New ASNC/SNMMI Training Course Helps Physicians Meet U.S. Requirements for Handling Medical Radioisotopes

April 13, 2022 — Tue Society for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) and the American Society for Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) has released a new online course designed to provide cardiovascular and other nuclear medicine physicians with the knowledge they need to establish a culture of safety and quality in their nuclear imaging laboratories. The program known as the ASNC/SNMMI 80 Hour Authorized User Radionuclide Training Coursemeets the 80 hours of classroom training that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and treaty states require that physicians become authorized users of radioisotopes for imaging and localization studies.

In the United States, cardiovascular nuclear medicine physicians must meet several requirements before being allowed to handle radioisotopes used in nuclear imaging tests to diagnose and risk stratify patients. These requirements are defined by both the NRC and other organizations. The NRC’s requirements to become an “Authorized User in Imaging and Localization Studies” are listed below 10CFR 35,290. Physicians who want to practice nuclear cardiology independently must also meet the requirements of the COCATS 4: Task Force 6: Nuclear Cardiology Training Level 2, which includes the requirements of the NRC as well as other clinical components. In addition, the Nuclear Cardiology Certification Board requires candidates to document that they have met the Nuclear cardiology COCATS level 2 Requirements before taking the Nuclear cardiology committee review.

“This course brings together the world’s experts in nuclear cardiology to create a unique learning experience on this important topic,” he says James Case, PhD, MASNC, Course co-leader. “Trainees will learn how to apply the fundamentals of nuclear safety to real clinical imaging situations.”

The 80-hour ASNC/SNMMI Authorized Radionuclide User Training Course provides physicians with a comprehensive learning experience developed by more than 40 members of the Societies’ joint task force and the world-renowned authorities delivering the lectures on radiation protection and safe handling of radioisotopes and Holding Physics and Instrumentation, Radiochemistry and Radiopharmaceuticals, Radiation Biology and Nuclear Medicine, Mathematics and Statistics.

The training course is a valuable new tool for nuclear cardiology training programs because it complements the hands-on experience provided by nuclear cardiology and nuclear medicine training.

“As someone closely involved with training trainees in radiology, nuclear medicine and nuclear cardiology, I have long felt that we are missing a key element in preparing our staff for some of the fundamentals of radionuclide knowledge and engineering,” he said Vasken Dilsizian, MD, MASNC, Co-Director and Past President of the SNMMI. “A partnership between two of our leading professional societies, leveraging the expertise of their members and the organizational skills of their experienced staff, has created an extraordinarily productive environment for the creation of this rich and rigorous new resource.”

That ASNC/SNMMI 80 Hour Authorized User Radionuclide Training Course is delivered using distance learning best practices. Content is strategically organized to increase learner engagement, including targeted learning objectives and access to targeted feedback. Self-paced, asynchronous delivery method allows learners to build on prior knowledge and master content.

Physicians access the course through ASNC’s new, state-of-the-art learning management system, which makes it easy for learners to navigate through the 93 modules with video and slide presentations, complete board-examination-style self-assessment quizzes, and revisit any necessary, to improve understanding. Learners can also submit questions to faculty and download supporting materials from the course platform. Physicians who successfully complete the course receive a certificate of completion.

An overview of the 80-hour ASNC/SNMMI Authorized User Training Course on Radionuclides is provided here.

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