To assist in your planning as to which examination may be most appropriate for you, the following summary is provided:
Magnetic Resonance Medical Director (MRMD):
At least in the United States (and under certain conditions internationally as well), the Magnetic Resonance Medical Director/Magnetic Resonance Physician (MRMD) (among other parties) is legally liable for safety in the MRI environment and the safe execution of the magnetic resonance examination, whether they are clinical and/or research in nature. To this end, the MRMD examination is designed for the radiologist/physician who is legally licensed to practice in that State who will be undertaking the liability and responsibility for site/study safety. The MRMD/MR Physician will establish and/or be responsible for the establishment of the MR safety policies and guidelines of the site and will oversee all decisions regarding MR site access and site access restriction decisions.
Upon satisfactory completion of this examination, the examinee will become a diplomat of the ABMRS and be certified to use the title Magnetic Resonance Medical Director (MRMD)/Magnetic Resonance Physician, Magnetic Resonance Safety Certified (MRSC™).
Magnetic Resonance Safety Officer (MRSO):
The MRSO will advise the MRMD if/as needed, and is charged with executing the MR safety practices as defined/ordered for the site by the MRMD/MR Physician. For example, the MRSO might advise on such issues as decreasing SAR to stay within some MR conditional guidelines, or execute decisions (as per the MRMD policy/guidance of the site) as to approval or denial of scanning for specific implants in specific clinical situations/questions, etc. (e.g., they might approve a specific implant in situation X where the requested MR study will not include the device/implant in the volume that will be undergoing significant RF irradiation, but might deny the study in other situations where the same make/model implant is in the field of view to be studied, for example.)
Upon satisfactory completion of this examination, the examinee will become a diplomat of the ABMRS and be certified to use the title Magnetic Resonance Safety Officer (MRSO), Magnetic Resonance Safety Certified (MRSC™).
Magnetic Resonance Safety Expert (MRSE):
The anticipated role of the MRSE is to serve as a resource for the MRMD and/or MRSO, such as for situations where the MRMD and/or MRSO need assistance with, or are otherwise unable to answer, an MR safety question or situation. The MRSE would be expected to possess a significantly greater depth, breadth, and level of understanding of the physics aspects underlying the various MR safety issues, and would be expected to be able to provide advanced guidance, information, calculations and quantification information, etc. regarding all matters pertaining to MR safety. (Please note, however, that issues relating to the medical safety considerations of prescription medications, contrast agents, sedation/anesthesia, recovery, monitoring, and medical procedures or interventions are not under the purview of the MRSE but rather of the MRMD.) The MRSE position is envisioned to be entirely advisory in nature, as opposed to the case of the MRMD and MRSO where there are anticipated significant legal responsibilities and liabilities surrounding how specific MR safety practices are executed. Due to the depth and breadth of domain expertise required for this position, it is anticipated that the MRSE will be a relatively scarce resource throughout the MR community, and will frequently not be found on site.
Upon satisfactory completion of this examination, the examinee will become a diplomat of the ABMRS and be certified to use the title Magnetic Resonance Safety Expert (MRSE), Magnetic Resonance Safety Certified (MRSC™).
It seems likely that the majority of MRSO’s will be MR technologists, and the majority of MRSEs will be MR physicists. However, this is not at this time a requirement of the ABMRS, and as of today, there are no specific requirements, achievements, education, or certification requirements as to who can apply to take the MRSO or MRSE examinations The MRMD examination is designed for licensed physicians.