Meet Dr Dan McGowan

Dr Dan McGowan

1. In your opinion what are the key issues and challenges for the radiology and radiation oncology workforce?

 A huge issue is workforce. We are not training sufficient staff across all professional groups for the current service demand let alone the future. In addition, there needs to be a greater amount of education about AI and how this can help all professional groups in future.


2. Why did you originally join the BIR?

I joined back in 2009 when I was a trainee clinical scientist. At the time I think it was free to be a member so it was a “no brainer”! I was secretary of the first trainee committee (which we eventually rebranded as YPAT). I have fond memories of our committee meetings and we always managed to retire to a pub at the end of the day!


 3. You have stayed really engaged with the BIR since you joined the YPAT SIG – tell us why?

In one word: multidisciplinary! The BIR have an excellent events team and it has been great to organise events with them. I have organised four bi-annual Molecular Radiotherapy Dosimetry conferences jointly with the Internal Dosimetry Users Group (IDUG) with the fifth conference to be held in Oxford this September.

They are also a very dynamic organisation and it has been wonderful to see feedback taken on board and changes made to the wider body. I have also been a long-standing member of the BIR Education Committee and it has been impressive to see how the education output of the BIR has evolved over time and how successfully the team adapted to online events delivery.


4.     What is your specialism and what are your main interests in your work?

Nuclear Medicine and PET is my specialism and I am an MPE (medical physics expert) and Radioactive Waste Adviser to the Trust. At work I am responsible for Education and Research across Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering. As well as working for the NHS in Oxford I also undertake research and teaching work with the University. I thus have many hats which means things are always interesting albeit being very busy!!


 5. You have recently taken over as Chair of the Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging special interest group (SIG).  How would you like to see the SIG develop under your leadership?

I would like to continue the good work that has been done by the previous chairs! I am keen we continue and further develop our regular NM events to ensure they remain attractive to the community. Given the BIR’s great success hosting events online, we are now considering whether to alternate some events as in-person and virtual to get the benefits of each. AI is increasingly going to become a major part of future developments, so we are considering a new regular event in this space, with a focus on NM.If you have ideas you would like to see the SIG develop then please get in touch with me.


6. Tell us what the SIG has planned over the next year?

More great events… Watch this space! 


7. Who has been the biggest influence in your life?

My wife. She has supported me through various big moments in my life, memorably including proofreading and correcting my entire DPhil thesis. The examiners remarked that they couldn’t find a single typo, which I proudly declared was thanks to her!


8. What is your proudest achievement? (can be personal or career)

From a personal perspective, I would say watching my children grow and develop into their own individual personalities. Professionally, I feel great pride to see my students progress in their careers.


9. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?

Keep going, the hard work will be worth it!


10. Which two scientists would you like to spend an evening with and why?

Marie and Pierre Curie because it would be fascinating to hear about their work with radioactivity.


11. When you are not working, how do you like spending your time?

Playing with my children now aged 2 and 4, they grow up so fast!


12. What might we be surprised to know about you?

I used to play the trombone and at my wedding six Trombonist friends played a fanfare as my now wife walked in and raised their slides for her to walk in under!

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