So, here's my incredibly naive question. I am entering graduate school in physics (not applied) and I have found a professor at my grad institution who does really fascinating work with nanotech, but is technically constrained under "experimental condensed matter". My question is this... I really enjoy the concept of being able to help medical patients in some way using nanotech; the thought of meeting with a cancer patient to describe how something that I've developed will help him/her is what keeps me awake at night. However, I'm concerned that the work I'm heading into might be too far removed from "direct applications" that I may never have this opportunity. At the same time, I really don't want to attend medical school and become a doctor - I thrive on the physics much more than the biology of it all. Is the field really such that I need to choose between research AND patient interaction, or can I have both?