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    Hi,

    Just wondering if anyone has any advice or resources that could help me decide on my next move careerwise

    Basically, I graduated with an MPhys (4 year integrated Masters course in Physics) last summer. I had been accepted onto the STP at KCH but couldn't progress because I ended up achieving a 2:2. Long story short, I transferred unis after Year 2, and was told by lecturers my Year 2 grades would count..but upon finishing my degree I found out they didn't count (I would've achieved 2:1 if they did). This weirdly turned out to be a blessing, because I later found out my offer for the STP was in radiation safety Physics (the one specialism I'm not interested in), rather than being undefined (allowing me to choose later on) as I was originally thinking.

    Anyway, I started working as a physicist in radiotherapy at an amazing hospital, and this will be until October. However, whilst I love the idea of very directly helping people using Physics (I create treatment plans for breast cancer patients atm), I've realised that I want more patient contact (I essentially am not required to see patients in this role)! I didn't realise this job would mean being behind a computer for 30-40 hours a week, although it makes sense, and I do enjoy creating the plans and using Physics every day.

    Now I have a few options in mind - either continue on this path to become a clinical scientist, or look into more patient-contact careers. For the first option, I would have to self fund an IPEM accredited MSc (which I'd prefer to do over 2 years, and work part time), and then reapply for STP (or do Route 2 through my employer). However, I can't imagine how my job at a higher level would involve more patient contact and less time behind a computer, so I don't want to regret the financial nor time-based investment!

    The second option I'm thinking of is pursuing medicine, either through being a radiologist in the long-term, or via the much newer Physician's Associate route, which seems very exciting (/controversial!). I don't know if this PA option would involve much Physics though Also, I'd have to do the new 4 year undergrad at UCLan (since Physics isn't accepted for entry into the 2 year Masters).

    I've thought about therapeutic radiography, biomech engineering, and prosthetics too but ruled those out, aswell as working in a lab/clinical trials/research department as a Physicist. I do have minimal commitments atm so moving around or studying for a few more years is fine, but I would need to find a way to fund long term studying.

    TLDR: I'm a Physics graduate (2:2 MPhys) working as a Physicist in Radiotherapy Physics at a hospital. I want to use Physics in my career, and I want to help people, which I'm currently doing. However, I also want more patient interaction rather than being behind a computer (I'd accept using a computer for 2-3 days a week, but not 5 days full time!). Any ideas?

    Thank you!
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    (Original post by PhysicsGal)
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    I think the thing to do before making any jumps and decisions is to get some work experience and work out what you want to do. You seem to have researched how to get to various stages but not what they entail.
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    (Original post by alleycat393)
    I think the thing to do before making any jumps and decisions is to get some work experience and work out what you want to do. You seem to have researched how to get to various stages but not what they entail.
    Thank you for your response! How could I get work experience?
    Between graduation and getting a job, I'd asked various hospitals and my uni careers centre, and it seems that hospitals are only willing to let you shadow/have a placement there if you're studying A Levels or an undergraduate degree related to healthcare. I've looked into voluntary positions too, but can't find anything

    I do have some shadowing lined up through work in nuclear medicine next month. However, I don't think it'd be a good idea to ask for an opportunity to shadow a doctor at work. I don't want to seem uncommitted to my own department, especially if I do decide to stay on my current path

    Is there a way to organise shadowing doctors in certain specialities?
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    (Original post by PhysicsGal)
    Thank you for your response! How could I get work experience?
    Between graduation and getting a job, I'd asked various hospitals and my uni careers centre, and it seems that hospitals are only willing to let you shadow/have a placement there if you're studying A Levels or an undergraduate degree related to healthcare. I've looked into voluntary positions too, but can't find anything

    I do have some shadowing lined up through work in nuclear medicine next month. However, I don't think it'd be a good idea to ask for an opportunity to shadow a doctor at work. I don't want to seem uncommitted to my own department, especially if I do decide to stay on my current path

    Is there a way to organise shadowing doctors in certain specialities?
    If you are committed then you just have to keep looking unfortunately. A lot of health places need volunteers all the time so it's not impossible. And there's nothing wrong with keeping your options open and asking to shadow a doctor. Again with specialties you have to keep looking. There is not short cut unfortunately.
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    As far as patient interaction goes. Radiology would be a very poor choice of career. Most of your time is spent either at the computer or in meetings with other doctors
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    (Original post by James_tattersall)
    As far as patient interaction goes. Radiology would be a very poor choice of career. Most of your time is spent either at the computer or in meetings with other doctors
    True, unfortunately this is what I'm realising - to keep Physics in my daily life, I'd have minimal patient contact again

    This sounds far-fetched - but what are the chances of doing job shares well?

    I'd love to continue my current path 2-3 days a week but also gain patient contact, interact more directly with patients, and see healthcare from a different perspective by going the medical route for the other half a week! I can't think of any other way of combining physics and patient interaction.

    I was thinking of doing voluntary work (St. John's Ambulance perhaps) using annual leave to fill the gap, but I'd still be stuck in a career that won't fully satisfy what I want. Any ideas?
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    (Original post by PhysicsGal)
    True, unfortunately this is what I'm realising - to keep Physics in my daily life, I'd have minimal patient contact again

    This sounds far-fetched - but what are the chances of doing job shares well?

    I'd love to continue my current path 2-3 days a week but also gain patient contact, interact more directly with patients, and see healthcare from a different perspective by going the medical route for the other half a week! I can't think of any other way of combining physics and patient interaction.

    I was thinking of doing voluntary work (St. John's Ambulance perhaps) using annual leave to fill the gap, but I'd still be stuck in a career that won't fully satisfy what I want. Any ideas?
    Job shares don't really happen in medicine. You are really going to have to fully commit or steer clear. Certainly becoming a doctor will give that patient caring that you're after. You could try for a medical career in neurology/neurophysiology, pretty physics heavy. The thing is, you can't just jump in to that career. It would come nearly a decade later. Medicine can't be something you go in to just for that one specialist job, it just takes too damn long to get there
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    (Original post by James_tattersall)
    Job shares don't really happen in medicine. You are really going to have to fully commit or steer clear. Certainly becoming a doctor will give that patient caring that you're after. You could try for a medical career in neurology/neurophysiology, pretty physics heavy. The thing is, you can't just jump in to that career. It would come nearly a decade later. Medicine can't be something you go in to just for that one specialist job, it just takes too damn long to get there
    Thank you!

    I think I need to keep trying to find shadowing opportunities, and perhaps this will help me see if medicine or even being a physician associate will suit me better than being a clinical scientist
 
 
 
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