Medical Physics is an exciting field

  • Physics
  • Thread starter jonnylane
  • Start date
  • #251
13
0
Or perhaps, one side takes offense to being called "willfully ignorant" about medical physics, despite being active members of the medical physics community.



How do you define "research done in physics". If you define away each sub-discipline and applied branch of physics, there wouldn't be anything left.



That's their fault. Some of us actually bothered to look into our graduate program and the resulting career prospects before applying. My graduate program told me up front that many of the jobs are QA positions, and that research positions are more competitive.



Physics is the best preparation for medical physics, for the simple fact that most medical physics programs are structured based on the assumption that students are coming from an underground physics background. In my courses, we covered all the BME needed, while glossing over much of the physics. They could certainly redesign the courses so that they don't cover the BME in as much depth, and instead go over basic physics. The fact remains that: Given the way medical physics courses are currently structured, physics is the best preparation. You keep insisting (without supporting your claim) that no physics whatsoever is required for medical physics.



Oh, wow. One example of one topic covered in undergrad physics that doesn't see much use in medical physics. You sure proved your case that no physics is required. Never mind that anyone doing Monte Carlo radiation transport calculations for their research is indirectly using the Schrödinger equation. Just because you don't refer to it during every calculation, doesn't mean that it's unimportant to know. In order to know which approximations are valid (and there are always some approximations that have to be made), it's important to know where the various parameters come from, and how they are derived.

I didn't say you were willfully ignorant about medical physics, only about the issues. Your knowledge of the subject is irrelevant.

Anyone doing Monte Carlo calculation is using EGSnrc and plugging in numbers. Are they writing the code? No. You do not need to know physics to perform Monte Carlo calculations any more than you need to know 3D animation to enjoy "The Matrix"

And I'm telling you, from personal experience, that medical physics classes are not structured around physics. Have you even taken medical physics courses? What evidence is there? Well, every example you and Choppy give of things that you do can be done without physics. Every single one. I defy you to come up with an example of something done in medical physics that only training in physics can provide.
 
  • #252
13
0
I've never been in a position of hiring someone, so take this with a grain of salt (you'd be better to speak to the medical physics department of your nearest university/hospital about their criteria for choosing residents).

If you bring some specialized skills from your work in HEP that whatever group you are applying to is looking for, it may make your application stand out, and give you an advantage over someone with a medical physics background. Barring that, I would imagine they would hire someone with a known background that someone with an unknown (to them) background.
At my location very few persons with medical physics backgrounds land residencies. The reason for that is that medical physics graduate education is largely irrelevant to clinical skills. They will take you in and retrain you to be a clinician in about a year. The fact that that's even possible should tell you something about the state of medical physics and medical physics education.
 
  • #253
299
1
Anyone doing Monte Carlo calculation is using EGSnrc and plugging in numbers. Are they writing the code? No. You do not need to know physics to perform Monte Carlo calculations any more than you need to know 3D animation to enjoy "The Matrix"
Not everyone is using EGSnrc (though many are). There are many parameters to adjust in any Monte Carlo program. While you could conceivably run a simulation without knowing anything about those parameters, their significance, or their origins, and simply using the defaults for everything, you would spend far more time than necessary (and far more time than most researchers have available) waiting for results. In order to get results in anything near a reasonable time for any remotely complex system requires many optimizations which simply cannot be done without at least a basic understanding of the underlying process. Are you going to use every single bit of knowledge while working of each problem? Of course not. I never used my knowledge of fluid dynamics when I was doing research in condensed matter either.

And I'm telling you, from personal experience, that medical physics classes are not structured around physics. Have you even taken medical physics courses?
I finished my didactic courses last year, and have been doing research and (basic) clinical work since. There was a lot of assumed knowledge from undergrad physics. When learning about linacs, it was assumed that we understood basic E/M, when learning about radiation physics and radiation biology, it was assumed that we understood QM. It was not assumed, in radiation biology, that we had any background in biology, physiology, or medicine. Anything that should have been covered in undergrad physics, was assumed, and glossed over. Anything biology related that was required, was gone over in (painful) detail. That is why I say that the courses are currently structured around a physics background.

What evidence is there? Well, every example you and Choppy give of things that you do can be done without physics. Every single one. I defy you to come up with an example of something done in medical physics that only training in physics can provide.
You haven't addressed a single one of the examples I referred to in my earlier post. Why should I bother to post more. At this point, I think you are simply trolling. Until you have something constructive to add, I won't be responding to any more of your posts.
 
  • #254
887
2
I am perfectly fine basing my arguments on anecdotal evidence. Unless you know of sociological surveys of the community of medical physicists and their students there is no hard evidence.
First of all, well done responding to the rest of my post.

Second, I really enjoy how it is OK for you to present "anecdotal evidence from [your] own subjective experience" while complaining about the "willfully ignorant" side not looking at the bigger picture and only presenting their "anecdotal evidence from their own subjective experience."
qball2 said:
The other side (the willfully ignorant one) does not look at the larger picture. Rather, they draw only on anecdotal evidence from the own subjective experience. When challenged they respond with passive-aggressive language with condescending overtones. They are wrong, but they will never admit to it.
Third, why should I respect your anecdotal evidence instead of the medical physics communities' anecdotal evidence?

Fourth, the onus is not on me to provide evidence to back up your statements. The onus is on you.

I think the only conclusion to draw from this is neodevin's: you are trolling.
 
  • #255
ZapperZ
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
35,847
4,664
For some odd reason, discussion on a career in medical physics in this thread seems to spark a lot of nastiness. This thread is closed.

Zz.
 

Related Threads on Medical Physics is an exciting field

  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
5K
Top