Medical Physics was established as a specialty focus within the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, creating the first and only basic science Department of Medical Physics of its kind in the country. Faculty within the department have a scholarly focus on discoveries and inventions in imaging and therapy systems, that lead to scientific translation into clinical trials or to industrial translation to create products through collaboration or via new venture entrepreneurship. Medical physics is led by 30 core faculty with 35 affiliate and 14 emeritus faculty members, with many having joint appointments in clinical departments such as Radiology and Human (Radiation) Oncology.
With an annual enrolled cohort of approximately 90 graduate students, the department is home to the largest group of Medical Physics doctoral students in the United States and the world, providing an accredited degree from the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Educational Programs (CAMPEP). The training curriculum provides perhaps the deepest and most extensive training available in the physics and engineering of diagnostic and therapeutic systems. The research focus of the department is the signature feature that leads students towards being national leaders, with expertise in their chosen area of focus. In the decades since formation, department alumni have gone on to lead many institutions throughout the country in aspects of medical physics.