Ph.D. after medical physics residency?

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Finished up my masters in medical physics a couple years ago and am about to complete my residency. Have been considering getting a Ph.D. since that's always been a life goal but I'm facing a conundrum: as far as I know, I will likely end up with a similar job whether or not I get a Ph.D. I want to do largely clinical work in an academic environment, but as far as I'm aware I am able to do that with a masters due. I'd also like to engage in research, but that is also something which can be done collaboratively at the master's level with my current institution, and again as far as I'm aware 80% of the work a Ph.D. does at an academic institution (other than big names) will be clinical. It's also a large financial decision, as I will likely be missing out over 400k of potential salary during the PhD.

In summary my life's dream has always been to get a Ph.D., but I'm not seeing what it offers over my current position besides for a few more highly fulfilling years in grad school.
 
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Choppy
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Some of the main advantages of the PhD are essentially that it will make you more competitive for academic jobs and if you get one of those, you'll have an easier time supervising students, and leading major research projects.

One option you might want to consider is, if you're employed at a larger centre with a PhD program, enrolling in the program as a part-time student. Maybe not immediately, but perhaps once you've established your clinical roll. You could, for example, drop down to a 0.8 or a 0.5 FTE staff physicist and then fill in the rest of the time as a PhD student. Once you have the necessary coursework out of the way, the main component is your research project(s). Since you've done a residency you won't have to spend as much time climbing the clinical learning curve that most new students struggle with, and so you'll be able to jump right into the meat of the project.

I've seen a couple people attempt this - though none successfully. The thing that stopped them was just that they got busy with other projects and life, and there just wasn't enough impetus to complete the PhD work. The other thing to be sure of course is that you're employer is onboard with it. If they're getting a long term clinician scientist out of the deal that's going to bring innovation, quality and safety into their clinic out of the deal then it's a win-win. If they're paying a professional salary for you to get a PhD, they're not going to be in favour of it.
 
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ZapperZ
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as far as I know, I will likely end up with a similar job whether or not I get a Ph.D.
How do you know this? Have you already been offered such a job?

Zz.
 

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