Program history and contextualization (updated in 2021)
The program corresponds to one of the 810 Professional Master’s Programs of CAPES (866 Professional Master’s courses). It also corresponds to one of the 270 graduate programs of USP, contributing to the 30 thousand graduate students of the University.
FMRP-USP has 24 graduate programs, among them 5 Professional Masters, including MP CIFM. The Other Professional Master’s programs of the institution are Professional Master’s in Hemotherapy and Biotechnology, Professional Master’s in Health Organizations Management, Professional Master’s in Neurology and Clinical Neurosciences, and Professional Master’s in Medicine. The program is a regional and national reference, with growing demand in applicants, and is observed by the increase from 52 students registered in 2017 to 70 in 2020. The program is aligned with the PDI (FMRP USP Academic Project), contributing to the University indicators, developing actions to meet institutional goals, and participating in global actions related to the levels listed in the five-year academic project.
The Professional Master’s Program in Imaging Sciences and Medical Physics (MP CIFM) was approved in 2013, with the first class of students in 2014. The program was proposed by a team of faculty members, researchers, medical doctors of the Center of Medical Imaging and the Medical Physics (CCIFM), the Ribeirão Preto Medical School, the University of São Paulo, and the General Hospital of Ribeirão Preto and approved through Act No. 17, December 28, 2009, Ministry of Education. The program aims to stimulate the training of qualified masters to carry out technical and scientific works, identifying solutions for public and private organs, and professionals to meet the demand of work and production, and qualified human resources with a view to the socio-economic and cultural development of the country. The course aims to train professionals to generate, disseminate, and use scientific knowledge in healthcare services, according to the policy of the Unified Health System in Brazil.
Aware that the training of human resources to work in the different areas of the health care system in Brazil is one of the reasons for the success of the mission of the University of São Paulo, and a commitment to the public Health System, the team has submitted a proposal for the creation of the MP, CIFM, centered at the GENERAL HOSPITAL OF RIBEIRÃO PRETO-and FMRP-USP, with two areas, Medical Imaging and Medical Physics. The program relies on six lines of research that trained 77 professional masters between 2015 and 2019.
The program trains our alumni to develop critical thinking in search of opportunities for the constant improvement of techniques, protocols, and strategies with an impact on health improvement in SUS. Ribeirão Preto is recognized as a trainer center of high-level personnel in the various specialties of Medicine, including Medical Imaging, Medical Physics, and Biomedical Informatics. The training of these professionals impacts the city of Ribeirão Preto, the region, and several states, which directly benefits from this professional master’s course.
The current phase of the program represents the better alignment of the Internal Regulations with the reality of the proposed training, providing innovative products and social insertion, which includes partial renewal of the teaching staff. The program visibility improved and progress in the efforts to implement a follow-up program for graduates. Finally, it is important to point out that financial resource was obtained with the HCRPUSP (scholarship) for 12 months for most students from 2019.
The program aims to develop skilled human resources with the capacity for innovation, critical thinking, understanding, and application of the scientific method, and leaders in Medical Imaging and Medical Physics. This purpose is seen in the alumni evaluations. Our alumni have positions in SUS and complementary health services, with distinguished action. The innovation in our program is related to the production of knowledge in research projects. This innovation includes the development and application of new methodologies to address specific issues in the differential imaging diagnosis of a wide range of diseases and medical conditions (including computer science and artificial intelligence), the application of innovative technologies to treat diseases (especially in Interventional Radiology and Radiation Therapy), and re-reading the problems, presenting solutions to the infrastructure, storage, and distribution of digital images in the application of quantitative methods to evaluate medical imaging. Therefore, our mission agrees with the University of São Paulo to train qualified human resources to work in health care in Brazil committed to the Public Health System. Our mission is to offer high-quality higher education and train proficient health care professionals with the potential of leadership based on ethics, morals, science, and culture. We aim to train researchers to produce innovative research, exploring the boundaries of knowledge, and watch for the needs of society. Considering the graduate profile and the characteristics of the area of Medicine I, which include complex applied research activities involving specific patients and laboratories, our objectives and mission are directed to developing a final product and the quality of the training.
The course qualifies the students regarding the following specific skills and abilities:
- Respect for the ethical principles inherent in professional practice;
- Acting as a specialist in the image of the nervous system, skeletal muscle system, Internal Medicine, Interventional Radiology, radiotherapy, and Medical Physics to promote, maintain, prevent, and recover Health with a commitment to the human being;
- Indication, execution, and interpretation of imaging exams to develop differential diagnosis with critical clinical reasoning;
- Choose, quantify, and perform procedures, interventions, endovascular conducts, and minimally invasive procedures guided by the appropriate image, according to current standards and literature;
- Carry out activities of Planning, Organization, Management, and quality management of medical imaging or radiotherapy in public or private services;
- Advise, provide consultancy, and audits within the scope of the professional competence;
- Elaboration of reports and opinions;
- Provide clarification, resolve doubts, and guide the individual and their family members on the diagnostic and therapeutic process;
- Maintain control over the effectiveness of technological resources relevant to the performance in medical imaging, radiotherapy, and Medical Physics, ensuring their quality and safety;
- Train professionals to work in the area of Medical Imaging, radiotherapy, and Medical Physics, both in research and technological development, aiming to meet the demand in the productive sector and educational and research institutions;
- Contribute to the construction of technical-scientific knowledge, including the application of artificial intelligence tools, machine learning, and “deep learning” to improve the interpretation of findings and production of exam reports, in addition to the management of schedules and services.
- Review the use of imaging exams in specific clinical protocols, with the possibility of implementing rules found in the literature to create routines for computerized clinical decision support with insertion in the hospital information system (HIS).
- Review exam protocols based on the best available evidence, publishing the final version in the service routines manual.
- Thus, the main products of the Professional Master in Imaging Sciences and Medical Physics are the publication of research results in national or international scientific journals, as well as the description and application of artificial intelligence algorithms used in the service to support the detection of injuries in examinations, reports, clinical protocols, and nomograms with emphasis on critical analysis of indications of imaging methods, and examination protocols.
The Professional Master’s Program in Imaging Sciences and Medical Physics graduated 20 (twenty) students in 2015, 18 (eighteen) students in 2016, 16 (sixteen) students in 2017, 4 (four) students in 2018, 9 (nine) in 2019, and 10 (ten) in 2020, and the decrease in 2018 was due to a change from 12 to 24 months, which was programmed to improve the processes. Thus, after 77 (sixty-seven) students graduated, we can say that the professional from the Professional Master’s in Imaging Sciences demonstrates a clear evolution. This professional attended clinical meetings, presented cases, reviewed the anatomopathological results obtained, attended seminars, improved knowledge of statistics and scientific methodology, and wrote at least one master’s dissertation. Through their work, participation, monitoring, and discussion of the work of their master’s colleagues, the graduate experienced situations that provided critical development regarding the current knowledge on various subjects. The alumni are challenged to present their opinion and possible solutions based on the scientific method, allowing the ethical discussion and knowledge construction in a collaborative way. These professionals work in a critical and innovative way in private companies, public hospitals, and clinics with interdisciplinary training. Their commitment can be attested by the insertion of these professionals in the labor market, highlighting that many of these graduates currently work in the services of the General Hospital-FAEPA (Support and Research Foundation of HCFMRP USP).
The program is attentive to the changes in the scenario, especially concerning the increase in the use of computational tools and artificial intelligence in imaging diagnostics. Several products related to these topics have already been developed by students, evidenced in their dissertations, service, and projects developed by active students.