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Programs Medical physics vs theoretical physics

Is medical physics as informative as normal physics in terms of the courses I'll do in the University and can it be used as a pathway into medicine and surgery?
 

Choppy

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Medical physics itself is a branch of applied physics. Graduate programs tend to be professionally oriented, meaning that they're set up for students to enter the profession of medical physics. You can learn more about the specifics of that here:
https://www.physicsforums.com/insights/become-medical-physicist-3653-easy-steps/.

I suspect you're talking about undergraduate programs though. In that case, a lot depends on the specifics of the program. Some programs are essentially the same as a typical honours physics degree with a few extra courses in subjects like imaging physics, radiation physics, anatomy and physiology, etc. Other programs may "water down" the core physics components - for example requiring fewer courses in mathematics, QM, relativity, etc. and replacing them with courses such as above and throwing in more biology, chemistry, etc.

As a general rule, I recommend that students avoid getting too specific as an undergraduate. You specialize in graduate school. All medical physics graduate programs will accepts students who have done honours physics degrees. Some will not take students where the core physics material is missing.

As far as getting into medical school goes - you can get their either way. Medical schools tend to have a specific set of undergraduate coursework that students are required to take - typically first year sciences. You should be able to pick these courses up through electives in any program including medical physics and other physics programs.
 

berkeman

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Welcome to the PF. :smile:
can it be used as a pathway into medicine and surgery?
That's great that you are considering medical school. Have you had the opportunity to make any patient contacts so far? Have you done any volunteer work at a medical facility or in the First Aid booth at events? I've found it to be very important that folks who are considering a career in the medical fields get some experience working with patients, before committing to the long educational path involved in medicine. After all, you would not want to invest all of those years in the medical school path only to discover that you really don't enjoy working with patients.

Best of luck in whatever you choose! :smile:
 

BillTre

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I've found it to be very important that folks who are considering a career in the medical fields get some experience working with patients, before committing to the long educational path involved in medicine. After all, you would not want to invest all of those years in the medical school path only to discover that you really don't enjoy working with patients.
An alternative path (which would have appealed to me if I had gone into a medical field rather than biology) would have been doing research as an MD or MD/PhD.
This may require more work, but does have the benefits of lees or no contact with patients (depending on things) and access to the normal research grant for biologists, but also additional grants for MDs or MD/PhDs.
 

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