Medical Definition of Physics, health

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Physics, health: The science of human health and radiation exposure. Health physics, also called medical physics, is devoted to radiation safety. The international professional body for health physics, the Health Physics Society, notes that:

"For decades, ionizing radiation has been beneficial to human beings in areas ranging from medical diagnosis and therapy to scientific research to generating electrical power. However, when used in large quantities or in unsafe ways, ionizing radiation can harm living organisms. Care must be taken to properly use equipment and to minimize the potential for unnecessary radiation exposure to individuals or environmental contamination in medical, research, or power generation activities. The health physicist is prominent among scientists charged with controlling the beneficial use of ionizing radiation while protecting workers and the public from potential hazards."

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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