Physics plays an integral role in the development of new medical technologies, medicines and procedures.
In the search for cancer cures, radiotherapy has seen huge increases in employment opportunities for physicists, while all imaging departments - particularly MRI scanning - are growth areas.
Those looking for a career in the medical equipment research and development field - which includes work on artificial limbs, hearing and sight, heart valves and specialist surgery equipment - can access careers information and vacancies advertise by organisations through the following professional bodies:
- The Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI)
The organisation for medical device technology in the UK
- The Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM)
A professional body for scientists and engineers in the medical profession
- The British Nuclear Medicine Society's (BNMS)
An independent forum dedicated to nuclear medicine
- The British Academy of Audiology (BAA)
Dedicated to finding solutions to audio and balance problems
- The British Institute of Radiology (BIR)
An independent forum for radiologists ands allied scientific and medical professionals
Specific employment opportunities can be found at the following organisation:
- The Health Protection Agency (HPA)
An independent body set up to protect the citizens of the UK against a variety of potential medical and natural disasters. Recruitment opportunities can be accessed via the HPA website
Graduates may need a relevant Master's degree to work in the fields of ultrasound, radiography and diagnosis. Under the new training structure of the National Health Service, the initial training for medical physicists is a two-year intensive programme accredited by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM). There is also a NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP). The NHS Careers website includes an overview of the field of clinical engineering. Some specialist Master's degrees and PhDs in medical physics are also available. For more advice about finding suitable courses, look in the further study section.
If medicine is the area of work that strongly appeals, why not check out another physicist’s real-life experience of the field?
last edited: January 05, 2015