Medical physicists work in radiation and oncology departments of medical facilities and perform administrative, clinical, and supervisory work. They also provide technical expertise regarding the physics of radiation-producing equipment, performance-testing and commissioning, and radiation safety and protection. There is much interaction with other areas of the medical center, and other medical centers entirely, with a full complement of physics equipment including beam scanners and IMRT validation instruments.
A medical physicist's general duties include serving as a technical adviser, diagnosing and establishing a patient's treatment, calibrating and standardizing medical equipment to ensure it is safe and accurate, and providing education and training in medical physics to physicians, nurses, assistants, and other staff. Those in this position will also be involved in treatment-planning, developing charts and dosage-distribution plans, and providing expertise in the broad practices of clinical and applied research.
The work is typically performed during regular daytime office hours. Generally, a Master's degree in Medical Physics, Physics, or a related field is required, along with at least one year of work experience (more experience is often preferred). A Doctorate degree may be required by some employers. Medical physicists must also be fully-certified/licensed and adhere to all legal and company requirements at all times. The ideal candidate should be able to function independently as well as with team members, and have basic computer skills and excellent verbal and written communication skills.
Medical Physicist Tasks
Direct testing and monitoring of radioactive equipment to protect the patient from excessive radiation exposure.
Collaborate with other scientists in the design, development, and testing of experimental, industrial, or medical equipment, instrumentation, and procedures.
Analyze data from research conducted to detect and measure physical phenomena.
Perform complex calculations as part of the analysis and evaluation of data, using computers.