Physics Employment Opportunities for a Medical Physics PhD


I'm already in graduate school for a Physics Phd. I got to know that a faculty member is looking to supervise a graduate student for a biophysics/medical physics PhD. I don't know much about the subject.

Would I be able to get employed in the industry afterwards?

Could I get in to academia after this?

This is not my preferred subject. But however, more employment opportunities would be a motivating factor.



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Hi Eric,

It's always difficult to give definitive answers to questions like this. In general, there is a very large demand for qualified medical physicsits and this is likely to continue into the forseeable future.

To become a "qualified medical physicist" the most direct path is to go through graduate studies in a CAMPEP-accredited program. Then you move into a CAMPEP accredited residency where you learn and gain clinical experience, and finally you pass your board exams. Accreditation of a program is quickly becoming important for anyone looking at entering this profession, since very soon the American Board of Radiology is going to require that applicants come from such programs.

Having a medical-related physics project does not guarantee you a foot in the door, if you're not coming through a formal program. However, there are a number of post-doctoral positions offered every year that naturally bridge into a residency position and these are open to non-CAMPEP PhDs.

Once you're in, the outlook is good, in my opinion. Most medical physicists will have at least some clinical duties (QA, radiation safety, planning, commissioning, clinical projects, etc.), but you can initiate or be part of a research program if you're interested in that as well. Not too many people go straight into academia, although they can and certainly some do.
Most of the technology of medical physics is based on new engineering applications. See this thread for a better understanding of the reality of the medical physics job market

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