Healthcare Science Specialism: Medical Physics (Radiotherapy)
What does your job involve?
I am accountable for the day to day operation of the radiotherapy physics service, working closely with my senior team who are responsible for different aspects of the radiotherapy physics service.
Day to day activities can include discussing the implementation of new techniques, assessing radiotherapy equipment to purchase, project managing equipment replacement, delivering training to more junior staff, or assessing radiation shielding requirements for new equipment.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Variety – radiotherapy is constantly evolving and as a team we evolve with it, changing how we work and ensuring that our patients are receiving safe, high quality treatments. We work as part of a large multidisciplinary team and there is always something new to learn or hear a different point of view from a colleague.
What qualifications led you to this role?
I was in the final year of my BSc (Hons) Physics course when I heard about the NHS Clinical Scientist training scheme (now STP), and I successfully applied to join it, studying for an MSc in Medical Physics whilst being employed at Portsmouth Hospital’s NHS Trust. After completing the then IPEM training part 1 and part 2 training, I became registered as HCPC Clinical Scientist.
When I moved in to management I undertook further training in management and leadership in the form of an apprenticeship through the ILM.
What career opportunities are available?
Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering is a huge spectrum of disciplines and the ability to sub specialise within the disciplines.
Within radiotherapy it is possible to specialise in quality control, dosimetry, treatment planning, radiotherapy computing, and radiotherapy imaging to name a few.
After becoming HCPC registered, Clinical Scientists in Medical Physics can work towards Medical Physics Expert (MPE) certification and/or embark on the Higher Scientific Specialist training/equivalence pathway to fulfil the criteria to become a Consultant Clinical Scientist.
Do you have advice for someone interested in a career in healthcare science?
Try and combine your interests and strengths to one of the healthcare science streams, there’s something for everyone.