Suspension of Medical Physicist Letters
Effective April 11, 2016, for the next two years, the Division of Mammography Quality Standards (DMQS) will be suspending the service of providing Medical Physicist Approval Letters to the physicists who submit their initial training documentation to DMQS for review. With currently available resources, we cannot continue to provide this voluntary service which is not mandated by the regulations. This service is not provided to other personnel who provide mammography services, namely interpreting physicians and radiologic technologists. Like them, medical physicists will be required to provide their qualification documents to the facilities they serve for evaluation by MQSA inspectors during the inspection process. However, those who have already received letters from DMQS may continue to use the letters in lieu of their credential documents. Likewise, any credentials already in-house before the effective date will be reviewed, and, as appropriate, issued a letter. For the next two years DMQS will monitor the results of discontinuing this process to inform a permanent decision in March, 2018.
DMQS was also made aware that some States are awarding approval letters to medical physicist companies. Under the MQSA, mammography personnel must individually meet MQSA-qualifications. During the MQSA inspections, medical physicists who want to provide documentation in support of a claim of State approval to perform mammography equipment surveys, must present State approval letters that indicate the individual medical physicist, identified by name, has received State approval. Letters from a State, indicating that a medical physicist company, or a group of medical physicists working under the same corporate umbrella, have State approval to conduct surveys, are not an acceptable means of documenting State approval to perform mammography surveys under the MQSA.