Serving the Southeast for over 30 years
Radiological Physics Consultants, Inc., in business for more than 40 years, provides a full complement of radiological imaging oversight to any facility using diagnostic imaging equipment, both ionizing and non-ionizing.
Here at RPC we take pride in our work and are known for our customer service, prompt responses, and knowledge in this field.
Our staff are fully licensed and accredited with advanced degrees at the masters or doctorate levels.
President Robert L. Dixon, Ph.D. has served on many national committees for medical physics, including serving as a past president of the AAPM (American Association of Medical Physics) and is an expert in both regulatory concerns and shielding of radiology facilities. He was selected by the NCRP (National Council on Radiation Protection) to revise their medical shielding recommendations, which is the gold standard for shielding designers, and is known in the medical physics community both nationally and internationally.
Robert L. Dixon - Ph.D in physics
University of South Carolina
Adam Ballard - Ph.D. in physics
Wake Forest University
James T. Ward - M.S. in Medical physics Duke University
Bill Granger- M.S. in physics
SUNY (State University of NY)
Lynn Cathy - M.S. in physics
Alan Nelms - M.S. in physics
University of Florida
Brian Stratmann – M.S. in Medical physics
University of Florida
Felicia Taylor – Business Manager
We are a full-service consultant group of Medical Physicists and we are prepared to meet all of your diagnostic imaging needs. Below is a partial list of the services we provide. Please contact us if you need a service not listed. We would be glad to help!
Plan reviews for new, current, replacement, or relocated equipment
Radiation scatter surveys for existing, new, or relocated equipment
Annual calibrations for all diagnostic imaging equipment
A full range of nuclear medicine services including compliance audits
ACR and JACHO accreditation services for all modalities (MRI, CT, US, Nucs, etc.)
Local and national compliance inspections
Please give us a call and see how we can help your images be the best that they can be.
Why Use Us?
Avoid Hidden Costs
An inexperienced or over-zealous physicist can generate significant unnecessary equipment service calls, resulting in serious extra cost to you. While the cheaper physicist may appear to be a deal, the significant costs of unnecessary x-ray service calls is not. Even if the physicist is experienced, he may still cause problems if he doesn’t understand x-ray imaging physics and systems. At RPC we are all medical physicists, trained in imaging as as well as radiation safety. This is to be contrasted with health physicists, whose primary focus is radiation safety/regulations, and who do not normally focus on image quality.
Hidden Costs For Improper Or Unnecessary Radiation Shielding Specifications.
An inexperienced or improperly trained physicist can cost you big bucks in this area, either with mistakes, or by adding egregious amounts of unnecessary shielding. The refuge of the insecure is often to “cover their behinds” with extra shielding – at your expense. So what’s wrong with too much shielding? A simple equipment replacement can turn into a major construction project with weeks or months of down time, while unnecessary additional shielding is added.
Why We Can Do Better
RPC President Robert Dixon, Ph.D. was selected by the NCRP (National Council on Radiation Protection) to revise their medical shielding recommendations, and has co-authored the newest NCRP #147 report on Radiation Shielding for X-Ray Facilities - the “bible” for shielding designers. In short, he “wrote the book on shielding,” can (and probably already has) saved you money on construction, whether you realize it or not. So the questions is, do you want to keep the guy who wrote the book, or get one who just got the new book and may be learning at your expense?
Continuity of Service
We have all of the records for our present clients dating back many years and reports for your facility on-file, ranging from the most recent back to 20-40 years in some cases.
How Is This Useful?
1. Records Of Shielding Information
Often we can find the original lead specifications for your x-ray room (which may have been built 25 years ago) when nobody else can, including your own administration. These are needed when you replace the equipment. We also have a running record of changes. This saves you money, since you avoid having to have the walls tested (another hidden cost). Plus you don’t have to spend hours trying to find it all over again.
2. Lost Reports
In many cases, records are lost when a new Radiology Manager comes on board. When the state inspector or JCAHO asks you to produce them, we often save the day by providing the record so that you don’t have to repeat the testing (more hidden costs associated with “changing horses), or get cited by the State.
So far we’ve been discussing significant, but non-catastrophic, hidden costs; however, as you know, x-ray machines produce potentially harmful radiation to patients, and to their unborn if pregnant. In particular, long fluoroscopic times on interventional units or C-Arm portables can produce radiations “burns” leading to painful lesions and possibly necrosis-requiring skin grafts. As a specific example, Dr. Dixon has been retained by the defense as an expert witness in just such a case in the Midwest to try to help save the hospital’s (and the cardiologist’s) “bacon.” Alas, the physicist hired by the hospital did such an incomplete job that they are in big trouble. So now we’re talking real hidden costs – in the million dollar range. The patient described has a permanent, non-healing hole (“crater”) in his back. Despite the fact the output was high, particularly in the (unregulated) cine mode, the machine met all state regulations, so the physicist didn’t bring it to the attention of the physician or the hospital; moreover, the physicists’ report was essentially useless for estimating the patients dose (perhaps he was the low bidder). You can rest assured that we would have flagged the high (but legal) fluoro and cine outputs and informed you in such a case. Dr. Dixon personally reviews all reports. Our services go well beyond simple regulatory compliance testing, where many physicists stop.
The wrong physicist can therefore cost your hospital millions in this category, and not just for somatic injuries such as radiation burns, but for cancer induction, birth defects, etc., whereas the right physicist can help protect you.
Medical Vs. Health Physics
Medical Physicists like us are to be contrasted with health physicists whose primary focus is radiation safety / regulations and who do not normally focus on image quality. As you may know, x-ray equipment can meet all known regulations but still produce lousy images, and imaging is really the business you’re in. Safety is a necessary consideration, but certainly your main focus is not just to meet regulations. (And even if you meet regulations, there’s no guarantee you won’t cause harm).
Thus it is quite possible that the physicist who comes in may not perform all the tests required to determine if your equipment meets proper image quality standards, as long as it meets the regulations. He may not even know how.
So How Are We Better?
Dr. Dixon was selected by the ACR (American College of Radiology) to head the physics group developing the ACR R/F accreditation program. This group developed the phantoms and image quality tests for the ACR radiographic and fluoroscopic accreditation program. All the physicists in Radiological Physics Consultants, Inc. are issued and use the same phantoms, equipment, and image quality tests we developed for that program.
Dr. Dixon also knows (and is well-known by) the ACR headquarters staff and accreditation program heads for mammography, CT, MRI, R/F, US; and likewise the program leaders at the FDA. Why does this matter? In many cases, he has been able to make a phone call to assist clients with problems, because he knows who to call and has their trust. When facilities who are not our clients seem unable to pass ACR CT or MRI accreditation, the ACR staff has recommended Dr. Dixon to get them through. In one such case the physicist mandated by a medical school hospital alliance was not up to the task – more extra cost.
Some consultants passing themselves off as physicists have degrees in Public Health and the like. Our group, as you can see below, are all Masters level or have Doctorates in physics.
Lynn Cathy - M.S. in physics - Georgia Tech (employee for 35+ years)
Bill Granger- M.S., Ph.D. in physics completed except for dissertation SUNY (State University of NY) (20+ years)
Adam Ballard - Ph.D. in physics - Wake Forest University (20+ years)
Alan Nelms - M.S. in physics - University of Florida (19+ years)
Brian Stratmann – M.S. in Medical Physics – University of Florida (12+ years)
James Ward - M.S. in Medical Physics - Duke University (5+ years)
Felicia Taylor - full time business manager (13+ years)
President and CEO: Robert L. Dixon - Ph.D. in physics - University of South Carolina (40+ years)
A Few Highlights from Dr. Dixon's C.V.
• President, American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) 1992
• Chairman of the Board, AAPM 1993
• Vice President RSNA (Radiology Society of North America) 1995
• Examiner and Distinguished Service Award - American Board of Radiology 1988 - Present
• National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP): Committee on Structural Shielding Design for Diagnostic X-Ray Facilities. 1992-Present
• Governing Board and Executive Committee: American Institute of Phvsics 1993-1995
• Program Director - MRI Acceptance Testing and Quality Control Course 1998
• American College of Radiology (ACR) Commission on Physics and Radiation Protection 1998-2003
• Physics Chair: ACR Committee on Radiography and Fluoroscopy Accreditation - Physic Chairman 1998-Present
• Fellow, American College of Radiology (ACR) 1995
• Fellow, American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) 1998
• Author of several books and many journal articles in x-ray, CT, MRI, Shielding, and Radiation Protection Physics.
• Siemens Advisory Committee One: of four US physicists on a special advisory committee formed by the head of Siemens x-ray, to evaluate new imaging equipment.