Is Medical Physics A Good Career Option?

Medical physics is a hybrid of physics and medicine and can be considered a lifeline to the human race when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases.  It has a wide range of employment options, from clinical activities to quality assurance, radiation safety and research.

What is a Medical Physicist?

What is a Medical Physicist
What is a Medical Physicist

Diagnostic radiography, radiation and nuclear medicine are the three most frequent fields in which medical physicists operate. Other medical physicists work in areas such as research, education, or consulting. A medical physicist may do the following tasks: 

  • Study the effects of radiation on the human body
  • Study how radiation interacts with the environment
  • Work with doctors to ensure the safety and effectiveness of radiological procedures
  • Calculate the lowest effective dosage of medical radiation for a patient
  • Test and supervise the maintenance of the equipment used in medical imaging

What does a Medical Physicist do?

Medical physicists work in the healthcare field, where they use their physics expertise to the creation and application of medical radiation treatments, equipment, and technology. They ensure that the equipment is working properly and are frequently involved in the diagnosis and treatment of patients, as well as radiation safety and product development. 

What does a Medical Physicist do
What does a Medical Physicist do

Medical physicists often consult with their physician colleagues to offer advice and resources to solve problems that occur when using radiation therapy or nuclear medicine.

Reasons to choose medical physics

A background in science

If you have an undergraduate degree in physics, applied science, engineering, or applied mathematics, or are in the midst of earning one, you already have an excellent foundation for understanding medical physics and how it works. 

Make a big difference

It’s important to note that a medical physicist has a very different role to a doctor, but you are still able to make a difference in patients’ lives and that can be a big motivator for medical physicists, much like it is for doctors. However, the job itself doesn’t involve as much day-to-day contact with patients.

Medical physicists
Medical physicists

Medical physicists, on the other hand, are not lab-bound introverts. Many medical physicists work at the forefront of patient care, whether at a hospital, clinic, or research center. They contribute to the saving of lives by assuring the upkeep of extremely complex hospital equipment utilized in patient diagnosis and treatment. 

Work with the latest medical technologies

If you’re fascinated by the prospect of working with some of the most advanced and sophisticated machinery in the world, this is where you can really put your physics expertise to the test.

You could create specialized technology to calculate radioactive implants and beam dosages for cancer treatment, work with laser technology to reduce the need for evasive surgery, or even help develop image-guided surgery to treat disease and diagnose illnesses in patients, depending on your area of expertise. 

Superb communication skills

When it comes to a job in medical physics, having technical knowledge isn’t enough. On a daily basis, you will be working directly with other healthcare professionals such as physicians, radiologists, practitioners, and nurses, so interpersonal and communication skills, as well as the ability to operate as part of a team and exhibit excellent leadership qualities, are essential.