medical physics Definition and Topics - 50 Discussions

Medical physics (also called biomedical physics, medical biophysics, applied physics in medicine, physics applications in medical science, radiological physics or hospital radio-physics) is, in general, the application of physics concepts, theories, and methods to medicine and healthcare. Medical physics departments may be found in hospitals or universities.
In the case of clinical work, "medical physicist" is the title of a specific healthcare profession, usually working within a hospital or other clinic. Traditionally, medical physicists are found in the following healthcare specialties: radiation oncology (also known as radiotherapy or radiation therapy), diagnostic and interventional radiology (also known as medical imaging), nuclear medicine, and radiation protection. Medical physics of radiation therapy can involve work such as dosimetry, linac quality assurance, and brachytherapy. Medical physics of diagnostic and interventional radiology involves medical imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound, computed tomography and x-ray. Nuclear medicine will include positron emission tomography and radionuclide therapy. However one can find Medical Physicists in many other areas such as physiological monitoring, audiology, neurology, neurophysiology, cardiology and others.
University departments are of two types. The first type are mainly concerned with preparing students for a career as a hospital Medical Physicist and research focuses on improving the practice of the profession. A second type (increasingly called 'biomedical physics') has a much wider scope and may include research in any applications of physics to medicine from the study of biomolecular structure to microscopy and nanomedicine.

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  1. Volatile_Miniworld

    Job Skills Astronomer to Med Physicist or Dosimetrist - UK or US

    Well, I have a bit of a complicated situation and I'd love some advice. I'm a US/UK citizen living and working in London, UK at the moment. My husband and I are currently looking at moving back to the US in 2-3 years. My background is in physics/astrophysics - B.S. Physics (Maths minor) from a...
  2. AryaKimiaghalam

    Physics Automation in Medical Physics

    Hi all, Hope you are safe and doing well. I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about the field of medical physics and its outlook. He seemed to like the field and was impressed by its career prospects. However, one worry he had was automation, in this case, it replacing the role...
  3. H

    How dangerous is the radiation exposure in graduate school?

    I want to do a master's in medical physics. Students do lab work in this graduate program. How dangerous is this radiation to my health? Medical physics prepares you for a career in radiation therapy, medical imaging, and nuclear medicine.
  4. AryaKimiaghalam

    Programs Top Medical Physics Programs in Texas and Florida

    Hi all, Hope you are all safe and doing well. I recently made a decision to potentially move to the states permanently. I am currently in my fourth year of undergraduate degree in physics at a Canadian university (3.82 cGPA, 3.96 in major) and interested in a career in medical physics. For this...
  5. K

    Programs Radiation Therapist to Medical Dosimetrist or Physicist

    Hello! I’m currently in the process of earning my bachelors of science in radiation therapy. I plan to get my masters in dosimetry, but I was wondering if anyone know if it was possible for a medical dosimetrist to advance their career by earning their PhD in medical physics. Essentially, I’m...
  6. BigPapaSmurf123

    Physics How to become a Certified Medical Physicist in the UK?

    Hello there! I am currently studying Astrophysics (3rd year) in Scotland and would like to shift my premature career path into medical physics. Now, I have few questions that I cannot answer online so I though it would be better to do it here. Here we go.. My question is how to actually...
  7. i_hate_math

    Radiation detector - cylindrical ionising chamber

    Let r = position of the electron = 6mm - 36.8μm; λ = mean free path traversed. Integrate E(r) = Q/(2πϵLr) between the two shells gives: V = [Q/(2πϵL)]*log(r/(r-λ)) I know that the question is asking for the voltage at which the electron energy will get to 23eV, but i am unsure how to get rid...
  8. E

    Job Skills Medical physics: additional training

    I've been working as a medical physics expert (still not really an expert, I have the EU to thank for the name) for more than a year now and I have just finished all the relevant academic training and internships. However, I like to learn new things, be it in the hospital or the university. So I...
  9. null geodesic

    Programs Advisable/Possible to get a Master's in Physics during MedPhys PhD?

    Is it advisable or possible to get a Master's in physics or astrophysics while doing a PhD in medical physics? I chose to pursue a medical physics PhD over physics. I love the rigorous coursework of physics, however, and my medical physics program is separate from the physics program and is...
  10. AndresPB

    Programs Medical Physics Graduate Programs

    Good night to all, I would really appreciate if everyone could give me their opinions on: MS in Medical Physics in Duke University MS in Medical Physics in Columbia University MS in Medical Physics in Vanderbilt University MS in Medical Physics in Cleveland State University Ph.D in Radiological...
  11. M

    Physics Medical Physics from the UK to Canada

    Hi I am a medical physicist in the uk with a desire to transition to Canada. I am in the process of applying for permanent residency via the Canada express entry. We have a similar organisation to CAMPEP that accredits our physicists in the UK, called IPEM. I have an accredited MSc from IPEM...
  12. AndresPB

    Medical OSL Dosimetry and Build Up Region

    I understand the following image as follows: There is a build up region that varies with photons energy, the Dmax for 6 MV photons is around 1.5 cm. The build up region means that kerma > dose in that region, meaning that photons are creating electrons and when the Dmax is reached it is going...
  13. E

    Programs Two bachelor of science degrees, or a master’s degree?

    As I’m doing more research and talking to my college advisor I learned that I don’t need a master’s degree to get into grad school and earn a doctorate, and that my field of study (Biomedical Physics) has various common classes with the Advanced Physics major. Would it be worth more to take an...
  14. AryaKimiaghalam

    Programs How is medical physics compared to other fields of physics?

    Hello, I will start my freshman year in mathematical physics this fall. When I was researching about fields of specialization in physics I came across medical physics. I found that medical physicists are well paid and their job prospect is great! As you probably realized from my major, I'm very...
  15. John Vance

    Physics Guidance for postgrad in radiation physics.

    Hi, I’m currently at college for my B.S. in physics and I’m working toward my minor in bio. My original goal was to go for a B.S. in physics and then through the program offered by my school, get a M.S. in engineering. However, I had a change in heart beginning of last semester and dropped the...
  16. D

    Intro Physics Photon and charged particle interactions with matter

    I am about to teach some of an introductory course for bachelor students in the field of medical physics. More specifically the topic "Photon and charged particle interactions with matter" in respect to radiation therapy (again, medical physics). I know there are a lot of topics within radiation...
  17. A

    Physics Comparing masters degree options for an aspiring RSO

    Hey everyone, At present, I'm trying to determine whether I should pursue a masters degree in health physics vs medical physics in pursuit of a career in radiation safety. From what I've seen in RSO job postings, requirements can vary rather widely depending on the institution, state...
  18. S

    Admissions Am I competitive enough for medical physics acceptance?

    I am heading into my senior year at the University of Michigan studying nuclear engineering with a focus on health physics. I would like to go to grad school to pursue a master in medical physics at a CAMPEP accredited school. My GPA is a tad low, so Im afraid that I wont even have a shot at...
  19. B

    Engineering Medical Physics vs Biomedical Engineering

    Hi All, I am new here. I have been doing research, nuclear physics stuff, mainly, for a couple of years . Over time, I have grown to be very tired of pure research, and I believe it is just not for me, not that there is something wrong with research but I am not motivated to keep going, also...
  20. I

    Programs Medical Physics Internship Program for Students

    Currently I've enrolled in the master program of medical physics, particularly i'm interested in the field of nuclear medicine. Does anybody have the information about an internship or a short international school program for student of medical physics, especially for master student ? Thanks...
  21. Tyler28

    Physics in the Medical field

    Just a few questions I'm looking for my future career decisions anything would be more than helpful, I'm only a freshman as of now. first off, what major ways does physics influence the medical field? second, what engineering influences are there in typical medical practice? last, how can one...
  22. H

    Medical Physics Education Advice

    Hi Everyone, I am currently going through the interview process for several medical physics M.S. programs. I have a very hard time getting a read on how various programs compare. I was hoping that any of you with academic or professional experience in the field could give some advice. As of...
  23. J

    Physics Guidance on Medical physics

    I am from India. I have completed my masters in physics (cgpa 7) from IIT Bombay and Bachelors in Physics(75%) from University of Delhi. toefl=93, gre=304 I am planning to pursue career in medical physics (radiation therapy) in US. For that what should i do either masters or PhD in medical...
  24. S

    Physics Can I handle medical physics?

    Hello everybody, I'm slowly coming towards the end of my physics bachelors degree and it's getting time for me to decide what I want to do next. I've decided to go into further study and I'm seriously considering medical physics. However, there are some aspects of this field that I would like...
  25. S

    Programs Concerns about getting into a good Medical Physics program

    Hey everyone! I'm currently an undergraduate student double majoring in Mathematics and Biomedical Physics at a CSU. Lately I've been getting a lot of negative prospects on potential graduate school options because of the fact that I apparently am set up for failure for attending a CSU (based on...
  26. F

    Physics Med Physics: Moving from Australia to Canada

    Greetings fellow geniuses. As you may be aware from the title this thread is in regards to a career in Med. Physics. So I have lived in Canada for a decade and then moved down under. Now I have intentions of moving back to the cold weather :P. Anyhow I have an interest in a career in Med...
  27. AndresPB

    I Medical Physics Question about the formula D(x)=alfa*mu*I(x)/rho

    Hello I had two doubts, I know that medical physicist when working with x-rays use the formula D(x)=alfa*mu*I(x)/rho where D(x) is the dosis absorbed Alfa is the factor of the energy that damages Rho is the density mu is the absorbtion coefficient My doubt is the following: Does this formula...
  28. T

    Medical Physics Shadowing at UAB

    Greetings Physics Forums, It has been a while since I last contributed to these forums. However, I had the opportunity to job shadow some of the Medical Physicists at U.A.B. yesterday and I thought I would pass on what I learned to prospective Medical Physics students. First off, shadowing was...
  29. J

    Medical Physics subfields, residency, etc.

    I have a few questions about Medical Physics that I am hoping someone can answer. Any responses would be greatly appreciated. 1. What is the difference between the four subfields of Medical Physics: Therapeutic Medical Physics, Diagnostic Medical Physics, Nuclear Medical Physics, and Medical...
  30. T

    Proton Therapy programs

    Hello Forum members, I am very interested in pursuing a degree in Medical Physics and I have found the field of proton therapy to be quite interesting. I have been looking at various CAMPEP accredited programs to see which ones have strong proton therapy research faculty members and facilities...
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