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Physics Thinking of going into Medical Physics would Biophysics class be recommended?

  1. Sep 17, 2011 #1
    As the title says I want to go in to Medical Physics. I have one more course requirement to finish my undergrad at the end of the spring semester. None of the courses are offered so I will have to do a independent study to replace one of these classes: Biophysics, Analytical Mechanics, or E&M II. I was thinking since I have already been introduced to both Mechanics and E&M in previous classes it might be useful to have an introduction to Biophysics before going into a Medical Physics graduate program. What do you guys think?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2011 #2
    What is your current major?

    If you are going to graduate school to complete an M.S. and then move into clinical medical physics I doubt you will have much exposure to biophysics. Biophysics and medical physics are usually different things.

    On the other hand, biophysics is a vague term describing a broad field and if you are more interested in a research-oriented career or a Ph.D. then you could probably find some overlap if that is what interests you, assuming the faculty you work with is engaged in that area.

    What part of medical physics interests you the most? Diagnostic, therapeutic, nuclear medicine? Clinically focused, research/industry focused? I only ask out of curiosity.
  4. Sep 17, 2011 #3


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    Does this independent study have to be one of those three? If not, why not do a medical physics project? If it does, I think you're okay with any of the choices.

    Assuming that your E&MI course was electro- and magnetostatics, there's a lot of good stuff in the second part of a senior undergrad course in E&M that you would be missing out on (radiation, waveguides, scattering, etc.). It can be particularly useful if you plan an doing any work with MRI.

    I agree with Eric on biophysics - it's a fairly broad field that perhaps won't be too applicable to the clinical aspects of medical physics, but it's not going to hurt you either.
    There is a lot of stuff in biophysics that's really interesting, and depending on the degree to which you get into medical physics research, knowing more biophysics could help you with thinking outside the box a little.

    Analytical mechanics is perhaps the least applicable to medical physics of the three, but I remember that being one of my favourite courses in my senior year.
  5. Dec 1, 2011 #4
    Just out of curiosity, what exactly do you plan on doing in this field?
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