Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

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jeffreyweee
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Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby jeffreyweee » Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:07 pm

I was wondering if anyone had a link or input on good Medical Physics schools. I've looked at the CAMPEP and read the posts here but I haven't been able to find a ranking system or get an idea of how difficult they are to get into.

Are medical physics programs harder or easier to get into than most other Physics disciplines?

How should a white male with a 3.5 GPA 2 summer research jobs, 1 in the field of medical physics with a reasonable, say 700ish PGRE score fair? I realize you would be able to say "Here are the schools you can get into:" but perhaps point me in the right direction toward CAMPEP schools that might admit me?

I'll be applying next fall and will be submitting my information on the admission thread if that helps my case for some genuine responses around here! :wink:

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HappyQuark
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby HappyQuark » Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:34 pm

jeffreyweee wrote:I was wondering if anyone had a link or input on good Medical Physics schools. I've looked at the CAMPEP and read the posts here but I haven't been able to find a ranking system or get an idea of how difficult they are to get into.

Are medical physics programs harder or easier to get into than most other Physics disciplines?

How should a white male with a 3.5 GPA 2 summer research jobs, 1 in the field of medical physics with a reasonable, say 700ish PGRE score fair? I realize you would be able to say "Here are the schools you can get into:" but perhaps point me in the right direction toward CAMPEP schools that might admit me?

I'll be applying next fall and will be submitting my information on the admission thread if that helps my case for some genuine responses around here! :wink:


As a general rule, medical physics programs are easier to get into than standard physics programs. It's hard to make a judgement on your abilities based off of just GPA and a rough explanation of research experience, but with that said you probably stand a reasonable chance at getting into a few of the mid to upper range schools. My best piece of advice is to go to the most recent medical physics thread on the forum (the one where we got yelled at by the medical physics applicants for making too many jokes) and figure out who are med-physics applicants and look at their profiles. If they haven't filled out their profiles or put any info into the application profiles, send them a PM asking for their credentials and compare yours to theirs.

jeffreyweee
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby jeffreyweee » Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:13 pm

HappyQuark wrote:
jeffreyweee wrote:I was wondering if anyone had a link or input on good Medical Physics schools. I've looked at the CAMPEP and read the posts here but I haven't been able to find a ranking system or get an idea of how difficult they are to get into.

Are medical physics programs harder or easier to get into than most other Physics disciplines?

How should a white male with a 3.5 GPA 2 summer research jobs, 1 in the field of medical physics with a reasonable, say 700ish PGRE score fair? I realize you would be able to say "Here are the schools you can get into:" but perhaps point me in the right direction toward CAMPEP schools that might admit me?

I'll be applying next fall and will be submitting my information on the admission thread if that helps my case for some genuine responses around here! :wink:


As a general rule, medical physics programs are easier to get into than standard physics programs. It's hard to make a judgement on your abilities based off of just GPA and a rough explanation of research experience, but with that said you probably stand a reasonable chance at getting into a few of the mid to upper range schools. My best piece of advice is to go to the most recent medical physics thread on the forum (the one where we got yelled at by the medical physics applicants for making too many jokes) and figure out who are med-physics applicants and look at their profiles. If they haven't filled out their profiles or put any info into the application profiles, send them a PM asking for their credentials and compare yours to theirs.


Thanks that definitely helps. Hopefully someone can provide a bit of a rough break-down for what schools are upper or mid etc. for Medical Physics. I've done some looking through the applications, but as you said in the other threads there isn't a large group of Medical Physicists to draw from.

jeffreyweee
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby jeffreyweee » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:34 pm

Also, perhaps someone can point me to some insight on the job market for a Masters opposed to a Ph. D? Pay scales or something?

Thanks.

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twistor
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby twistor » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:00 pm

How should a white male with a 3.5 GPA 2 summer research jobs, 1 in the field of medical physics with a reasonable, say 700ish PGRE score fair? I realize you would be able to say "Here are the schools you can get into:" but perhaps point me in the right direction toward CAMPEP schools that might admit me?


I'd say apply to whatever schools you are interested in because you never know. I think you have a shot at any of them.

Tops schools are Duke, Columbia, Wisconsin, Chicago, and UT Houston (imho).

The AAPM site should be able to help you find salary information.

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sphy
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby sphy » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:27 pm

jeffreyweee wrote:Also, perhaps someone can point me to some insight on the job market for a Masters opposed to a Ph. D? Pay scales or something?

Thanks.

Hope this would be of some help, but I think they need Ph.D.

jeffreyweee
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby jeffreyweee » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:03 pm

Thanks for the replies. I know for most PhD programs you'll have to go to a residency program afterwards to get the clinical experience to get hired. Is this the case with Masters programs as well? I'd assume so because most masters programs are only 1.5-2 years.

Unfortunately just searching google for answers doesn't work well when it's such a niche in physics.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby HappyQuark » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:47 pm

jeffreyweee wrote:Thanks for the replies. I know for most PhD programs you'll have to go to a residency program afterwards to get the cynical experience to get hired. Is this the case with Masters programs as well? I'd assume so because most masters programs are only 1.5-2 years.

Unfortunately just searching google for answers doesn't work well when it's such a niche in physics.


I found a typo in your post so I fixed it.

Your welcome.

jeffreyweee
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby jeffreyweee » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:58 pm

HappyQuark wrote:
jeffreyweee wrote:Thanks for the replies. I know for most PhD programs you'll have to go to a residency program afterwards to get the cynical experience to get hired. Is this the case with Masters programs as well? I'd assume so because most masters programs are only 1.5-2 years.

Unfortunately just searching google for answers doesn't work well when it's such a niche in physics.


I found a typo in your post so I fixed it.

Your welcome.


You're


Sup?

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grae313
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby grae313 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:02 pm

jeffreyweee wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:
jeffreyweee wrote:Thanks for the replies. I know for most PhD programs you'll have to go to a residency program afterwards to get the cynical experience to get hired. Is this the case with Masters programs as well? I'd assume so because most masters programs are only 1.5-2 years.

Unfortunately just searching google for answers doesn't work well when it's such a niche in physics.


I found a typo in your post so I fixed it.

Your welcome.


You're


Sup?


Woooosh...

jeffreyweee
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby jeffreyweee » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:21 pm

grae313 wrote:
jeffreyweee wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:
I found a typo in your post so I fixed it.

Your welcome.


You're


Sup?


Woooosh...



I got the joke. I just thought it was ironic.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby HappyQuark » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:33 pm

jeffreyweee wrote:
grae313 wrote:
jeffreyweee wrote:
You're


Sup?


Woooosh...



I got the joke. I just thought it was ironic.


The irony was intentional.

Irregardless, my point still stands.

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grae313
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby grae313 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:48 pm

jeffreyweee wrote:
grae313 wrote:
jeffreyweee wrote:You're
Sup?

Woooosh...

I got the joke. I just thought it was ironic.


Your retarded.

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twistor
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby twistor » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:12 am

jeffreyweee wrote:Thanks for the replies. I know for most PhD programs you'll have to go to a residency program afterwards to get the clinical experience to get hired. Is this the case with Masters programs as well? I'd assume so because most masters programs are only 1.5-2 years.

Unfortunately just searching google for answers doesn't work well when it's such a niche in physics.


I'll answer the question you should have asked.

Strictly speaking you're not required to have graduated from a CAMPEP program to get a job in medical physics. The CAMPEP stuff applies to the ABR exams which more and more hospitals are requiring for the medical physicists. This means that without graduating from a CAMPEP program (by 2012) or residency (by 2014) you won't be eligible to sit for the ABR exams which means you will have a hard time getting a clinical job.

Although this is supposed to increase the "quality" of the medical physics applicant pool I think it will have the effect of causing many of the programs to teach their students to pass the ABR exams the way elementary schools teach their students to pass state tests. The ABR also requires students to have completed certain physics classes (e.g., to be eligible for the ABR you must have taken quantum mechanics at some point even though it's not on the exam and you'll never use it). This effectively bars certain related fields (e.g. bioengineering) from competing with medical physicists for jobs.

So basically while there is no law that says you have to do a residency to be hired as a medical physicist (just like there is no law that says your Ph.d. has to be in medical physics) it's becoming more and more difficult to get hired without having done one. As more residency programs become CAMPEP residencies this means that most residency programs will soon only be available to CAMPEP MS/Ph.d. graduates meaning that if you got your degree from a non-CAMPEP school you basically wasted your time and/or money if clinical work is what you want to do.

I recommend searching for medical physics jobs and seeing how many say things like "ABR certification not necessary but must be ABR eligible", etc.

jeffreyweee
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby jeffreyweee » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:29 pm

You're awesome. Thanks.

jeffreyweee
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby jeffreyweee » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:55 pm

From reading the CAMPEP website of the top schools you listed is seems that only PhD's get funded. If I applied as a PhD candidate and dropped out after the masters requirment would I have to repay the tuition I had waived / is that really looked down upon or does that happen frequently?

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twistor
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby twistor » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:24 pm

jeffreyweee wrote:From reading the CAMPEP website of the top schools you listed is seems that only PhD's get funded. If I applied as a PhD candidate and dropped out after the masters requirment would I have to repay the tuition I had waived / is that really looked down upon or does that happen frequently?


I'm not sure exactly how that would work. You're right in that it's mostly Ph.d. students who get funded. You'll likely have to pay for an MS out of pocket. Think of the MS as professional training -- schools aren't going to provide that for free. With Ph.d students they get something back (you work for them doing research for the duration of your degree, basically). As they say you don't get something for nothing.

First, it would be dishonest to be accepted as a Ph.d. student and then change to a masters for the sole reason of not having to pay for your degree. That being said I don't think any school would actually bill you for doing that, but I could be mistaken. I'm sure it varies school to school. Check the various websites and find out what the MS requirements are for the schools you're interested in and go from there.

jeffreyweee
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby jeffreyweee » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:23 pm

Ok, I'll do some more research through the websites. Thanks a lot.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby HappyQuark » Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:39 pm

jeffreyweee wrote:Ok, I'll do some more research through the websites. Thanks a lot.


I think the take away message from twistor's comment isn't to do more investigative research into the end product of lying to the graduate program. The point is that applying and accepting a PhD position at a graduate school with the intention to quit after achieving your masters is not just unethical but also severely frowned upon. By accepting a position in the PhD program you have made an implicit agreement with the school that they will fund your education and you, in exchange, will produce some sort research.

jeffreyweee
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby jeffreyweee » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:58 pm

My point was that I was going to do more research on which masters may or may not fund your schooling not research on how to get around programs that don't fund as well as the requirements for the masters programs (which is what he said if you read his comment). On top of that I still haven't made up my mind on whether I want to pursue a PhD or not so it's not like I would be just going to a PhD program to get the free education. I would only go to a PhD program if I was seriously considering attaining that PhD.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby WhoaNonstop » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:28 am

jeffreyweee wrote:My point was that I was going to do more research on which masters may or may not fund your schooling not research on how to get around programs that don't fund as well as the requirements for the masters programs (which is what he said if you read his comment). On top of that I still haven't made up my mind on whether I want to pursue a PhD or not so it's not like I would be just going to a PhD program to get the free education. I would only go to a PhD program if I was seriously considering attaining that PhD.


I think if your intentions are good, you shouldn't worry about it. For example, if you're not quite sure if a Masters or a Doctorate is best for you, then start a Ph.D. program if you're capable of doing so. Although you can move from a Masters to a Ph.D. program it usually requires an extra application process (and move) which may be inconvenient. Ethically, if you're only planning on getting a masters, it might be a little shady to show intent on getting a Ph.D to get into a program. However, you really aren't screwing over a department if you decide to do so (even though I would advise against it). I'm not sure how most medical physics programs are, but you'll probably have to do some teaching in there somewhere, which is the reason for the stipend/tuition waive. They need teaching assistants just as much as they need productive research at most schools.

-Riley

rolandgill
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby rolandgill » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:44 am

Medical physics is the application of physics to medicine. It generally concerns physics as applied to medical imaging and radiotherapy, although a medical physicist may also work in many other areas of healthcare. A medical physics department may be based in either a hospital or a university and its work is likely to include research, technical development, and clinical healthcare. I think many physics graduated students are specialized in Medial physics. Now a days its a wide career for students.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby HappyQuark » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:11 pm

rolandgill wrote:Medical physics is the application of physics to medicine. It generally concerns physics as applied to medical imaging and radiotherapy, although a medical physicist may also work in many other areas of healthcare. A medical physics department may be based in either a hospital or a university and its work is likely to include research, technical development, and clinical healthcare. I think many physics graduated students are specialized in Medial physics. Now a days its a wide career for students.


Why oh why are you defining what medical physics is to the forum, which include both current and prospective medical physicists? I assume most of us are aware of the Wikipedia style definition you gave.

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grae313
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby grae313 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:06 pm

rolandgill wrote:Medical physics is the application of physics to medicine. It generally concerns physics as applied to medical imaging and radiotherapy, although a medical physicist may also work in many other areas of healthcare. A medical physics department may be based in either a hospital or a university and its work is likely to include research, technical development, and clinical healthcare. I think many physics graduated students are specialized in Medial physics. Now a days its a wide career for students.


Your post doesn't have anything to do with the original question of this topic. Why are you posting this?

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sphy
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby sphy » Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:16 pm

HappyQuark wrote:
rolandgill wrote:Medical physics is the application of physics to medicine. It generally concerns physics as applied to medical imaging and radiotherapy, although a medical physicist may also work in many other areas of healthcare. A medical physics department may be based in either a hospital or a university and its work is likely to include research, technical development, and clinical healthcare. I think many physics graduated students are specialized in Medial physics. Now a days its a wide career for students.


Why oh why are you defining what medical physics is to the forum, which include both current and prospective medical physicists? I assume most of us are aware of the Wikipedia style definition you gave.

I also got that and He has defined something else also in some other posts.

smartstart
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Re: Medical Physics ( AKA calling Twister )

Postby smartstart » Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:58 am

rolandgill wrote:Medical physics is the application of physics to medicine. It generally concerns physics as applied to medical imaging and radiotherapy, although a medical physicist may also work in many other areas of healthcare. A medical physics department may be based in either a hospital or a university and its work is likely to include research, technical development, and clinical healthcare. I think many physics graduated students are specialized in Medial physics. Now a days its a wide career for students.

haha :) thank you, Captain evidence :) 8)




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