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Director’s Letter

An especially warm greeting to all in the Duke Medical Physics Graduate Program family at this time! I cannot tell you how inspiring it has been to witness so many faculty colleagues responding to the COVID19 challenge with exemplary dedication, energy, determination and professionalism, to do the absolute best for our patients, students, colleagues, families and society. Our concerns and thoughts are especially with those who are courageously working on the very difficult and dangerous front lines of this battle, and those with family members involved.  Please do all you can to support them and yourselves by heeding the recommendations summarized here Duke Coronavirus for Students, and save some time to keep learning!

Our Medical Physics program has been dramatically impacted by COVID19.  During spring break 2 weeks ago, Duke University ordered all classes to be switched to online virtual formats. Our program leaders, faculty, and students responded in just a few days. We include a few images below to illustrate the transition. In the first photo, Dr. Dean Darnell live streams his lecture from our classroom that is empty except for the IT support technician. In addition, defenses for MS theses and PhD dissertations also switched to virtual conferences, as shown in the screen shot for James Jensen who successfully defended his PhD on March 23.

As a concluding note, please continue to bear with us as we all navigate this time.  The burden for everyone involved in healthcare has escalated dramatically these last weeks, and similarly for those in education.  Many of our faculty are involved in both, and with schools closed, are triply impacted!  Students can rest assured however, that while there remains much uncertainty; we are absolutely committed to supporting our students and continuing our important educational mission.  I am sure there are many questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to myself, Anuj, Olga or anyone else in the leadership team with questions at any time, and we look forward to addressing them as best we can at the Zoom Town Hall Meeting on Friday 3/27 at 1:00 PM (see email invite).

Every good wish at this time to all our students, and faculty community.

Mark Oldham, Director DMPGP