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Difference between medical physics and clinical engineering?

  1. Nov 19, 2015 #1
    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!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2015 #2


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    Clinical engineering is a sub-field of biomedical engineering, and tends to focus on the direct support of day-to-day clinical operations in a hospital. My understanding is that these are the guys that are responsible for things like infusion pumps, dialysis machines, sterilization equipment, etc. Other sub-fields of BME tend to focus more on the development and enhancement of one specific technology or system.

    Medical physics is summarized here. Most of the work in medical physics deals specifically with ionizing radiation or other imaging modalities. There can be a fair amount of overlap with BME, particularly in specialities like MRI where a lot of research and development is done by both physicists and engineers. Most medical physicists tend to work in radiation therapy an so they play a clinical role in the delivery of radiation (ensuring that the linear accelerators are operating properly through QA, ensuring that the treatment planning computers are working properly, developing procedures, commissioning new equipment, or modalities, etc.)
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