Department of Physics

East Hall, 2 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 02881


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Medical Physics Program


A certified medical physicist can specialize in one or more subfields of medical physics:

Therapeutic Radiological Physics focuses on the therapeutic applications of x-rays, gamma rays and other forms of radiology in patient care. Medical physicists in this subfield maintain extensive knowledge of the equipment used in this type of therapy for the purposes of clinical work, scientific research, and teaching services.

Diagnostic Radiological Physics has a similar description, but with a focus on the applications of radiology for diagnostic, rather than treatment purposes.

Medical Nuclear Physics involves the therapeutic and diagnostic applications of radionuclides, and the equipment associated with their production and use.

Medical Health Physics focuses on the safety aspects of using x-rays, gamma rays, electron and other forms of radiology, through developing protective gear and instruments for use by medical professionals.

Types of Practice

As a medical physicist you might be employed in a number of settings:

Hospital or Health Care Organization
You could be employed by a hospital, clinic, medical school, university, or health care organization. The association with radiologists, radiation oncologists, other physicians and a wide diversity of support staff provides a broad base for expansion of interests and expertise.

Radiology Group
You could also be a member of a radiology or radiation oncology group. Any agreements concerning employment should strive to parallel those of physician members of the group as much as possible. In particular, the medical physicist should be considered one of the professional members of the group.

Private Practice
Another option is to be self-employed or become a full partner in a medical physics consulting group. In this context, you are responsible for all aspects of conducting a private business.

You can find more information about careers in Medical Physics at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) website.

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