Physics Medical Physics.

Hello again folks.

I'm starting a thread (obviously.) for a couple of purposes, I guess. I'm looking for a bit of advice, but also think I just need to have a little bit of a rant and get some thoughts out of my head. I'm a final year student at a UK university, and will be graduating with possibly a first-class or upper second class undergraduate Msci degree this July.

I had a couple of uncertainties in terms of my personal circumstances, so I made the mistake of leaving it late before applying for any positions - I've decided that I'd like to go into medical physics on the NHS training programme. Problem is, leaving it to a late stage has meant that I've actually missed the application deadline, however the competition for the course is also very fierce since there's only four positions available per year.

Now, I'm almost up-in-arms about what to do in preparation - I've applied for a nuclear medical physics PhD at my current University and even though they're more focussed on the nuclear side of the research, I think I'm right in taking that this would hold me in good stead to apply to the training programme in the future. (on this topic as well, is there any chance that there's another university within the UK that has a good physics department interested in medical physics will take another PhD application at this time of year?)

I'm also interested to know from any working medical physicists within a health service if this approach would be worth the time, or if there's any way I can, say, get relevant work experience for a year then apply.

thanks for reading,



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I can't say much about how things work in the UK. In North American you need to do a graduate degree first, and then go about clinical training - so I would think that the approach you're suggesting is the most logical way in.

You can also get work experience as some hospitals will hire physics assistants to do basic quality assurance work. But in my experience, graduate training trumps basic QA work (especially since it is reasonably common for medical physics graduate students to do QA work on the side).

With respect to deadlines, you may want to contact specific departments and see if there's a chance you can still hand in an application. If you're a strong candidate and their selection committees haven't met to rank applicants yet, you may be able to squeak in (although don't count on it).

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