Physics Assistant position (radiation physics department)

  • Physics
  • Thread starter Shackleford
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  • #1
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I have an interview with HR next Wednesday. After that, I'm supposed to meet with a few people in the department. I was told it would take about three hours. How should I prepare?

I just graduated in May with a B.S. Math, Physics Minor.

Here's the job description.

http://i111.photobucket.com/albums/n149/camarolt4z28/PhysicsAssistant.png [Broken]
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Well first of all, congratulations on the job interview.

The HR representatives will probably be mostly interested in discussing things such as the history and future direction of the hospital itself, the radiation oncology department you will be working in, the mission of the hospital, and maybe the work benefits (among other things). They will probably ask general questions about you and your history to gauge whether or not they think you would be a good fit with the hospital itself. They might want to know whether or not you are familiar with the area you will be working in, how long of a work commitment you think you could make to the hospital, and they might ask what level of pay you are expecting. Personally, I would not bring up money unless they ask you first.

The other people you will be interviewing with will almost certainly be a few medical physicists, and those are the people you will primarily be assisting as your job. They may ask about your past experience in radiation oncology or medical physics (if you have any, though it may not be important as they will probably be fully training whoever they hire). From the job description, it sounds like mostly quality assurance work on linear accelerators and other equipment with some potential patient dosimetry measurements.

If you want to do some reading, you might look at the following:

AAPM -- What do Medical Physicists do?

Linear Accelerators

Medical Physics Quality Assurance -- contains several references and sample QA forms, stick to the "external beam" section and ask any questions you have

Radiation Therapy for Cancer -- an overview of the radiotherapy process

Do you have a basic understanding of how radiation can be quantitatively measured? You will be using tools such as ionization chambers, thermoluminescent dosimeters, solid state detectors, electrometers, and radiographic film / radiochromic film .

Are you familiar with Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, MATLAB? You will certainly be using the first two, and maybe the third.

I wouldn't overwhelm yourself with details, but it couldn't hurt to know a little about what the field of medical physics is about, what a medical linear accelerator is and how we assure that they are operating safely. Knowledge of the existence of those above tools, how they work and what they are used for would also be helpful.

If you have any specific questions then please ask.
 
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  • #3
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You're right. Last week, I had a phone interview with the lead Physics Assistant. He said 99% of the work would be QA. I have written down "patient plan QA." I don't have any experience. The listing says no experience is required. I found the following document and I've started reading it. I'll also get my modern physics textbook out and review the pertinent chapters.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/334361/Basic-Physics-of-Nuclear-Medicine [Broken]

I've been working as a project engineer for the past nearly four years so I'm intimately familiar with Microsoft Office. Heh. I used MATLAB like twice in my ODE class three years ago.

Well, you've given me a lot to digest, so I'll get to it. Thanks for the information!
 
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