Frequently Asked Questions About Applying For Exams
NOTE: The CCPM Bylaws and the discretion of the Board overrule any answers shown here. This section tries to express the bylaws and Board position as much as possible, but is a guide only
Q: Is a Physics Assistant (Physics Associate) eligible to take the MCCPM exam?
A: The short answer is: usually no. Most PA positions do not participate in the full spectrum of clinical physics duties. If you have had the same duties as a medical physicist however, contact the Registrar before applying to get clarification. Time as a P.A. might also be used to make up a shortfall in clinical experience from another position (see next question).
Q: As of Mar 31, I will be a little short of the required two years of patient-related experience to sit the exam. However, I worked for a time as a (Physics Assistant; Physics Associate; Research assistant; Quality Technician;...). Can I claim patient-related experience from that other position?
A: You may be able to, depending on the nature of the work. The bylaws require that it be patient-related, in the past five years, and after a post-graduate degree. Note that the patient-related experience does not have to come from a residency position, as long as it involves the patient-related activities a resident or full-time physicist would do. Part-time work during a grad program generally does not count, but the Board might consider it if the shortfall was very small (e.g. a couple of weeks).
The Board will generally only allow "substitute" time to a maximum of about 2-3 months, and usually less time than that, unless the patient-related experience in the other position is quite close to a residency or full-time medical physicist position. A typical Physics Associate/Assistant position would be interpreted with about a 0.5 factor, so a few months in a P.A. position would not be considered equivalent to two months of a residency, but one year as a P.A. almost certainly would.
If your situation is borderline and you would like advice, please contact the Registrar.
Q: I have been working in (a foreign country) and did not take a Canadian medical physics residency nor do I have Canadian work experience. Can I still sit the MCCPM exams?
A: The CCPM certification process is intended to serve Canadians. Candidates are expected to fulfill at least one of the following criteria: be a Canadian citizen; be resident in Canada; have completed a university degree in Canada; have completed a medical physics residency program in Canada; or have a confirmed job offer in Canada.
In addition, the bylaws require that at least one referee be certified by CCPM or by a U.S. certifying body, and that your graduate degree be from an accredited university. We will also need to be satisfied that your minimum two years of patient-related experience is substantially equivalent to that which would be acquired in a Canadian institution.
Documents on the CCPM website are covered by a Creative Commons license, which means they can be used by other countries (with appropriate credit) as the basis for establishing their own certification process.
Q: I'm working in (other country) but hope to come back to Canada one day. Can I take the exam in my current country of residence?
A: The CCPM Board has carefully considered this, but at present the organization is too small to be able to handle the logistics of exams held in other countries. We recognize that this means two trips for MCCPM candidates (for the written and oral components), but for now all exams will be held only in Canada.