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Health Physics

  1. Sep 21, 2004 #1
    Does anyone who read these forums work in the Health Physics fields? I got the urge recently to possibly pursue it and am looking for more information. I've done some rudimentary web searches and would appreciate some personal thoughts, whether they be from people directly in the profession or just know something about it.

    THanks in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2004 #2


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    I'm not in Medical/Health physics, but I've been telling people a lot about it to get them off the impression that physics is only about esoteric, non-application subject. Also, during the early 90's when there were stories of physics Ph.D's not being able to find jobs (mainly theorists), those majoring in medical physics were being snatched up for jobs even before they finished their academic career. They are STILL in very high demand, which means they also command quite high starting salaries.

    Anyway, here's a link:


  4. Sep 21, 2004 #3
    Although not a health physicist, I have worked in the health physics field and have worked with many health physicists. It deals mainly with the effects of radiation on the human body. Health physicists work for hospitals, nuclear power plants, radiography companies; basically any company or entity that deals with radioactive materials. Health physicists are involved in radiological emergency planning and response, work planning for companies that use radioactive material, exposure calculations, and environmental sampling among other things.
  5. Sep 21, 2004 #4
    Consider that your salary is useful from 5 to 9 only, and consider that from 9 to 5, you will be working with people, some of which who will be medical doctors making twice your own salary, and possibly with a corresponding attitude.

    If you go there, you must first of all love it (the related physics is very interesting), you must like the environment (often hospitals), you must be able to daily interact in a positive manner with the medical doctors.

    I strongly considered medical physics for a while and got related experience, but I switched, finding little personnal satisfaction to the job. I have not totally excluded it from my possible career path however. Some aspects are still very attractive.
  6. Sep 21, 2004 #5
    I can't thank you all enough, this has already been a great help. I can tell that the next few life decisions won't be easy, but it is important to me I'm heavily armed with information.

    I appreciate your time greatly.

    My father is a doctor, so I grew up in hospitals. He's an awesome guy, out of the ordinary, I could work with him. His colleagues, on the other hand.... :eek: :wink:
  7. Sep 24, 2004 #6
    I have another question: I originally got the feeling that Health Physics and Medical Physics were two different things; now I'm begining to think the names are interchangable. Finding a good definition online has been difficult, and so I turn to you.

    Can anyone elaborate on whether those are the same things or not?
  8. Sep 24, 2004 #7
    Nevermind, I think I found the answer I was looking for :D

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