what field and schools are you applying to

victory118
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Postby victory118 » Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:45 pm

twistor and hchemist: What do you guys know about Purdue's financial aid situation? I also got accepted into their PhD program, but I was not offered funding. Also, I am worried about them not being an accredited program, although their website says they will be accredited within a few years....

victory118
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Postby victory118 » Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:52 pm

another question for twistor: Is UW-M paying for you to visit their campus?

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:32 pm

<removed>
Last edited by twistor on Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

hchemist
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Postby hchemist » Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:51 pm

victory, I don't know anything about their funding situation. All I know is that my admission to their program is without funding. I don't know if this will change if we wait longer, since they told me to wait for an e-mail for the further detail.

GTPHYS91
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Postby GTPHYS91 » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:08 pm

I like how we've taken over this forum completely. We should change its name to twistor's, hchemist's, victory's, and GTPHYS's medical physics conversation.

I've decided that unless I get into Chicago, I'm going to Penn, for several reasons. First, it's the University of Pennsylvania. Second, you get to take physics classes in the physics department, which is a pretty amazing department. They are also building a new cancer treatment center with an enormous cyclotron for proton therapy on campus. The hospital and campus are amazing, and a Ph.D. (in physics, medical physics option) is available. They said they are going to apply for accreditation in 2009, and they are paying for my visit at the end of the month. I just have a good feeling about the program.

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will
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Postby will » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:14 pm

c-c-c-combo breaker!

I'm applying for condensed matter theory at big public universities.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:14 pm

GTPHYS91:

Sounds like a great choice, although I don't like the idea of you potentially stealing my slot a Chicago ;P

Do you know how easy/hard it is to get into radation therapy physics? I'm thinking this is really the field I'd rather be in and if I get into Chicago I think it would be easier to do since they probably have more openings in it than UWM. I've been in contact a lot with UWM lately and it seems like they have a lot of openings in imaging but very few in radiation.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:16 pm

c-c-c-combo breaker!


Props for the Killer Instinct reference.

randn(1)
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Postby randn(1) » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:21 pm

@GTPHYS91
I finally got in somewhere!!! I guess the Raman thing worked out for both of us in the end :D

hchemist
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Postby hchemist » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:42 pm

@twistor:

http://crisp.cit.nih.gov/

UT-H had this web-link advertised for student searching for research position. I think this is great resource to check if professor has $$ to support you or not. It covers most of health related funding agency such as National Institute of Cancer and etc. For example, you can search grant by typing professor's name. I found
professor Robert Jeraj from UWM (Radiation Physics) here. It was quick!

I really appreciate UT-H for this. It seems like they make it as clear as possible what the research options are by updating every professor's grant/funding info on the web for the students.

GTPHYS91
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Postby GTPHYS91 » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:45 pm

Congratulations! Allowing myself to get to know that guy was the worst decision I have ever made in my life, barring none. I hope I never have to speak to him ever, ever again. I seriously thought he was going to circle "I've seen much better students" for all categories on the evaluation part of my recommendation.

hchemist
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Postby hchemist » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:49 pm

?? what just happened?

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:58 pm

Robert Jeraj


Is he the guy that you wouldn't mention?

hchemist:

Thanks for the link! I'm definately gonna check it out. It might give us some bargaining advantage....

GTPHYS91
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Postby GTPHYS91 » Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:03 am

The guy at Wisconsin who gave me a hard time was Bruce Thomadsen.

The guy I was referring to in my last post was someone I had for a class and then worked for.

hchemist
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Postby hchemist » Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:04 am

@victory: Have you heard from Duke yet? Anything? :shock:

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:11 am

Based on that website there doesn't seem to be too many grants to UWM's radiation therapy group. This is very disappointing.

hchemist
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Postby hchemist » Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:20 am

I've spent considerable amount of time going through almost every medical physics professor. I was quiet disappointed with same finding as yours. Generally, I found imaging track with more funding for UW, UCLA, and UC. Therapy with more funding for UT-H, Loma Linda (don't have medical physics program), Harvard and such. (Also, one can check the number of ph.d students working on which track by looking up their ph.d dissertation) I noticed the program with cancer center based has better funding for therapy track. You can type things like "radiation therapy" or "medical physics" as well to search others.

Seriously, I've stepped into this field hearing that it has very nice job prospect. Shouldn't the job prospect and research funding be linear?

It seems pretty clear to me by hearing from victory, Purdue's medical physics program must be in tough situation for acquiring grant. If they can't fund ph.d student, I've got nothing more to say. I'm also pretty surprised to learn UWM is not paying hotel and air fair for visiting students. I hope they're not confused with us with medical students.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:31 am

That's exactly why I chose this field!!! I don't understand the lack of funding. All the imaging professors at Wisconsin and Chicago are doing essentially the same research, which amounts to doing whatever is we do now with MRI only faster....

I looked through Wisconsin's Ph.d. theses and most are in imaging.

One professor at one of those schools told me that most of the graduates in imaging either go on to work in post-docs so they can become professors or go on to industry and essentially become engineers making the equipment. Most of the imaging work is in computer programming because your analyzing data and processing images. I do not want to work in industry.

Now I'm thinking that if it comes down to it I'll just choose the imaging track (if it's my only choice) and try to do a residency is radiation therapy.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:33 am

And my guess as to why Purdue offered no funding but claims 100%: they probably offer funding to some students and the ones that don't get it don't accept the offer.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:40 am

Wisconsin didn't say whether or not they were paying for the trip. All I know is they're supposed to forward me details by Feb. 14th. What I know as of now is the date of their open house and that they are offering a box lunch.

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will
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Postby will » Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:48 am

can't pass up a box lunch.

hchemist
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Postby hchemist » Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:56 am

When you consider imaging track, your job perspective is much wider. For example, I've been working at MR lab here at UCSD. UCSD has no medical physics program, but we have MR Institute for research. Quiet well-known in MR community. Most of people I met from here went on and are now very successful. They found jobs from all over ranging from psychology department to General Electric. MRI research is not just about making scanning and data acquisition time faster. It has very reach goals and many of them are shown to be promising. For example, recently, researchers has developed an MR sequence that can image bones and skeletal structures. This is amazing! I've seen these technology with my own eyes and attended seminar. This is not just due to pure programming and signal processing work. This type of research is fundamentally challenging that one has know lots of physics of spin and r.f. property of materials and so on. And don't forget the ever increasing clinical application of fMRI.

As for me, I have no preference yet. But one thing is clear, I am going to chose research that will allow me to build many skills that can be applied to many different disciplines. For example, if I go on to do imaging track, I want to do MRI and its pulse sequence design rather than hardware. That way, I can be valuable to clinical type , chemistry, physics, psychology research group. If I go on to do therapy track, I would join a group where I can learn monte-carlo simulation of radiation transport the most and it is pretty obvious why.

I don't know why I wrote what I wrote here. I guess I was little challenged by hearing that MR research is same everywhere and boring (okay, you didn't say boring but....).

:)

And about UWM invitation day, I miss understood you. I'm pretty sure it's all paid for it. That makes much more sense~

victory118
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Postby victory118 » Wed Feb 06, 2008 1:08 am

hchemist: I haven't heard anything from Duke yet, but I'll keep you updated if I do.
I will also try to find out more about Purdue's funding situation.

hchemist
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Postby hchemist » Wed Feb 06, 2008 1:11 am

victory: Yeah, I am going to call them tomorrow and ask some question. I will let you know how that will go after tomorrow. As for duke.....man they're slow! I remember duke had the earliest deadline for submitting application!

GTPHYS91
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Postby GTPHYS91 » Wed Feb 06, 2008 1:34 am

I'm calling Chicago right now and telling them to review my application.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:42 am

hchemist:

They found jobs from all over ranging from psychology department to General Electric.


General Electric is a big employer of imaging student graduates. I find it troubling to think all my hard labors will get me a job with an appliance company.

I didn't mean to say imaging is boring. I actually think doing the pulse sequence stuff and doing the actual imaging and understanding all the physics that goes into producing the images of various structures is deeply fascinating. What I meant is I don't want to be a programmer working on image processing.

As for there being more overall jobs in MRI, do you know if these are research jobs? What type of salary do you command in these positions? According to Duke's website the mean income for medical physicists is 6 figures, but as I look more at the available positions I'm finding that harder and harder to believe.

If I go the radiation therapy track I would want to do something like GTPHYS's internship in designing and implementing patient therapy. Brachytherapy sounds very interesting and I know there will always be a need for skilled radiation physicists.

can't pass up a box lunch.


I wonder if it's pb&j...cuz that would really win me over.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:43 am

I'm calling Chicago right now and telling them to review my application.


Let me know how that goes.

hchemist
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Postby hchemist » Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:32 pm

Twistor: If you're a member of AAPM you can check their salary data. It is the most comprehensive data I've seen. It has salary lists by states, experience, gender, specialty and whether or not accredited program graduate. If you're not member, you can still get to download the file using your school library proxy. That's how I got them.

Anyway, for your convenience, here's copy of imaging physicist who's been board certified (ABR Radiologic Physics)

So according to AAPM survey, 159 imaging physicists who participated the survey in year 2005 earnes 140k in average from 110k (20th) to 170k(80th). However, those with no board certification learns slightly less. Also, therapeutic physicist earns slightly higher than imaging physicist but that is due to most of them are old and has many work experiences. Interesting thing to note is that according to survey done previous years, for the past 5 years, the salary of medical physicist has been increased by 10% (roughly every year).

So, as far as I can tell, Duke didn't lie to you.

Also, there's been rumor about by 2012 only the campep accredited graduates can sit for the board exam. This might greatly enhance job security if you're going to Wisconsin or Chicago or any other accredited program (assuming Chicago is being accredited like they claimed to GT).


Above data is for year 2005.
Last edited by hchemist on Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:34 pm

hchemist:

Does that survey give data on whether or not these physicists work in industry or in research? Because I'd really like to know what GE is paying... I can live with 110k/yr!! But I just don't like the idea of working for a large, multinational corporation...

hchemist
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Postby hchemist » Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:41 pm

@twistor:

Industry and commercial firms pays 135k even if you're not board certified. 148k if you are board certified.

University hospital based pays 120k without board certified and 157k with board certified.

I don't know how much GE pays the ph.d medical physics employee. But the person I know seems very happy with the offer GE made. But you don't want to work for GE? why not? I would love to work for GE, Sieman, and Philips.

GTPHYS91
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Postby GTPHYS91 » Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:57 pm

Twistor,

Chicago reviewed my application per my request and said I was accepted.

hchemist
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Postby hchemist » Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:01 pm

Congrat! Hmm...now I wonder if I should call. But I'm too scared to force them to review my application!

Which school (UW and UC) are you more inclined to go at this point? After your visit to both department, I thought even your early opinion might be of something worth to hear.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:07 pm

GTPHYS:

Say what?! What did you say to them?!

randn(1)
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Postby randn(1) » Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:18 pm

Haha! GTPHYS, I can't believe you had the guts to call your top school and request that they review your application because you are getting impatient. They were probably so surprised that they accepted you based solely on your nerves.
Congrats!

GTPHYS91
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Postby GTPHYS91 » Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:24 pm

Sorry guys. I just wanted to see if you would believe me. I don't have the guts to do that at all. I didn't even want to call to see if they started looking at applications.

GTPHYS91
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Postby GTPHYS91 » Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:27 pm

On a serious note, in case some of you didn't find this yet, the AAPM has a graduate fellowship that they give out every year. You have to go to an accredited program though. Here's the first part of the application:

http://www.aapm.org/announcements/Fellinfo_app.pdf

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:31 pm

How many fellowships do they give out?

I have to admit, you had me going. I was about to email them myself and try to do the same!!!

GTPHYS91
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Postby GTPHYS91 » Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:34 pm

It looks like they only give out one a year, which means you better start hyping up your resume now.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:54 pm

Industry and commercial firms pays 135k even if you're not board certified. 148k if you are board certified.

University hospital based pays 120k without board certified and 157k with board certified.


I'm confused. Are you talking about ABR certification? Why would that be necessary for imaging?

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quizivex
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Postby quizivex » Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:13 pm

Industry and commercial firms pays 135k even if you're not board certified. 148k if you are board certified.


From now on all salaries for quasi-physics alternative jobs should be posted in new units... in terms of the number of average postdocs it would take to earn the same amount...

University hospital based pays 120k without board certified and 157k with board certified.


Correction:
University hospital based pays 4PD's without board certified and 5.24PD's with board certified.

Thanks

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:11 pm

Thanks for the new units. It has really helped me see that I have chosen the right field :)

randn(1)
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Postby randn(1) » Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:38 pm

Sorry guys. I just wanted to see if you would believe me


:lol: That's hilarious. Although if there was anyone that would do that, I'd actually expect it to be you.

hchemist
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Postby hchemist » Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:50 pm

"I'm confused. Are you talking about ABR certification? Why would that be necessary for imaging?"

See, http://www.theabr.org/RP_Cert.htm

There different types of ABR certification one can get.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:20 pm

Thanks hchemist.

Do any of you know any statistics about Chicago's program? For instance, average GRE scores, number of admitted students, etc.?

cancelled20080417
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Postby cancelled20080417 » Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:28 pm

yes I do, but I do not want to tell you, coz i am an accentophobe, hahaha! Twistor, it is a new disease in the 'market' and somebody just transmittted this disease to me. It is an ITD( transmits through internet,so called internetial transmitted disease)







PS. you guys keep discussing the same topic again and again, so i decided to give a break to you guys.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:38 pm

OMG

I was reading Chicago's web page:

The Graduate and Professional School Financial Aid Service (GPSFAS) application form must accompany requests for financial aid.


I didn't fill this out! Was I supposed to? I thought aid was automatic!

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:46 pm

Ok, I've looked at Chicago's website. Although they provide no official statistics, I think we can make some inferences.

There are currently 30 graduate students in the medical physics program. Based on their alumni list they've been graduating an average 3 students every year since 2000. Assuming they want to keep their program the size that it is now, that means they will probably admit around 10 people. I think we can assume they've received about 150 applications this year which translates to a 7% acceptance rate.

In fact, since 1957 they have only graduated 50 Ph.d. students. That's a mere 1 every year.

funkoliteus
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Postby funkoliteus » Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:05 pm

I have enjoyed reading the medical physics posts and thought I would join in on the discussion. Here are the graduate programs in medical physics I have applied to:

UT-Houston
UCLA
UWM
McGill

So far I have received an acceptance letter from McGill, which from what I have heard and read seems to be a great program. Though, I still hope to here from UWM and UT. My stats aren't nearly as high as most and to be honest I never took the physics GRE. Although, last summer I was awarded the AAPM Summer Undergraduate Fellowship and chose to carry out my research in a small town near Vail, Colorado. I hope this experience helps pull me closer to a competitive application status.

Do you guys know anything about research funding in Canadian medical physics? Eh?

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:13 pm

funkoliteus:

Congratulations! I hear McGill is a top-notch Canadian school. Is it CAMPEP accredited?

I don't know anything about funding in Canadian schools, but if it's anything like the US then the situation is dismal.

The AAPM fellowship will definately boost your application.

Thanks for joining the conversation. Any input is welcome. What is your undergraduate degree in?

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:17 pm

hchemist:

Also, there's been rumor about by 2012 only the campep accredited graduates can sit for the board exam. This might greatly enhance job security if you're going to Wisconsin or Chicago or any other accredited program (assuming Chicago is being accredited like they claimed to GT).


Sorry I didn't see this before. The way I understand is that unless you graduate from a CAMPEP program you have to have 3 years of work experience to take the exam (supposedly this will go into effect in 2012 as you said).




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