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Careers: Physics/P.G in physics


QUESTION: I have a confusion to select my P.G course in physics. Whether to choose M.Sc Medical physics or M.Sc Physics. Which one has better scope and great job opportunities. Or if there is any other better course than this in field of physics???

ANSWER: Hi Renes:

Medical Physics and Physics are quite different.  Medical Physics in the United States has become more like a M.D. degree, requiring an accredited program and residency before being able to sit for the board examination.  I am not sure how it is in other countries.

If you want to be a Medical Physicist and are willing to go through the residency process assuming you are admitted to an accredited program in the first place), the profession is certainly one in which there are good jobs.

For an M.Sc. in physics, it is a bit more difficult to identify a specific profession as an outcome.  It is still a very general degree.  That doe snot mean that you can't find a job but it takes a bit more effort and imagination.

An alternative professional degree might be one in Radiation Health Physics, which is allied to, but NOT Medical Physics.  Look up the Health Physics Society for more information.

Hope this helps

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I want something great in physics. I want to apply physics. I want something different. Whether medical physics will be such a course?

Hi Renes:

No one can tell you that.  You need to do research on the field yourself and decide if it is exciting for you.  Of course you can make contributions to the field no matter what direction you go, you had just better choose one you are excited about.

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Carlo Segre


I can answer most questions about studying physics in college and graduate school; questions about condensed matter physics; x-ray physics; synchrotron radiation; and general and modern physics. I can also answer questions about careers in academia.


Professor of physics for 30 years at Illinois Institute of Technology. Academic adviser for undergraduates and graduate students. I have served on university promotion and tenure committees, search committees for Deans and Department Chairs. I have also been an Associate Department Chair and an Associate Dean. I have 34 years experience in materials science research and I have been responsible for building and now managing a User facility at the Advanced Photon Source.

American Physical Society
Sigma Xi
American Chemical Society
American Associate for the Advancement of Science
International Centre for Diffraction Data (Fellow)
International X-ray Absorption Society

Nature; Physical Review Letters; Physical Review; Applied Physics Letters; Journal of Physical Chemistry; Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials; Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics; Solid State Communications; Physics Letters; Journal of Low Temperature Physics; Journal of Crystal Growth and Design; Physics Letters; Journal of Applied Physics; Journal of Archaeological Science; Physica C; Corrosion Science; Electrochimica Acta; Journal of Nuclear Materials

Ph.D. Physics, 1981 - University of California, San Diego
M.S. Physics, 1977 - University of California, San Diego
B.S. Physics, 1976 - University of illinois, Champaign-Urbana
B.S. Chemistry 1976 - University of illinois, Champaign-Urbana

Awards and Honors
Duchossois Leadership Professor of Physics, IIT Fellow, International Center for Diffraction Data

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