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Medical Physicist or Oncologist

  1. Sep 21, 2008 #1
    Hello, my name is Lio and I'm new on the forum.
    I writing because I currently pursuing a Bachelors degree in Physics.
    and I initially wanted to get a Masters degree in Medical Physics.
    but i got intrigued by one profession: oncology

    I looked into it but so far I can't really see the difference between it and Med. phscs.
    so If anyone on the forum is working in one of this field or is actually a medical physicist or an oncologist, or knows something about it, I would gladly read what you guys have to say about it.

    thanks in advance
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2008 #2

    Moonbear

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    There is certainly a difference. Oncology is the medical specialty for treating cancers. You would need a strong biology education, a medical degree, and then specialization training (residency) in oncology (cancer treatment). For medical physics, you need some biology background, but primarily need a physics background, and would be focusing primarily on the equipment used in medical diagnostics or treatment. In other words, oncology is patient-based while medical physics is equipment-based.
     
  4. Sep 21, 2008 #3
    in which of this fields do you think there is the most evolution possible?
    I mean, which job is monotonous? now I understand a little more, but are medical physicist working under oncologist?
     
  5. Sep 21, 2008 #4

    Moonbear

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    Neither works under the other, and both are fields of research and where new approaches can be developed any time. ONE of the tools an oncologist has at their disposal is radiation treatment, and that tool is developed by the medical physicists. But, oncologists have other tools at their disposal too, that are more at the forefront of cancer research, such as targeted chemotherapeutics. On the other hand, medical physicists develop other equipment as well, such as MRI machines, and better ways to interpret the output of those machines. One research group I'm familiar with includes people with a variety of specialties...neuroscience, computer science, physics, and engineering. They all work together, on the same plane, to develop better diagnostics.

    I think the basic thing you would need to decide is whether you prefer to work with the patient (oncologist) or the machine (medical physicist).
     
  6. Sep 21, 2008 #5
    Ok I see, working with people is a good option for me, but with a physics degree I read that it is possible to get into medical school. i don't want to harass you with medical college college, but if you know something about people with physics degree who went to medical school, I would like to know their path.

    by the way thanks for your help
     
  7. Sep 21, 2008 #6

    Moonbear

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    You could certainly get into medical school with a physics degree. It would be good to take more than the minimum of biology courses for admission, though. The first two years of med school are INTENSE to say the least, and having more of a biology background certainly makes that easier. Physics only helps very marginally with med school, and nothing you don't learn in introductory courses...simple concepts of levers or pulleys for muscle functions or very basic fluid dynamics when studying the cardiovascular system. The first year of med school typically includes anatomy, physiology, histology, genetics, microbiology, biochemistry, maybe some pharmacy, and maybe some clinical experience.
     
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