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Graduate carreer

  1. Mar 26, 2015 #1
    HI everyone. I'm a student of communication systems engineering in Italy, doing his year of bachelor. What i wanted to ask, to all of you, was a doubt which I had during the last few months : choosing a carreer in Physics, or in Engineering, after getting my bachelor's degree in Engineering.
    The point is that I want to work with stuff like Nuclear magnetic Resonance, or X-Rays, and similar suff, and make some little improvements on them. And here's the problem.
    I could choose a degree in Physics after my bachelor's degree in Engineering, but I should take extra courses before entering Master's degree (like Quantum Physics, integrating calculus and Physics I and II exams, Nuclear Physics, etc), which would take me 1 or 2 year I think. Then I would complete the 2 year Master's degree in 3 or 4 year ( Physics is much harder than engineering, I guess,) so, I don't think I could take a Master's degree in 2 years. Then physics could give the opportunity to work with the "core" marchinery, be it a TC scan, or the machinery to produce X-rays, because you know all the physical principles behind that. The problem with this is that physicsts don't get jobs so easily as engineers do, and I would take much more time to get a Master's degree.
    If I choose Electronics engineering Masters, of course I could graduate in 2 or 3 years, for a 2 year master's, but I'm afraid that I could do only "little stuff", like signal processing, and things like that, unlke the physicists that work with the core machinery, and all the physics related stuff. The job of an Engineer would be only designing circuits to process signal, but nothing more, I think. The good thing would be that Engineers have much more opportunities to get a job.
    By considering this, what would you suggest me to do? Continuing with engineering or switching to phyiscs after my bachelor? Are there any other possibilities for electronics engineers to work with those machinery, rather than only designing circuits and boards? thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2015 #2
    What is your end goal? What kind of career are you thinking of?
  4. Mar 27, 2015 #3
    I d like to design the machinery used for x rays or CT scans....
  5. Mar 27, 2015 #4


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    Have you looked into medical physics? I'm not sure how it works in Italy, but it sounds like that might be the field you're interested in. Depending on the specifics of your engineering background, you may be able to get into a medical physics master's program.
  6. Mar 27, 2015 #5
    Yes, but the problem with medical physics is that I should take extra physics classes before entering master's degree ( I should take quantum mechanics or nuclear physics, for example), I should take the 2 year master's degree, but I think it would take much more than 2 years to complete it....Physics is much more difficult than engineering, I think. But, on the other hand,I think the work of a physicst is more complete to the one of an engineer, because the physicsts knows all the principles behind a system (be it an X-Ray scan, or an nmr, etc).
    Another thing that I saw on the internet was biomedical engineering: I've read that many people graduated with that, and now (although they're only engineers and not physicsts) they design the coils used for the nmr, and similar stuff, which is exactly the job I want to do. And it's very close, in a certain sense, to my kind of studies (I study communication systems engineering), and that, in a certain sense, shouldn't give me much problems.
    What do you think of biomedical engineering? You think it's an appropriate degree for that? Valid as much as medical physics could be?
  7. Mar 27, 2015 #6
    biomedical engineering sounds appropriate
  8. Mar 27, 2015 #7
    I was starting to think it...you know which are the differences between the two? Between biomedical engineering and medical physics? Does biomedical engineering covers the principles behind the machinery?(the rotation of the spin for a nmr, ultrasounds for an echography, and so on)?
  9. Mar 31, 2015 #8
    Any other suggestions?
  10. Mar 31, 2015 #9


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    There is a lot of overlap.

    BMEs who specialize in MRI for example, design and build the machines, commission them, program the pulse sequences, etc. The medical physicists who I know who specialize in MRI all came through biomedical engineering programs. So BME definitely covers the principles of machine operation.

    The majority of clinical medical physics (~ 80%) deals with radiation oncology physics. Rarely will the work involve, say the design of a linear new linear accelerator, although I know a number of medical physicists involved in this.
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