Certified health physicist

From WikiMD's Wellness Encyclopedia

Certified Health Physicist (CHP) is a professional designation awarded to individuals who have demonstrated a comprehensive understanding and proficiency in the field of health physics. Health physics, also known as radiation protection, is the science concerned with the protection of humans and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation, while making it possible to enjoy its beneficial applications.

Overview[edit | edit source]

The certification is granted by certification bodies such as the American Board of Health Physics (ABHP) in the United States, which operates under the auspices of the American Academy of Health Physics. The process of becoming a Certified Health Physicist involves meeting educational and experience requirements, followed by passing a comprehensive two-part examination that covers the theoretical and practical aspects of radiation protection.

Eligibility[edit | edit source]

To be eligible for certification, candidates must typically hold a bachelor's degree or higher in health physics or a related field such as physics, medical physics, or nuclear engineering. Additionally, they must have several years of professional experience in health physics, with the exact number of years depending on the level of education attained.

Examination[edit | edit source]

The certification examination is divided into two parts:

  • Part I focuses on the fundamentals of health physics, including atomic and nuclear physics, radiation interactions, radiation dosimetry, and radiation biology.
  • Part II is more applied, covering topics such as radiation protection standards, radiation control and monitoring, environmental and medical health physics, and emergency response.

Successful candidates who pass both parts of the examination are awarded the CHP designation, signifying their expertise in radiation protection principles and practices.

Responsibilities[edit | edit source]

Certified Health Physicists are responsible for designing, implementing, and managing radiation protection programs in a variety of settings, including healthcare facilities, nuclear power plants, research institutions, and regulatory agencies. Their duties may include:

  • Assessing radiation doses to workers and the public
  • Ensuring compliance with radiation protection standards and regulations
  • Managing radioactive waste
  • Responding to radiation emergencies
  • Educating and training personnel in radiation safety

Continuing Education[edit | edit source]

To maintain their certification, CHPs must participate in continuing education and professional development activities. This ensures that they stay current with the latest developments in the field of health physics and radiation protection.

Significance[edit | edit source]

The CHP designation is recognized as a mark of excellence in the field of health physics. It signifies a high level of knowledge and professionalism, and it is often required for senior positions in radiation protection and health physics.


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD