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How to train for medical physicist jobs

Medical physicists combine their love of science and technology to work in assessing and treating a range of different illnesses. Medical physicists undergo extensive training and work in close collaboration with a variety of healthcare professionals. The job of a medical physicist can be demanding and complex though it gives much personal satisfaction. Learn more about how to train for medical physicist jobs.

Work activities

The job of a medical physicist is to develop techniques to show the workings of the body through current methods such as x-rays, ultrasound scanning, and nuclear medicine using radioactive drugs and gamma cameras. Medical physicists may also supervise the dose of radiation administered to a patient to treat cancer. Medical physicists work in a range of medical fields, including nuclear medicine, radiology and radiotherapy. They may also work to carry out general physiological monitoring and investigation.

Skills

Medical physics is the application of science and technology. The work of a medical physicist benefits the sick, meaning that the job can provide great satisfaction. A medical physicist must be skilled in working in both research and development, and in routine patient services.

Entry requirements

Undergraduates Prospective medical physicists possessing a range of excellent GCSE grades and a minimum of two A levels, preferably in scientific subjects, can train to become a medical physicist through the NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP). Entry requirements differ among universities, meaning that it is essential for prospective medical physicists to check the entry requirements before embarking on A level study. Graduates Graduates can become a medical physicist by enrolling on an NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP). For STP training, a 2:1 degree in a relevant scientific subject is the minimum requirement.

Training programmes

PTP For the PTP, entry into medical physicist jobs is through an accredited Bachelor of Healthcare Science (Medical Physics) degree. These are three year, full-time training programmes which combine theoretical study with practical experience of working in the NHS. STP At STP level, trainees are free to search for STP vacancies in an area that interests them. These areas include radiotherapy physics, ionising and non-ionising radiation imaging, and radiation safety physics. STP vacancies are advertised on an annual basis.

Professional registration

In order to work as a medical physicist in the UK, an individual must be registered with the Health Professions Council.

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