Medical physics Definition and 51 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. 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...
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. 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.
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. 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...
  8. 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...
  9. 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...
  10. 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...
  11. 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...
  12. 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...
  13. 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...
  14. 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...
  15. 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...
  16. 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...
  17. 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...
  18. 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...
  19. 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...
  20. 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...
  21. 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...
  22. 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...
  23. 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...
  24. 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...
  25. 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...
  26. 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...
  27. 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...
  28. 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...
  29. 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...
  30. 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...
  31. 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...
  32. H

    Engineering Difference between medical physics and clinical engineering?

    I'm only a gcse student but I like to think ahead. I know I want to go into a career in physics but in the health sector. I have read into both the subjects and what the courses at different universities entail but I can't quite suss the difference. If anyone could explain I'd greatly appreciate it!
  33. M

    Questions on Medical Physics Grad programs

    Hi! I have found a few threads discussing medical physics, however I am still have many questions. I am going into my senior year of college with my plan all along being to get my Phd and teach physics at a university. After spending two years researching in an acoustic/optics lab, however, I...
  34. R

    Graduate options for medical physics.

    To begin, I've had a fairly long college career. I was a wellness science major for 3 years and decided it wasn't challenging enough at my small college. I switched to physics and jammed 4 years of math and physics into 2 years. I have one more year left and then I will be in graduate school...
  35. T

    Medical physics in Australia: ASPCEM TEAP experience?

    Is anyone enrolled in the TEAP program in Australia? Are registrar positions difficult to obtain, or does the graduate school match you with one? How bad is the ‘junior MP bottleneck’ down under?
  36. pdm0118

    Medical Phyiscs master's program at OSU/OHSU vs. SDSU

    Hello forum, I am a soon-to-be-graduated Radiation Health Physics student who plans to study medical physics in the future. I have applied for a few schools and I have been admitted to San Diego State's medical physics masters so far. And I am still waiting to hear from Oregon State/Oregon...
  37. A

    List of Photon-Matter Interactions

    Hi there, I've been reading a textbook on Physics as applied to nuclear medicine, in particular focusing on how photons interact with matter. The textbook states (without reference) that "there are nine possible interactions between photons and matter, of which only four are of significance to...
  38. M

    QC of Well Counters and Uptake Probes?

    Which part should i refer to tecdoc 602 when it comes to the QC of uptake probes and well counters?
  39. A

    Physics Outlook for imaging physicists

    I have a PhD in medical physics from the MD Anderson CAMPEP program and I even took ABR step 1 (just prior to the cut off for residency requirements). Are there any imaging physicists here? Woudl really like to get your feedback on the current outlook for diagphys careers. I have not been having...
  40. A

    Medical physics: job stress?

    Hello, I'm currently in the middle of my graduate studies in medical physics (first year of Master's degree). The program has a reputation among past M.Sc. students of having a very demanding first year in terms of course content. While I'm having success in terms of GPA (3.8 last semester)...
  41. P

    Medical Physics Residency backup plans

    So... I didn't get matched in the MedPhys residency match, and have no idea what to do with my life now. :oldconfused: Currently I'm busy freaking out and being fed up with school and medical physics in general. I graduate in May with my M.S. in medical physics, and have no real plans. eek. I...
  42. pdm0118

    Admissions Disadvantages of being in the second wave for admissions?

    Hello, I've applied for our university's medical physics program before its first deadline, Feb 1st. Since I've finished the application, I have been relaxing and waiting for the results. Today I found that I was supposed to fill out a secondary "supplemental" application, which asked exactly...
  43. Col. Coffee

    What should I look for in a medical physics program?

    I am currently a senior physics student looking at a number of medical physics graduate programs - I'm hoping to get an M.S., as I'm really more interested in the clinical side of things. I've had a couple offers already, but I'm having a difficult time nailing down which program I should...
  44. pdm0118

    I wish to pursue PhD in Medical Physics. But Masters first?

    Hello, I will be getting a bachelor's degree in Radiation Health Physics in near future, and my ultimate goal is to study PhD in medical physics. However, I think it would be unlikely that I will get admitted right after undergraduate graduation, due to my mediocre GPA and limited experiences...
  45. C

    Medical Physics, Theoretical Physics or Astrophysics?

    Hello there. I am a student doing a MSci at one of the top British universities and top 5 world universities according to QS. I am doing a Natural Sciences Degree and must choose a specialisation in Physics starting next term. Ever since I was a child, my dream has been to study Astrophysics...
  46. pdm0118

    Schools About Medical Physics grad schools, some advice please

    Hello forum, I'm a current undergrad student in radiation health physics planning to apply for medical physics grad schools in the US. There are a few things that make me worry: my GPA (3.24 cumulative) isn't superb because my first two year of undergrad was troublesome (my recent performances...
  47. E

    MCNP: How to specify a small source in a large lattice

    I am working on an input file in MCNPX/6 that uses a CT scan lattice geometry. I want to specify a small source in a large universe (lung). Right now I have a source uniformly distributed through the universe. The existing documentation is vague on this topic. Is it possible to contain the...
  48. P

    Programs Alternative master's degree with a bachelor in physics

    I'm in my second year of my physics bachelor's (in the Netherlands) and my average score is about an 8.5. I like physics, but... I've already realized that an academic career in physics is not at all what i want to pursue. (eg. no theoretical physics/experimental physics in a lab). Basically...
  49. 1

    Applying condensed matter physics/ soft matter physics to medicine

    What are some ways that people are applying condensed matter physics/ soft matter physics to optimize some treatments in medicine, e.g. in magnetic hypothermia?
  50. J

    Schools Good undergraduate universities for physics?

    I'm currently a sixth form student in Jamaica currently interested in becoming a medical physicist. However I know that before you do medical physics in a graduate program you need to do physics first. I have been doing some research about some good physics schools in North America. Some of...