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Decided on Nuclear Medicine. Physics perspective needed

  1. Jul 25, 2014 #1
    My real passion lies in nuclear medicine, which of course, contains physic albeit NOT straight physics in the sense of physics COURSES on offer - the degree offers ONE straight physics course in first year.

    The problem is, I was a high school drop out, have never learnt physics, and only went back to do an HSC equivalent and I only got an ATAR of 92.3 studying about 4 hours a day on average so I could have done a lot better :( I did chemistry and life sciences though not physics.

    I have recruited a physics professor; he lives close by, and has agreed to tutor me and he seems like he really wanted to help me, offering several tutoring sessions per week. He teaches physics 101 and 102 style physics at another university. He said year one physics is boring and based on mere principals where as more progressive physics is more interesting and therefore, less dry and easier to become self motivated....He said I would struggle at first but he can see me doing well in third or even second year physics once I got the fundamentals down pat.

    Firstly, there are no jobs for nuclear medicine students; the body or nuclear medicine, a main organisation, has even issued a formal warning that " we do not have enough spaces available for students studying NM in their final year to undertake their required work placement" Further compounding my anxiety on the matter, there is the issue that I have NO CLUE as to whether I even HAVE any aptitude for physics since I was a high school drop out who never even learn physics beyond a month or two before I dropped out. Going from NO physics or math to a degree that needs a very good understanding of quiet advanced concepts involving physics, and that is also a field with pretty much no job prospects unless you are the best and brightest top 15% in your entire graduating class.. this scares me.

    I also like the idea of becoming a podiatrist that contains advanced biomechanical methods but dos not even contain ONE straight physics unit. Students pretty much walk into a job. I know I can get HD'S in podiatry. Nuclear medicine? I have no idea quiet honestly. Does hard work always = good grades to the average Aussie student?

    Please help! I have until August 6 to make my final decision. I am going to ask to speak with the course coordinator or nuclear medicine.

    My gosh though, administering nuclear pharmaceuticals would be ... my dream job by 1000000.

    Being a foot specialist is a CLEAR second choice career wise.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 26, 2014 #2


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    I think this is too far, my friend. My biggest concern is that you learn that you don't like physics or math. And then you've chosen a path that you don't like.

    If you want to be a foot doctor, you'll be helping diabetic people who have limited blood flow in their legs, who have trouble with their feet. You'll be helping them and you'll have an opportunity to influence them. I think for many diabetic people, having an operation like that can really influence them to eat less sugar and be more careful with their health. You could be the one person that can help them make that change.

    I just think we all have different natures and we to be honest with our nature a little bit. Best of luck.
  4. Jul 26, 2014 #3
    I agree...... If I had taken math and physics classes earlier on in year 11 onwards and not taken a 15 year break from study? Sure.

    Now? I am 28 and need to earn a good income ASAP. Podiatry starts on 50 plus K for new grads, I know I could manage the degree due to more limited physics and math than in nuclear medicine ( there are no actual math or physics courses in podiatry ).

    Podiatry is at a great university that is around the corner from where I live, has great job prospects compared to many other degrees, and I would enjoy the area of study and get right into a 50 plus K job within 3 years, most likely.

    I would also LOVE the patient care. I would LOVE talking to people all day long, I would enjoy working autonomously, and I like that you can open up your own practice after you have enough experience and you think it is worth a shot. Furthermore, you can do a masters or graduate certificate that can further your skills as a podiatrist, also, if the Three year bachelor turns out to lead to a job with no career progression. Which many podiatrist complain about (boring and repetitive work, no progression and so on and so fourth)

    Nuclear medicine is a 5 hour a day commute there and back to THAT campus, same time to complete the degree and same wage, but MUCH harder to get work. Plus you are right. I do NOT know if I even like math or physics. I prefer math to English but that is all I know. LOL. Gotta love being a high school drop out.

    I got a semi decent ATAR so I know I have some sort of potential (if I work hard enough); it just may not be in math or physics, and it is not worth risking thousands of dollars in finding out!

    Such a shame :( Nuclear Medicine and medical imaging sounded .... so interesting and satisfying.
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