Medical physicists' communication skills

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  • Thread starter Mike P
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  • #1
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Hi I just came across this forum

I am working as a physicist in a hospital. I have seen quite a few medical physicists during my career. I find that most physicists I saw are quite lack of inter-personal skills. That is quite contrary to my original expectation because I though people with such skills and education should be able to handle communication skills quite well. Maybe I just haven't seen enough physicists and made a dangerous generalization. Unfortunately this is what I have experienced. I wonder what other people working in the similar situation see medical physicists.

Medical physicists are supposed to have more interpersonal skills than physicists in other research fields because medical physicists need to interact so many people with various background. However I find physicists in other field have much better interpersonal skills than those medical physicists have

Mike
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Interpersonal skills are over-rated in medical physics lore.

I did NOT say those skills are unimportant, especially in leadership positions.

The basic requirements are that you be an honest, humanely-direct, no-BS-person who has an enhanced inborn aptitude for physics/math things and can work hard with many types of educated individuals as a team to safely diagnose and treat and cure deadly illnesses.

Most people in medicine are in awe of your inherent abilities ... do not abuse them.

You also will , in time, acquire , just that right touch of communication skill to talk with / work with patients of all ages/gender/race.... and also with non/physicsmath human colleagues <g>.

In larger medical physics teams(i.e. university med school/institute environments) a few, eccentric, non-adapted individuals with brilliant math/physics skills can, and must be, protected, to work with our most difficult research/devel. problems(no patient contact ... that's fine).

Some of the real stars in our field are, as one would expect, tho' ... charismatic, driven, no-BS, brilliant medical physicists who make/lead continuous seminal contributions to our impact in medicine, AND work with patients and staff, as well.

..these are some of my opinions after >30y in academic and private non-profit medicine.

[..and ' BS ' does not stand for 'Bachelor of Science' ]
 
  • #3
Choppy
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Every field has its subset of people with less-than-stellar inter-personal skills. Medical physics is no different.

I'm curious what you really mean though. Communication and inter-personal skills are related, but they are two different things. One of the reasons often cited for introducing an oral component into the certification exams was to ensure that candidates had the ability to articulate ideas among colleagues.
 

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