Medical Physics Preparation/Schools

Velocitaneous
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:03 pm

Medical Physics Preparation/Schools

Postby Velocitaneous » Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:21 am

I'm currently a freshman in undergrad and am interested in pursuing medical physics as a career. What are top schools for this field, and what can I do to start preparing now? I'm majoring in CS and Physics and am fairly advanced in both (enrolled in junior level classes in both and keeping a 4.0 GPA). Also, what are they looking for in a good applicant?

Velocitaneous
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:03 pm

Re: Medical Physics Preparation/Schools

Postby Velocitaneous » Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:23 pm

Bump =)

Theoretischer
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:59 pm

Re: Medical Physics Preparation/Schools

Postby Theoretischer » Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:35 am

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Last edited by Theoretischer on Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Velocitaneous
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:03 pm

Re: Medical Physics Preparation/Schools

Postby Velocitaneous » Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:37 pm

Well, I'm currently working in an ion trapping laboratory (may possibly get a publication by the end of this year). Is generally any research experience fine? Also, what classes should I be taking apart from mathematics, computer science, and physics? Can I study anything on my own which will better help me?

Also, what is the difference between schools which are CAMPEP accredited and not CAMPEP accredited?

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twistor
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Re: Medical Physics Preparation/Schools

Postby twistor » Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:36 pm

First, CAMPEP. CAMPEP accreditation is given to schools that apply and meet a certain set of criteria. You can read about the criteria online but the important thing is that it makes it easier to go into clinical work. This is because after 2012 graduation from a CAMPEP approved graduate program or residency will be required to take the ABR exams. Passing the ABR exams are not required for participation in clinical work but physicists who have passed them generally command higher salaries.

There are relatively few CAMPEP accredited schools in the US. The list of accredited US schools is here: http://www.campep.org/campeplstgrad.asp

The top schools for medical physics are usually taken to be (in no particular order):

Duke, Wisconsin, Chicago, UT-Houston and UT-San Antonio. Columbia was just accredited so I don't know where they fall, although I'd imagine it's pretty good.

Finally, you should know that most medical physics program are very small (some let in only a handful of students every year) and funding is much harder to get. There are fewer opportunities for TAing in the field and the cash flow is different.

If you're serious about medical physics, consider taking electives in biology, anatomy, computer programming, signal processing, physiology and applied mathematics (especially linear algebra and Fourier transforms). It is a multi-disciplinary field so the more background you have going the better off you'll be. And definitely get involved in physics research before you graduate and do one or more REUs.

Good luck.

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Helio
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Re: Medical Physics Preparation/Schools

Postby Helio » Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:14 am

There is somebody you got into UCLA Medical Physics, so you should try contact them. viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1847#p16325




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