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Physics Everybody jump on the medical physics bandwagon!

  1. Aug 12, 2010 #1
    Currently medical physicists especially fresh graduates are experiencing difficulty in landing jobs. But the future is bright, think about the population ages. If you enroll in med phys now, after 5 years (assume MSc and residency) the market will be back, and you will have a good career.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 12, 2010 #2
    This might sound rude, but I heard the same thing about astrophysics in 1990, and I'm inclined to discount any predictions of the job market in five years.

    This goes with my field (finance). I don't know at all what finance is going to be like in five years, and I have no real clue if there will or won't be a demand for physics Ph.D.'s in five years in finance. I think it's much wiser to have general skills that will work well regardless of how the market goes.

    I have this ethical dilemma, because on the one hand, what I do is really cool, but on the other hand, someone in 2010 is simply not going to be able to follow the same path that I did, because it is 2010 and not 2005, and I don't want to mislead people into thinking that I can. One reason I try to be careful, is that if I get 1000 people to go into finance, and it's 2020 and it turns out the jobs aren't there, then I'm going to feel really lousy, so I try to be careful not to give advice on things that I can't deliver on.

    Also the career you start in, will likely not be the one you finish in. One thing that I have found is that if you do have a field that booms, then there just won't be enough specialists in the field to meet demand, so they'll start pulling people from other fields. I'm sure that if the people that make the decisions could find people specially trained in derivatives modeling, then wouldn't hire astrophysicists, but they can't so they do.
  4. Aug 12, 2010 #3


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    I think the original post was an ill-meant sarcastic poke at some of the other discussions about the field of medical physics.

    Your point however, is well-taken. The predictions in this field as, as far as I know, good over the next decade, but they are just predictions. Someone could come up with a miracle cure fo cancer tommorrow and everyone in the field will be looking for work.
  5. Aug 13, 2010 #4
    Indeed. The OP has had a number of bitter, misleading threads about the field.
  6. Aug 13, 2010 #5
    A cure for cancer would never be allowed to hit the streets as the medical industry stands too much to lose.
  7. Aug 13, 2010 #6
    There is no "a cure for cancer." We already have many, many treatments for many, many types of cancer. My father, an oncologist, actually cures cancer regularly- it's called "his job."

    I guess you're right though. The billions of dollars going into R&D are used to pay highly specialized thumb twiddlers. Don't tell the papers.
  8. Aug 13, 2010 #7
  9. Aug 13, 2010 #8
    I'm kind of confused right now...
  10. Aug 13, 2010 #9
    Duke, he is replacing "cures" in your above quote, with "treats." That is to say, I think he is objecting to your use of the word cure.

    Personally, I think ridding a body of a disease is generally considered a cure.
  11. Aug 13, 2010 #10
    ah, I missed the first asterisk.
    There's suspicion of excess greed, and then there's paranoia...
  12. Aug 15, 2010 #11
    One of the main reasons I did a PhD in physics and not just a BS in Comp Sci was because I was told all the Comp Sci jobs were going to be shipped over seas.

    I thought physics would give me some exposure to coding and general quantitative skills.
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