Medical Physicists

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Medical physicists use analytical and applied scientific techniques to assist healthcare workers in the safe diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Medical physicists use a variety of analytical, computer-aided and bioengineering techniques in their work such as radiotherapy, x-ray imaging, ultrasound, tomography, radiology, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging and lasers.

They work with patients and with a wide range of medical, technical and administrative staff.

Typical responsibilities of the job include:

  • researching, developing and evaluating new analytical techniques

  • planning and ensuring safe and accurate treatment of patients

  • providing advice about radiation protection

  • training and updating healthcare, scientific and technical staff

  • managing radiotherapy quality assurance programmes

  • mathematical modelling

  • maintaining equipment

  • writing reports

  • teaching

  • laboratory management


Qualifications and training required


To become a medical physicist a good degree in physics, applied science, computation, mathematics or engineering is necessary. However, for positions with the NHS, each NHS trust decides which degrees are relevant. A postgraduate qualification can be beneficial.

Research work, hospital laboratory placements and/or relevant experience gained using similar scientific and analytical techniques can also be useful.


Key skills for medical physicists


  • A logical and inquisitive mind

  • Excellent IT skills

  • Analytical skills

  • Good team working abilities


Typical employers of medical physicists


  • Hospitals

  • Universities

  • Research organisations

  • Diagnostic or medical instrumentation manufacturers

There are good prospects for promotion within the public sector as the NHS operates a structured career path and salary scale.


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What is the job role of a Medical Physicists?

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