In honor of International Day of Medical Physics and National Radiologic Technologist Week
“After 25 years in the field of medical physics, I can truly attest that I love my job. Choosing to become a Medical Physicist was not an easy decision for me. First the bad part, four years of undergraduate college and five years of graduate school requires substantial time and financial commitments for something I wasn’t even quite certain about. There is plenty of stress, great sense of responsibility and occasional self-doubt that goes with the job. Many medical physicists are also prone to burn out and I had my share of it. Now the best part – I love working with people and I also love to learn and contribute to research while earning a decent living. Medical Physics career provided me the opportunity to check all those boxes. I routinely participate in special procedures, design and implementation of new treatment techniques and learn from published literature and colleagues. I occasionally even get to see the difference it makes in people lives and get inspired to do more for the next patient. This gives me the sense of achievement and derive tremendous satisfaction knowing that I helped improving someone’s quality of life. There are sad moments as well when the treatment fails. But those sad moments also inspires to learn more and reminds me to be kind and gentle as life is truly fragile.”
~ Jacob H., PhD
“I am proud to be a Medical Physicist because I can make a difference in people’s lives. Those that know what we do immediately think of cancer care. They’re not wrong, as that is the majority of the cases for which our services are used; seeing a lung lesion slowly disappear over the course of a treatment certainly makes me proud. Even palliative cases where treatment has allowed a patient to spend the remainder of their days productively with family makes me proud. But there are also numerous benign conditions we’re involved in treating, as well. One of the most rewarding is treating trigeminal neuralgia. Often, these patients come to use with debilitating pain, having failed numerous other therapy options. The preparation for these treatments is rigorous, as the target often is only a few millimeters wide and the dose is far higher than typical radiosurgery. I do multiple extra steps to ensure the treatment is accurate, safe, and effective. I’m blessed to work with a physician that updates me on these patients’ progress. He often reports that these patients’ lives have dramatically changed, as the procedure has allowed them to return to normalcy, sometimes within weeks of treatment. The stark conversion of hard work, attention to detail, and, yes, anxiety that everything goes according to plan to wonderful success stories doesn’t always happen in this field. Often, we’re left crossing our fingers hoping statistics are on the side of our patient. But to have something so immediate is a tangible reminder of how much we can change peoples’ lives. And for that, I’m proud.”
~ Rob K., DMP, DABR
“I am proud to be a Medical Physicist because it’s a challenging profession, but most rewarding when cancer is beaten.”
~ Calvin C.
“I am proud to be in the medical physics field because I get to work with an amazing group of people who share my love of science and caring for others.”
~ Mary C.