A review of the operational health physics papers published in Health Physics and Operational Radiation Safety over the past fifteen years indicated seventeen general categories or areas into which the topics could be readily separated. These areas include academic research programs, use of computers in operational health physics, decontamination and decommissioning, dosimetry, emergency response, environmental health physics, industrial operations, medical health physics, new procedure development, non-ionizing radiation, radiation measurements, radioactive waste disposal, radon measurement and control, risk communication, shielding evaluation and specification, staffing levels for health physics programs, and unwanted or orphan sources. That is not to say that there are no operational papers dealing with specific areas of health physics, such as power reactor health physics, accelerator health physics, or governmental health physics. On the contrary, there have been a number of excellent operational papers from individuals in these specialty areas and they are included in the broader topics listed above. A listing and review of all the operational papers that have been published is beyond the scope of this discussion. However, a sampling of the excellent operational papers that have appeared in Health Physics and Operational Radiation Safety is presented to give the reader the flavor of the wide variety of concerns to the operational health physicist and the current areas of interest where procedures are being refined and solutions to problems are being developed.
* Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA 17033.
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(Manuscript received 10 June 2004; accepted 23 August 2004)