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Physics Difficult looking for medical physics jobs

  1. May 28, 2010 #1
    I am board certified but with less than 1 year experience post residency. I could not find a job. Even though lots of ads are there, it does not really matter because either those people who posts the ads already have persons in their heads or it requires at least 5 year experience.

    Medical physics is not a real physics. People with many other backgrounds can pick it up easily. That's why it is difficult for new people finding job

    I really regret to have studied medical physics and got phd and board certificate.

    I hate medical physics. Medical physics working in cancer centres just perform routine work, very boring.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2010 #2


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    With an attitude like that, it's no wonder you're having difficulty finding a job.

    My experiences have been considerably different.
  4. May 28, 2010 #3
    well you just have luck. or you have other reasons. It is not because you are qualified or not. To me having found a job in medical physics especially in radiotherapy is not directly related to your ability. Everyone who has been under training to become radiological physicists admits that to become physicists in hospital do not need much IQ (average person can do it) It is just repetitive work. This kind of philosophy is not from me it is from my two supervisors, who are ABR certified, one have 20 years experience, one has 30 years of experience.

    The only reason for most people enter into radiological physics is because of high pay compared to physicists in other fields.

    Also cut "attitude" off. It is crap. Attitude means nothing. Come on, you are trained scientiffically (I suppose), how can you judge people using such subjective vague-meaning word.

  5. May 28, 2010 #4


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    Yeah, that must be it. Of course, just about everyone else who finished the same programs as I did, had the same luck.

    Alright, let me put it this way. You've posted twice, attacking the entire field of medical physics and those who practice it. You've made the following claims:

    These statements clearly indicate you don't have much respect for the people who work in this field and that you have a very narrow understanding of what the profession entails. Based on those observations alone, I would not hire you.
  6. May 29, 2010 #5
    I might be biased here but medical physics is physics. And frankly, so is everything else in this world. I completely agree with what Choppy said. I have had my moments of weakness but I've never been angry or rude because of that. Calm down, pause, and restructure your approach to the task at hand.

    Having seen a medical physics department up close, it's been pretty easy to realize it's something that takes perseverance. Please don't insult something THAT fascinating.
  7. May 29, 2010 #6
    I can't believe statements like this are coming form someone who has a PhD.

    Have you ever even had any form of employment before?

    I have a relative that is an HR director for an international business organisation - I once spoke to him about what the board look for when they are hiring new directors (though I feel it applies to every single position in employment). There are three things:

    1. Knowledge

    2. Influence

    3. Drive

    Knowledge makes up the things you have learned - in your case, your training in medical physics. Influence is about how you handle others, perhaps even viewed as a type of manipulation - there is a certain way of going about things when you want to progress in the workplace, knowing the 'best' way to do it will remove a lot of the difficulty. Finally, drive. Drive is the only one of the three that cannot be taught. Drive is about motivation and attitude.

    If what you're saying is correct, you have knowledge but lack the other two. Just because you have a PhD and the required education does not mean you are entitled to a job. Success in the workplace isn't about who 'knows the most' - coming through a PhD I would have expected you to understand that. There is more to being a good employee and marketing yourself than pointing out that you find the work easy.

    And you're saying that just because you're qualified for the position you should automatically get one? If, in interview, you come across anything like you have in your posts here, I'm not surprised you can't find a job. Ask for feedback when you come out of interviews. Perhaps when the interviewer reports that the reason you didn't get the job is because you sat insulting the profession for an hour you will appreciate that it isn't about 'luck'.
  8. May 29, 2010 #7
    People on this board are sick. Very narrow-minded and just look at things in their own way. I don't understand how people here are educated. Or is it just the standard for obtaining a phd or master's in medical physics is so low compared to other fields that people with medical physics graduate degree are actually just average persons ( I mean does not need any talent).

    I am stating the fact: job market is not as boasted as those people like here do. Tim Solberg (I suppose you know who he is) also mentioned this year that many physicists with less experience find it hard to land jobs. What he said is similar to my experience and other physicists I know.

    Radiological physicists are real scientists or just glorified technicians? go to an Issue in Medical Physics in which Point/counterpoint mentioned it.

    I mean medical physicists please face the fact, do you agree clinical physics are easy. I see many people with no physics background can do physics work easily...... It is OK people here refuse to admit it because your life income depends on it and your pride may be hurt by admitting it. But you cannot warp the truth.
  9. May 29, 2010 #8
    I can immediately point out the weakness in your argument. How can you generalize the situation in your own program to other people and then make a conclusion? Does it show that medical physics really does not need true scientific training or education. Does this reinforce my statement that average people (even high school graduates) can do physcis job in hospital?

  10. May 29, 2010 #9


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    Medphys - please stop insulting medical physicists and other posters on these boards.

    If you want to debate aspects of the medical physics profession I'm all for it. Show me some data and we (and others) can hash it out. If you want advice about the field, I have a fair amount of experience that I'm willing to share. But if you're just going to repeat claims that it only takes a high school graduate to do medical physics tasks, I'm not going to play with you.
  11. May 29, 2010 #10
    Well said. Medphys appears simply to be a bitter individual who wants nothing more than to rant.
  12. May 29, 2010 #11
    As I have said, I am stating the fact, if you take the fact as insulting. I have nothing to say.

  13. May 29, 2010 #12


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    No, you're not. You've stated your opinions. You've posted zero data/statistics to back up your assertions.

    Facts are backed up by data, not opinions. If you can't be bothered to provide any evidence to support your claims, then I don't think this is the right forum for you.
  14. May 29, 2010 #13
    How come people on this board just turn the blind eyes to some truth which is not favorable in their own way? I am speechless. It is like emperor's new clothes story. One "physicist" said medical physics is wondrful, blah blah and other ignorant so called "physicists" do not use their brain and just follow suit. Until one person who knows what is going on and point out the bare fact. Then he is regarded as different.

    Go to the Medical Physics. or if you are practicing radiological physics in a hospital. You know what is going on. Isnt that fact? The fact which is experienced every day by practicing radiological physicist. Unless you still bury your head in the sand.

    Radiological physicists working in hospital are just technicians. Do you think commissioning, QA, acceptance testing, developing procedures, treatment planning need much advanced math physics and biology? It is more like a routine job. I do not question rad phys as a profession, I just question that rad phys does not deserve phd degree granting privileges. It is artificially heightened somewhat by financial reasons. Practicing rad phys does not need phd or even masters. It just needs practical training, like lock-smith, machinists, it needs apprenticeship, not master's or phd degrees. Any one who work in hospital as a rad phys should know what they do every day.
  15. May 29, 2010 #14
    Your first post says that you could not find a job in the field of medical physics.

    How do you know all of these "facts?"
  16. May 29, 2010 #15
    Do you think commissioning TPS system, you really have to know the algorithm inside out? like you really have to understand collapsed-cone method to commission TPS? Do you really have to understand conjugate gradient optimization to commission IMRT TPS, what you need to do is just know those fancy words and follow what the commercial suppliers give you and then you do measurements and commission it. You dont need phd or even masters to do it.

    |for QA, do you need phd to check interlocks? Do you need phd to use PermaDoc to check HDR source position? Do you need phd to calibration machines? Do you need phd to use mapcheck to do IMRT QA

    for chart check, one thing you check is MU, it only involves addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and some simple geometry, which primary school math is way sufficient. Other things are routine documentations. Do you think your training in phd is useful for these? I would say apprentice for a high school graduate should do this competently.

    I mean for rad phys in hospital, that just a technician job, you dont need academical training like phd or masters. YOu can even hire a high school graduate to train them on these practical things and he/she can accomplish jobs.

    Many dosimetrists only have high school diploma or associate degrees, yet they can do plans well. They can do chart check, QA with no problems. I have not seen those people do machine output calibration because of strict regulation. but they can do them equally well as rad phys.....
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  17. May 29, 2010 #16
    I said I have gone through residency and am board certified and I have
    registration in the state where I work. (My state is not NY, FL, TX, HI, no need for license). My responsiblity is the same as rad phys with really small pay (almost like volunteer) because no offical job for me. That's why I know what rad phys are doing. Rad phys can deceive those who really don't know it but not me!

  18. May 29, 2010 #17
    Most of the day to day clinical work is "technician" style work, taking measurements and making sure everything is within tolerance (many places have the residents and grad students do most of these measurements). When a machine parameter is out of tolerance is when the physics background is important. A medical physicist must understand what can cause errors, what impact those errors might have on patient treatment, and what, if anything, can be done to remedy those errors (whether it can be adjusted in house, or if maintenance people need to be called).

    Your further error is to assume that clinical work is the only option for a medical physicist: There is a lot of active research going on in IMRT, MRI, and especially IGAR (to name a few popular areas).

    You seem to be projecting your bad experiences on the whole field of medical physics, based on relatively little knowledge of the breadth of the field, and with no supporting data to defend your position (other than "I told you so", which does not qualify as data).

    You then proceed to get upset with people posting their experiences which are different from your own. Why should we accept your anecdote and not Choppy's?

    My own observations of others (I'm still a student, so haven't been looking for a job myself yet) have been more in line with Choppy's experience than with yours, in that everyone I know who has finished their residency hasn't had any trouble finding employement. Why do you refuse to accept that the problem you are having in finding employment as a medical physicist probably stems from you, as opposed to the field?
  19. May 29, 2010 #18
    First don`t say `your further error`` I have restricted it to rad phys in hospital who 99% do not do any meaningful research, although some claim they do research, which is just garbage research. Look at posters on AAPM conference.....You know the quality of them...

    Even all these causes of error, impact on patient only needs technical skills not some kind of phd or masters training. You already misinterpreted my point. That is why so many people on this board still think they are right yet totally do not understand what other people say.

    So you are still a student, once you have experienced all this on your own, then you may have better idea of what rad phys is. Don`t just listen to what rad phys say or spend just a few days observing what they do, you are easily deceived by their superficial pomposity.

    And you have already violated one rule in medical physics community, which says if you have less experience than me, your words are less trustable.

  20. May 29, 2010 #19
    Apparently my advisor forgot to mention these "rules". I generally judge people's words by their content, rather than their experience. I have heard a lot of people with a lot more experience than I have say a lot of ignorant things. I have also heard people with less experience than I have say some pretty insightful things. I'll give you three guesses as to which category you fall in.

    Don't suppose you could refer me to the AAPM list of "rules", and point out where it includes this? Didn't think so...
  21. May 29, 2010 #20
    Of course this rule is not blatantly written anywhere, but people, volunteerily or non-volenteerily have to obey it.

    I used to think the same way you think, judging people by the content not by experience, but this was when I was a student. when I got into real workplace, things are totally different. You are a student so you still live in ivory tower.

    Rad phys in hospital is not a thing black and white.

    I bet most people will yield to their stupid senior physicists or chief physicists even those people know they are wrong, because they have to keep their job, at that time you would not think who is right who is wrong. The only thing you care is who can hire or fire you and kiss their ***.

    you can still enjoy your rightfulness when you are a student. When you work you will totally change, I have seen some physicists like this

    This is one of the reasons that I don't think medical physics qualifies for phd granting privilege. almost anything is in gray area. For example, judging whether a treatment plan is good or not good, one can trash a plan use one argument yet can praise the same plan use another argument. All these depend on how that physicist interpret it. you just bend yourself to your higher-ups. This is harsh truth in rad phys community although it is not reight and not healthy

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