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Leadership and Challenges in Medical Physics: A Strategic and Robust Approach

A EUTEMPE network book
Carmel J Caruana


Leadership and Challenges in Medical Physics: A Strategic and Robust Approach aims to help present aspiring future medical physics leaders with effective, strategic and robust leadership skills in a world dominated by austerity economics, inter-professional competition and sometimes unchecked commoditization.

Chapters are dedicated to healthy leadership and leadership styles, organizational politics, organizational psychology and negotiating skills. A compendium of SWOT themes provides leaders with a ready resource of possible ideas to trigger initial SWOT brainstorming and discussions when developing strategic plans with their own group or team. In addition, the script is peppered with reflection/discussion points or case studies to promote a systematic and well-thought out approach to strategic planning.

Medical physicists working in the clinical environment undergo a structured education and training programs to keep on track with the fast progress of technological development in their field. Medical physicists feel that these programs provide little experience in how to deal with the real-world issues facing them when they move from the relative security of their academic physics departments to the realities of modern, multi-professional healthcare systems.

This book guides a professional medical physicist to become a strategic and robust leader, emphasizing that a people-oriented approach to leadership is crucial for team motivation and stressing the difference between leadership and management. It is divided into 10 chapters to narrate various aspects of leadership and its influence on growth and recognition of the profession. The text is laced with reflection/discussion points or case studies to promote a systematic and well-thought-out approach to strategic planning. I agree with the point of view of the author that no book will turn someone into a leader—ultimately a person has to make oneself a leader! The book is recommended for medical physicists, postgraduate students and educators in health professions.

Reva Garg 2021 Optics and Photonics News, The Optical Society

About Editors

Carmel J Caruana is Head of the Department of Medical Physics at the University of Malta. He was the lead author of the E&T and role definition chapters of the 'European Guidelines on the Medical Physics Expert' and he created the EUTEMPE-RX module 'Leadership in Medical Physics: Development of the profession and the challenges for the MPE', which he also leads. Caruana was previously the Chair of the Education and Training Committee of the European Federation of Organisations for Medical Physics (EFOMP).

Table of Contents

1 What is strategic and robust leadership, and why is it critical for Medical Physics in the present environment?

2 A strategic planning primer for Medical Physics leaders

3 Internal STRENGTHS of Medical Physics

4 Internal WEAKNESSES of Medical Physics

5 External environmental OPPORTUNITIES for Medical Physics

6 External environmental THREATS for Medical Physics

7 Healthy leadership and leadership styles

8 Organizational psychology (also known as occupational psychology)

9 Organizational politics—learning to play the political game

10 Negotiating skills for the Medical Physics leader


Hardback ISBN: 9780750313964

Ebook ISBN: 9780750313957

DOI: 10.1088/978-0-7503-1395-7

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing

Series: IPEM-IOP Series in Physics and Engineering in Medicine and Biology


When I first took Caruana's book in my hands, I felt relieved and justified in a way. There are a lot of us, out there. After all, the book is dedicated, amongst others, "to all Medical Physicists (MP) worldwide who strive daily to improve healthcare even when not always shown the appreciation they so rightly deserve".

Being a low-profile person, it took me years and years to stand on my feet, to persuade my self in the first place and the others later, about the importance of our profession. The arising question is whether there was a shorter and easier way to obtain the self-respect and to gain the reputation and recognition I enjoy among my multidisciplinary colleagues nowadays. Caruana's book gives the answer: The MP as part of their basic education must be trained on how to become a leader.

Caruana gives a strategic planning primer for MP leaders. He encourages MPs to identify, analyze and address their weaknesses, in such a way that they turn to strong points. He does not stop there. He provides MPs with a road map helping them to achieve the goal of becoming leaders, by analyzing the reasons and showing how happiness in a team drives to success and how important it is for a MP to have knowledge on organization psychology and organizational politics, along with the ability for negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.

The author hopes that" this book will stimulate leaders from other regions of the world to develop similar to his leadership modules of their own in their region". I wish that this book will motivate all MP's training centers all over the world to review their curriculum so that to include a course on leadership. Practice has shown that this is imperative for qualified MPs as well.

Ageliki Manetou, PhD Medical Physics Expert Army Share Fund Hospital, Athens, Greece

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