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CAMPEP accredited graduate program and x-ray phase-imaging research

  1. Sep 27, 2013 #1

    Last week I finished M.Sc. degree in Medical Physics. Now I'm pondering what to do next. I have a few questions mainly for Medical Physicsists or Medical Physics Residents:

    1. Recently I got very interested in reasearch in the area of the X-ray phase-contrast imaging (PCI). As far as I could find information on it, most of PCI research is conducted in Europe or Australia. Does anybody know about such research being pursued in the US or Canada? It would suit me best if I could get into a PhD in CAMPEP accredited program and do a PCI related research.

    2. What are the chances of getting into a residency after completing a PhD CAMPEP acredided program? I know market is competetive but does people with a PhD degree have big problems getting into a residency?

    3. If I finish my PhD in Germany or Australia in the area of Biomedical Physics (X-ray phase-contrast imaging) and after that I will do a CAMPEP accredited certificate program (http://www.campep.org/campeplstcert.asp) will I have comparable chances of getting into a residency as after finishing PhD CAMPEP accredited graduate program?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 28, 2013 #2


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    Hi Hubert_G,

    1. Phase contrast imaging isn't really my own area of expertise. I know that the Medical Physics journal just featured an article on it though. I also know that there has been some interest in it through the Canadian Light Source - a synchrotron based in Saskatoon. There is a medical physics graduate program at the University of Saskatchewan, but I don't believe that it's accredited. I know people at the University of Alberta (which does have an accredited graduate program) who have done some collaborative work with the light source, so that might be an avenue worth investigating.

    The other thing to keep in mind is while exploring your PhD options, even if there is not an existing interest that's visible online in a particular field, it's worth initiating a dialogue with potential supervisors on the topic as there may be some work or at least some interest that's not readily apparent. (Sometimes websites aren't kept as up to date as we might like to believe they are.)

    2. I can't say what they will be five years down the road. In the programs that I've been affiliated with (i.e. the one that I went through and the one I currently instruct in), most PhD graduates over the last five years have been successful getting residencies. We're talking a pool of roughly a dozen graduates with one PhD graduate I know of who's had significant trouble finding a residency. I can't speak to other programs though. From what I've heard, it sounds very competitive recently.

    3. Graduates of the certificate programs have been as competitive as medical physics PhD graduates.

    I might also mention that if your MSc is from an accredited medical physics program, then that counts. You can do a PhD wherever you want, potentially even in a field that's not medical physics if you want, and you'll likely be just as competitive as a medical physics PhD graduate. The risk you'd be taking is that if you go outside of the field (1) you likely won't be doing any QA work, and (2) by the time you apply for a residency your medical physics coursework will be ~ 5 years out of date.
  4. Oct 2, 2013 #3
    Thank you Choppy for a detailed answer.

    Unfortunately my MSc is not CAMPEP accredited since I have been pursuing it in Poland. What is more, I'm not a Canadian citizen nor a permanent resident. Does a foreigner with a non-accredited PhD and a CAMPEP accredited certificate stand a chance in a residency competition?

    Another thing is a recognition of certifications issued by other organisations, such as the ACPSEM (Australia), IPEM (UK), EFOMP (Europe). Are medical physicists with such certifications allowed to work in Canada?
  5. Oct 2, 2013 #4


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    I'm certainly not an expert in such matters. I believe you would still be competitive, particularly if your did either the PhD or the certificate or both from a Canadian program. In general though, hiring practices are to give preference to Canadian citizens or "permanent residents." I don't actually know what that latter means, but presumably it's for people who do not yet have citizenship, but have been in the country for a few years and are working towards it.

    Allowed to work - yes. One little detail for Canada and through the US for states that don't require medical physicists to be licenced is that you don't technically need any certification to legally work as a medical physicist... legally speaking. Practically speaking, it's extremely difficult get a job without any certification, which is why anyone considering medical physics as a career should be aiming for it.

    In general hiring practices in Canada are to seek physicists with certification through membership with the CCPM "or equivalent." The "or equivalent" will generally accept ABR or ABMP certification, but I don't know about any of the others as I don't have any personal experience with anyone who has certifications through those organizations. I suspect they would be seen as equivalent though.
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