What is Medical physics: Definition and 282 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. P

    Programs Certificate Program in Medical Physics - Advice for a Bioengineer

    Hey guys I am an engineer with a doctorate in bioengineering. I studied and worked with some medical physicists and became interested in the field. But I have a problem, I don't have a degree accredited by CAMPEP. I believe the best path would be to attend a certificate program accredited by...
  2. J

    Admissions Advice for a radiation therapist moving towards medical physics

    Hello everyone, As my the description suggests, I am a registered radiation therapist with 6 years of experience. I graduated with a BS in Radiologic Sciences and Therapy. Over the last year and a half or so, I have been working on some undergrad classes to get a minor in physics in the hopes...
  3. cemtu

    Other Would you recommend Khan's Treatment Planning book? (Radiation Oncology)

    I know that everybody is using the "Physics of Radiotherapy" book of Khan but would you recommend his treatment book also? The book's full name is "Khan’s Treatment Planning in Radiation Oncology" What are your thoughts?
  4. Graham87

    Radiation/Medical Physics Problem -- Scattered and Transmitted photons at detector

    I managed to calculate the fluence of the scattered photons. However, not the transferred photons. In the solution sheet the fluence rate has an l22 in the numerator in the end of the solution sheet. Where does that come from?
  5. cemtu

    I Kramer's Equation at max Energy for photons is giving Intensity = 0

    IE = KZ(Em – E) where IE is the intensity of photons with energy E, Z is the atomic number of the target, Em is the maximum photon energy, and K is a constant. As pointed out earlier, the maximum possible energy that a bremsstrahlung photon can have is equal to the energy of the incident...
  6. Graham87

    Troubleshooting Nuclear Reactions: Decay, Gamma Rays & More

    The problem comes with solutions. However, I dont get the 3 steps in the solutions. Why do they calculate decay for 120min in step 3? And why is only the daughter nuclide relevant and no granddaughter? There might be something lacking in my knowledge about nuclear reactions. Also, I don't know...
  7. Agongo 4

    Courses Becoming a Biomedical Engineer with a Bsc in Medical Physics

    Can I become a biomedical engineer after completing a Bsc in Medical Physics?
  8. qntm

    Physics Medical Physics: is it worth it?

    Hi all, I've been working in healthcare in some capacity for 10+ years now and started school a little later than your average undergraduate (started at 26). I caught the math bug and did well in my lower-division mathematics and physics courses and I am currently finishing up Classical...
  9. Q

    Programs I am doing a BME PhD, and hope to transfer to medical physics

    Hi All, I am currently a third-year Ph.D. student working on PET image processing and tracer kinetic modeling, and about to graduate in two years. After three years study, I developed a high interest in clinical-related projects and found medical physics path is very suitable for me. I wish...
  10. F

    Other Undergraduate thesis topic ideas in medical physics

    I am a junior applied physics major. I am supposed to write my thesis topic proposal but honestly have no idea what to do. I wrote a proposal about using bipolar junction transistors to create a dosimeter but there are already studies on it and honestly, I am not sure about it so I am trying to...
  11. 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...
  12. Lyra

    Programs Exploring a Career in Medical Physics: Advice from PhD Physicists

    Hi All, I am currently doing a PhD in condensed matter physics (experiment) and want to enter medical physics. My ideal job is more like a mix of research and clinical as I want to be able to actually help people. I wonder whether anyone has any suggestions on what I should do. I already have a...
  13. AryaKimiaghalam

    Physics Will Automation Decrease Job Opportunities for Medical Physicists?

    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...
  14. 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.
  15. 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...
  16. snatchingthepi

    Programs Exploring Benefits of Biomedical Engineering PhD vs. Medical Physics PhD

    Hey all I'm finishing up my master's degree in medical physics this year, specifically working in PET-MR data analysis. I have a definite professional interest in medical imaging, and am planning on pursuing this. I have an interesting choice where I've been offered a position as a PhD student...
  17. snatchingthepi

    Programs PhD in Medical Physics vs Biomedical Engineering

    I have two paths I can take in my graduate studies. I'm currently an MSc student studying hybrid PET-MR systems in a medical physics program. My advisor is adjunct to the department of biomedical engineering, as well as the medical physics department. We were discussing doctoral work and it came...
  18. 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...
  19. 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...
  20. 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...
  21. Faisal Moshiur

    Admissions Recommendations for an institution for a PhD in Medical Physics

    Excuse me guys. I have been in some stress while choosing to pursue a career in Medical Physics. I would like to enroll for PhD course in Medical Physics concentrating on Radiology/ Oncology. However, I found it hard to choose between CAMPEP accredited institutions. I have a BSc in Physics with...
  22. B

    From MSc Nuclear Physics to PhD medical physics is it possible?

    Hi I need help. I have my masters in Nuclear physics from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria Nigeria but am passionate about studying for medical physics in my PhD specializing in either Nuclear medicine or radiotherapy. Please any University that will admit on fully funded scholarship am open to...
  23. B

    Other Medical Physics: Masters or Ph.D?

    Hello everyone, I am a current undergrad physics major looking to pursue a career in clinical medical physics. I currently have an internship in radiation therapy physics and absolutely love it. I have recently become aware of the issue there is with medical physics residencies favoring Ph. D...
  24. 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...
  25. snatchingthepi

    Studying Useful guidance for research in medical physics

    It's looking like I'm going to get funding for a research MSc in medical physics, working specifically with MRI technology on in-vitro rat brains looking at models of diagnosing disorders of the nervous system. I was just wondering if anyone had any useful advise or guidance for some things to...
  26. 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...
  27. A

    Programs Medical physics vs theoretical physics

    Is medical physics as informative as normal physics in terms of the courses I'll do in the University and can it be used as a pathway into medicine and surgery?
  28. 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...
  29. A

    Programs Advice for 2nd Year Physics Student on Pursuing Medical Physics

    Hello fine friends, I'm looking for some advice. I'm a second year physics student and my GPA is 3.66. I currently work full time in sleep medicine as a registered polysomnographic technologist (RPSGT) and really enjoy working with patients, treating their sleep disorders, and, essentially...
  30. 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...
  31. E

    Other Ph.D. after medical physics residency?

    Finished up my masters in medical physics a couple years ago and am about to complete my residency. Have been considering getting a Ph.D. since that's always been a life goal but I'm facing a conundrum: as far as I know, I will likely end up with a similar job whether or not I get a Ph.D. I want...
  32. T

    Engineering Pathway from medical physics to biomedical engineering?

    Throughout this forum, I've seen numerous posts discussing the transition to medical physics. However, I'm curious to learn about what advice can be shared on having an interest to work in biomedical engineering with a background/ experience as a medical physics. Would this entail completing a...
  33. Mahavir

    I Medical Physics: the spine as a pivot

    Hi everyone, So, as I came across a point that I'm struggling to grasp and I was hoping someone here could kindly help me out. I've attached a diagram that describes the issue. T represents all the muscles acting on the spine; R is the force of the spine (pivot). Where I get confused is why...
  34. 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...
  35. T

    Physics Interested & Need Advice: Medical Physics

    Hello, My name is TJ, and I'm currently in my second semester of undergraduate physics. I'm interested in pursuing a career in medical physics, and would like to know where I could get related experience even though I'm only an undergrad currently. I haven't started any research, but I was...
  36. 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...
  37. 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...
  38. Adnan Jatt

    Admissions Help Required: Medical Physics

    Dear All, My question is regarding entry into Medical Physics field. Please help me with that. I really want to study Medical Physics in Master and start a career as Clinical Medical Physicist. But I honestly don't know what to do. Background: I am from Pakistan, and a recent BS Physics...
  39. C

    Programs Medical Physics Routes - Exploring Different Programs

    Hi! I wanted to start a new conversation so I won't jump into anyone else's thread. I'm currently preparing for my post grad in physics and I'm considering taking medical physics. I understand that there are different routes for this program (diagnostic, radiation oncology, nuclear medicine)...
  40. Theudius

    B Medical Physics and The Particles Used

    Hi, I'm trying to think of a better alternative particle to protons for cancer treatment and was wondering if someone could put me in the right direction, do any other particles have properties such as the Bragg peak that would make them a good contender?
  41. 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...
  42. 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...
  43. 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...
  44. H

    Schools Medical Physics at University Of Rhode Island

    Does anyone has some information about Graduate Medical Physics at University of Rhode Island?
  45. R

    Programs Medical physics masters or PhD?

    Hello I have a masters degree in medical physics from India. I recently moved to the United States and I'm planning to apply to medical physics graduate schools in the U.S. I am confused if i should apply for masters program or Phd? I'm interested in clinical medical physics. Are there good...
  46. 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 I am afraid that I won't even have a shot at...
  47. D

    Admissions Recommendations for Medical Physics Ph.D Programs

    I'm a rising junior in BME and am switching to applied physics in order to meet the requirements of grad school. I want to apply to a Ph.D. program in medical physics. However, my GPA is not very good. Right now I have a 3.47 overall GPA but I have gotten all B's in my physics courses and I know...
  48. L

    Other Second thoughts on Medical Physics PhD

    Hello all, So I am experiencing a major amount of doubt about going to my phd program. I am a recent MS physics graduate with a BS in physics as well. I recently accepted admissions to a very good medical physics program in the midwest and was granted a university fellowship for a year (or...
  49. V

    Programs What makes a good medical physics school?

    I've come to realize that basic research isn't for me and that id like to work in something more immediately applicable. Medical physics seems like a good choice. I'd prefer to stay in Canada so out of the 10 or so campep accredited grad. programs how do i decide which ones I should apply for...
  50. 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...