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Medical Physicist/MR Scientist: MRI/Breast MRI (Revised 12-12-19)

Revision History

The medical physicist/MR scientist must:

  • Be familiar with the principles of MRI safety for patients, personnel, and the public; the Food and Drug Administration’s guidance for MR diagnostic devices; and other regulations pertaining to the performance of the equipment being monitored.

  • Be knowledgeable in the field of nuclear MR physics and familiar with MRI technology, including function, clinical uses, and performance specifications of MRI equipment, as well as calibration processes and limitations of the performance testing hardware, procedures, and algorithms.

  • Have a working understanding of clinical imaging protocols and methods of their optimization. This proficiency should be maintained by participation in continuing education programs of sufficient frequency to ensure familiarity with current concepts, equipment, and procedures.

  • Be responsible for the conduct of all surveys of the MRI/Breast MRI equipment. The medical physicist/MR scientist may be assisted by properly trained individuals in obtaining data in accordance with applicable regulations. The medical physicist (or MR Scientist for MRI accreditation) is responsible for determining if the assisting individual is “properly trained.” These individuals must be approved by the medical physicist/MR scientist in the techniques of performing tests, the function and limitations of the imaging equipment and test instruments, the reasons for the tests, and the importance of the test results. Any assisting individual must be under the direct supervision of the medical physicist during the surveys (direct supervision means that the medical physicist/MR scientist must be present in the facility and immediately available to furnish assistance and direction throughout the performance of the procedure; direct supervision does not require that the medical physicist be present in the room when the procedure is being performed; teleconferencing does not constitute direct supervision).

  • Be present during the surveys; review, interpret, and approve all data; and provide a report of the conclusions with his/her signature.

Effective January 1, 2010, all medical physicists/MR scientists providing these services must meet the following minimum criteria:

Initial Qualifications (One of These)

Medical Physicist: Board-Certified

Certified in Diagnostic Radiological Physics or Radiological Physics (or Diagnostic Medical Physics) by the American Board of Radiology (ABR); in Diagnostic Imaging Physics or MRI Physics by the American Board of Medical Physics (ABMP); or in Diagnostic Radiology Physics or MRI Physics by the Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine (CCPM)

Medical Physicist: Not Board-Certified in Required Subspecialty

All of these:

  • Graduate degree in medical physics, radiologic physics, physics, or other relevant physical science or engineering discipline from an accredited institution

  • Formal coursework in the biological sciences with at least 1 course in biology or radiation biology and 1 course in anatomy, physiology or similar topics related to the practice of medical physics

  • 3 years of documented experience in a clinical MRI environment

Medical Physicist: Grandfathered

Conducted surveys of at least 3 MRI units between January 1, 2007 and January 1, 2010

MR Scientist

Both of these:

  • Graduate degree in a physical science involving nuclear MR or MRI

  • 3 years of documented experience in a clinical MRI environment

Continuing Experience Requirements (Upon Renewal)

2 MRI unit surveys in prior 24 months

Continuing Education Requirements (Upon Renewal)

One of the following:

Additional information and clarification regarding initial qualifications, continuing experience and continuing education requirements for medical physicists is available here.

Revision History for this Article



Description of Revision(s)



Article created; FAQs incorporated; No criteria changes

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