7 November marks the International Day of Medical Physics. The day celebrates the birthday of a pioneer in the field, Marie Curie (1867–1934), recipient of the 1903 Nobel prize in Physics, shared with Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel, and another in Chemistry in 1910 for discovering Radium and Polonium, and isolating and studying Radium.
Her career stimulated profound changes in diagnostic and therapeutic medicine. During World War 1, she help pioneered the concept of portable x-ray imaging—devices known as “Petite Curies”—throughout Europe. The impact of Radium in the treatment of cancer (via brachytherapy) cannot be overstated. She was a scientific pioneer in the truest sense.
To learn more about her amazing career, take a look at some of these great videos:
In many ways, Marie Curie provides the perfect starting point in defining the core facets of a medical physicist. It all started with intelligence, innovation, critical thinking, and an undeniable passion for excellence.
She was an incredibly generous person, gifting the gold from her Nobel prizes to the government in support of the war effort. For her outstanding contributions in times of crisis, she was a board member of the Red Cross.
In many ways, Marie Curie's legacy serves as a measure of success for MPWB:
To support activities which will yield effective and safe use of physics and technologies in medicine through advising, training, demonstrating and/or participating in medical physics-related activities, especially in low-to-middle income countries.
The difference today is that we all know how to use radiation in helping people, but we have significant challenges in getting that help to the people who need it most.
We have some exciting projects underway in achieving some of these goals, as noted in some of our earlier blog-posts.
We want to thank all of our supporters for their contribution in making the world a bit safer, and helping improve access to healthcare in our world.