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Jobs in the medical field for physicists?

  1. Oct 12, 2014 #1
    I am studying a physics major and I was wondering if anyone had an idea if its possible to work in the medical field with a degree in physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2014 #2


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    Do you mean without going to graduate school or for further professional training?
    In that case your options are limited, but there are instances where physics BScs do work in healthcare. One example is the medical physics assistant. These positions often require only a bachelor's degree in physics (or a related subject) and involve doing a lot of quality control testing. Sometimes hospital radiation safety officers only require a bachelor's degree and then some on the job training, but this field is moving more towards most RSO's having higher academic credentials.

    A lot of physics grads go on into healthcare with additional training though. In the profession of medical physics, about 80% of medical physicists work in radiation oncology, with the remaining 20% working in diagnostic imaging, MRI and nuclear medicine.

    It's also not uncommon for physics graduates to pick up some additional training.
    - Physics graduates as a group tend to do well on the MCAT. So there are some that go on to become medical doctors. I imagine similar things can be said for optometry, dentistry, etc.
    - I've known physics graduates who've gone into radiation therapy. Their physics background helped them tremendously. There are a lot of one-off type professions from this as well that would also apply. Radiation dosimetry (treatment planning), MRI-tech, x-ray tech, nuc med tech, come to mind. And there are also groups like equipment service specialists.
    - There is also the commercial side of medicine. So there you could think about technical sales, project management, or research and development for companies that make linear accelerators or imaging devices (or their peripheral products).
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