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Study medical physics abroad

  1. Jul 28, 2009 #1
    I am a sophomore physics major student. I wish to study medical physics when I graduate.
    But I would like to go abroad and study for my Msc in Med Phys. in england or france (I speak french)

    but problem is that, in 2 years from now (correct me if i'm wrong) a med phys graduate would have to go to an accredited residency program in order to take the abr board exam.

    and I know that residency programs have 1st order preference for accredited graduate, and then for non-accredited graduate.

    so my worries are,
    I'm going abroad so I will study at a non-campep-acccredited university (even though the University I will go is top notch in france and europe).

    getting into a residency programs will be problematic?
    studying in a foreign language for the master degree will it be problematic?

    thank you in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 28, 2009 #2


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    By 2014, you will need to have gone through an accredited residency in order to qualify to write the ABR certification exam.

    Unfortunately I don't have as much insight into the European system, but if you're doing your studies overseas, there should be no reason you can't do a residency and certification over there as well. If you look at most American medical physicist positions, they require "ABR certification or equivalent."

    The other option, as you've suggested, is to get into an accredited residency after being educated abroad. This is possible, but you'll generally be lumped into the "non-accredited" candidate pool. You might want to check with the schools that you're looking at though. It's possible, they may be considering applying for accreditation in the near future.

    One might wonder why you would want to do your studies abroad if your eventual goal is to return to work in North America. If you simply want to travel, (who doesn't), there are several other options you might want to consider. One might be simply to travel. Once accepted, there's no reason you can't take a summer off to packpack through Europe. Another option might be to get involved with an international collaboration project and spend a couple summers working overseas. There are also international conferences (lots of people extend their stays when travelling for conferences).

    As far as studying in a foreign language - this is all on your shoulders. If you believe you understand the language well enough, there's no reason you shouldn't. Most medical physics publications however, are in English.
  4. Aug 20, 2009 #3
    Hi again, sorry for the delay (i'm traveling right now: france) thank you for your insight.
    I wanted to know regarding residency programs, I read they pay their student? is that true?
    if yes, do you have an idea of how much (on average) resident student get paid?

    thank you
  5. Aug 20, 2009 #4
    salaries for medical physics residents vary, but will generally be around the $30-35k/year range
  6. Aug 20, 2009 #5


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    I concur with Imabug. However, there is a very wide distribution. Some residents can push $70-80k/year.

    Also (a bit of a soap box issue for me), residents are not students. While they are junior members of the medical physics team and are generally getting 'on the job training', they do an enormous amount of work, and much of that ends up being the mundane jobs that the more senior staff are more than willing to give up.
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