Medical physic and its requirements

  • This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
  • There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.

MRI
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:17 am

Medical physic and its requirements

Postby MRI » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:28 pm

Hi everyone,

I have a question that is very important for me and I really need your recommendation.

I am a technologist or in another meaning radiographer who has BSc in this field. I applied to more than medical physics master programs and I was accepted in two of them.

My question is I do not have the basic requirement for physic such as modern physic, calculus based physic quantum physic etc. I will start the master in the Fall of this year and I have taken this semester Calculus 1 and I will take next semester Calculus 2 and engineering physic.

on the other hand, I have very strong basic physic for all the machines in radiology such as CT, X-Ray, and MRI.


So, the question is: will it be difficult for me to success or live in such programs without those basics?

Please guide me form your experience ?

Regards.

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: Medical physic and its requirements

Postby bfollinprm » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:18 am

MRI wrote:Hi everyone,

I have a question that is very important for me and I really need your recommendation.

I am a technologist or in another meaning radiographer who has BSc in this field. I applied to more than medical physics master programs and I was accepted in two of them.

My question is I do not have the basic requirement for physic such as modern physic, calculus based physic quantum physic etc. I will start the master in the Fall of this year and I have taken this semester Calculus 1 and I will take next semester Calculus 2 and engineering physic.

on the other hand, I have very strong basic physic for all the machines in radiology such as CT, X-Ray, and MRI.


So, the question is: will it be difficult for me to success or live in such programs without those basics?

Please guide me form your experience ?

Regards.


Schools won't accept you just to let you fail. Does not having a strong background hurt? Yes. You can learn the basics pretty easily, though, assuming above-average intelligence.

HP
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:25 pm

Re: Medical physic and its requirements

Postby HP » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:31 pm

Difficulty of the coursework aside, your main concern should be certification. You should check if your BSc is sufficient to fulfill the requirements for Exam 1 of the ABR, since you mentioned you didn't have some of the basic physics courses, as stated here:
When you apply for Part 1 examination, you must present evidence that you meet all of the following requirements:

You hold a bachelor's degree in physics or applied physics from an approved institution (accredited by a regional accrediting body1). Other physical science or engineering degrees may be considered if the appropriate fundamental physics courses have been completed equivalent to a minor in physics (including general physics with calculus and upper level courses in, for example, electricity and magnetism, atomic physics, nuclear physics, modern physics, quantum mechanics, or mechanics).


If not, maybe find out how many courses you will need to take and how that will affect the length of your master's degree.

User avatar
twistor
Posts: 1531
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:47 pm

Re: Medical physic and its requirements

Postby twistor » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:43 pm

MRI wrote:Hi everyone,

I have a question that is very important for me and I really need your recommendation.

I am a technologist or in another meaning radiographer who has BSc in this field. I applied to more than medical physics master programs and I was accepted in two of them.

My question is I do not have the basic requirement for physic such as modern physic, calculus based physic quantum physic etc. I will start the master in the Fall of this year and I have taken this semester Calculus 1 and I will take next semester Calculus 2 and engineering physic.

on the other hand, I have very strong basic physic for all the machines in radiology such as CT, X-Ray, and MRI.


So, the question is: will it be difficult for me to success or live in such programs without those basics?

Please guide me form your experience ?

Regards.


Specifically, what is your degree in?

MRI
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:17 am

Re: Medical physic and its requirements

Postby MRI » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:33 am

Regarding the ABR exam, I am not interested in taking it.

Regarding my degree it is Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging as a technologist.

I will be specific this time, do I have to learn or study the upper level physic courses in order to success in the master program in medical physic?

User avatar
twistor
Posts: 1531
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:47 pm

Re: Medical physic and its requirements

Postby twistor » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:27 pm

MRI wrote:Regarding the ABR exam, I am not interested in taking it.

Regarding my degree it is Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging as a technologist.

I will be specific this time, do I have to learn or study the upper level physic courses in order to success in the master program in medical physic?


It's unlikely you would ever apply anything from a upper division physics class in an MS program in medical physics. MS programs are clinically oriented and clinicians don't sit around using EM or QM to make calculations. The calculations they do are based on experimental data. There are some upper division concepts that will make your life easier, like the idea of a scattering cross-section, but you won't need to know how to derive them. So I would say no, you don't need upper level physics to be successful in an medical physics masters program.

If you want to get a feel for what kind of knowledge you'll be responsible for check out the following books: Attix: Introduction to Radiolgoical Physics and Radiation Dosimetry, Johns & Cunningham: The Physics of Radiology and Christensen: The physics of diagnostic radiology.

After perusing them you'll see that there's no QM, advanced EM, stat. mech., thermodynamics, solid state physics, etc., etc., etc. Hell, the only book with integrals among those is Attix's book.....

MRI
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:17 am

Re: Medical physic and its requirements

Postby MRI » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:35 pm

twistor wrote:
MRI wrote:Regarding the ABR exam, I am not interested in taking it.

Regarding my degree it is Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging as a technologist.

I will be specific this time, do I have to learn or study the upper level physic courses in order to success in the master program in medical physic?


It's unlikely you would ever apply anything from a upper division physics class in an MS program in medical physics. MS programs are clinically oriented and clinicians don't sit around using EM or QM to make calculations. The calculations they do are based on experimental data. There are some upper division concepts that will make your life easier, like the idea of a scattering cross-section, but you won't need to know how to derive them. So I would say no, you don't need upper level physics to be successful in an medical physics masters program.

If you want to get a feel for what kind of knowledge you'll be responsible for check out the following books: Attix: Introduction to Radiolgoical Physics and Radiation Dosimetry, Johns & Cunningham: The Physics of Radiology and Christensen: The physics of diagnostic radiology.

After perusing them you'll see that there's no QM, advanced EM, stat. mech., thermodynamics, solid state physics, etc., etc., etc. Hell, the only book with integrals among those is Attix's book.....



I really appreciate your response. you can not imagine how is it difficult for me to take a decision about this issue.

Thank you!

User avatar
midwestphysics
Posts: 444
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:37 am

Re: Medical physic and its requirements

Postby midwestphysics » Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:41 pm

If you are looking to get a little background on cross-sections, energy deposition in media, etc. Pick up a copy of Intro to Nulcear and Particle Physics by Das and Ferbel. It's extremely simple, very basic math and the writing is good. Chapter 6 will be a nice intro for you, maybe some other parts. It's not very expensive either so that's a plus.

User avatar
sphy
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:23 am

Re: Medical physic and its requirements

Postby sphy » Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:46 pm

midwestphysics wrote:If you are looking to get a little background on cross-sections, energy deposition in media, etc. Pick up a copy of Intro to Nulcear and Particle Physics by Das and Ferbel. It's extremely simple, very basic math and the writing is good. Chapter 6 will be a nice intro for you, maybe some other parts. It's not very expensive either so that's a plus.

That's really a nice book.

rolandgill
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:58 am

Re: Medical physic and its requirements

Postby rolandgill » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:46 am

I'm very surprised that you would be accepted into a medical physics program without a physics or engineering degree. To do well in the imaging aspects of the coursework you will need to at least have covered Fourier transforms. It's a major concern. If you've only just taken a first year calculus class, I suspect that you will not be familiar with these and that you will will struggle in the coursework involved at a master's degree level. Quantum mechanical-type problems don't come up too often on a clinical level, but E&M to the level of senior undergrad comes up on a regular basis - at least for me.

The other problem is that you'll be expected to do reasearch as a component of the degree and for this you will need a solid background in physics.

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Medical physic and its requirements

Postby grae313 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:15 am

rolandgill wrote:I'm very surprised that you would be accepted into a medical physics program without a physics or engineering degree. To do well in the imaging aspects of the coursework you will need to at least have covered Fourier transforms. It's a major concern. If you've only just taken a first year calculus class, I suspect that you will not be familiar with these and that you will will struggle in the coursework involved at a master's degree level. Quantum mechanical-type problems don't come up too often on a clinical level, but E&M to the level of senior undergrad comes up on a regular basis - at least for me.

The other problem is that you'll be expected to do reasearch as a component of the degree and for this you will need a solid background in physics.


This has been discussed in other threads by people who are currently in medical physics programs and they have said it is absolutely not necessary to have a physics degree to succeed in a medical physics program. Fourier transforms aren't hard to learn.




Return to “Prospective Physics Graduate Student Topics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests