

What are the benefits of working with the public service?
​The satisfaction that work is carried out to improve the quality of service offered to members of the public.
 
IAEA Training Course Series No.71. Guidelines for the Certification of Clinically Qualified Medical Physicists.

Endorsed by the International Medical Physics Certification Board (IMPCB) and the International Organization
for Medical Physics (IOMP). 2021. Available at: https://bit.ly/3l0H0AF​

Radiation Protection No 174. European Guidelines on the Medical Physics Expert. European Commission.
Page 16. Accessible at https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/174.pdf