Post-Graduate Certificate in Medical Physics?

  • #1
Does anybody know anything about this certificate? It supposedly allows someone with a PhD in physics or engineering to enter a CAMPEP accredited residency program in medical physics.

CAMPEP has a description and list of certificate programs:
www.campep.org/campeplstcert.asp

I have a B.S. in Physics and will soon earn a Ph.D in Aerospace Engineering. While I haven't lost my interest in engineering, I'm a little discouraged by the state of the job market and the aerospace industry in general. Medical physics has always interested me. Would someone with this certificate be "looked down on" by medical physicists who took the traditional route?
 

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  • #2
Choppy
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Certificate graduates are not "looked down on" at all in my experience as a medical physicist.

One issue that may arise from current medical physics PhD students is that because the market is competative right now the certificate students represent more competition. Generally though I don't see this resulting in any animosity.

From a professional point of view, I think it's generally well recognized that the profession benfits from bringing in people with experience in different disciplines and different skill sets, which is why these programs have been started. I see certificate students moving on into residencies with the success rate as medical physics PhD gradautes.
 
  • #3
Thanks. Do you have any idea how I can stand out from other applicants? Would volunteer work be helpful? Certificate programs seem to be incredibly competitive.
 
  • #4
Choppy
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Well, I can't tell you how specifically to stand out, but perhaps I could offer some hints with respect to how such candidates are commonly assessed.

1. Demonstrable interest in the field. It's one thing to say that you're interested in medical physics. It's another to have attended local seminars, conferences, or job-shadowed a medical physicist.

2. Demonstrable knowledge about the program that you're applying to. Have you talked with current or past students? Professors? Do you know what the strengths of that specific program are? Do you know why you want to attend that program as opposed to any others?

3. Can you explain how some of your current skills might translate into the field? Has your PhD involved any imaging or signal processing work? Have you done any failure modes effects anaylsis work? Programming experience?

4. Letters of reference can carry a lot of weight. How well can your referees assess your ability to perform in a medical physics environment?

5. Quality of your PhD work. Marks are of course still important, but often PhD certificate candidates will also be assessed with respect to the quality (and quantity) of their publications. How much self-direction or initiative did you exercise in your project?

6. Communication skills. Medical physics is a profession where communication skills haver perhaps more weight than in other branches of physics. Personally I find I'm often in a position as a technical translator between physicians, service technicians, therapists, IT, students and administrators, as well as other medical physicists.
 

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