Radiological Sciences Ph.D. Program: Medical Physics


Thank You Ahsan, Thank You Teresa. Wow there are so many people here, this is exciting. My name is Jodie I am a second year PhD student in the
Radiological Sciences program and that’s gonna be the only time I introduced
myself that way because within Radiological Sciences what I actually
study is Medical Physics everyone has heard of Radiology but if
you say Medical Physics, you’re going to raise a lot more eyebrows, you’re going
to spark a lot more conversations when you say that so I’m Jodie I’m studying a
Medical Physics right now. You’re gonna hear lots of really cool
stories from my colleagues about the day that they woke up and knew they were
going to be a scientist my story is a little bit different. It’s a
story of someone who was interested in what seems like way too many sciences
all the same time and trying to find your path. So I studied Physics as an undergraduate because of is a subject is pretty broad
as far as Sciences go and for some reason I was good at it. I don’t know how that happened yeah and
I also studied philosophy. It turned out that i enjoyed thinking
about science just as much as i enjoy doing it. So subjects of philosophy of science, theory of mine, these things were just as cool to me is
the physics that i was learning in the classroom and in the lab. So by the time
I graduated, I had heard of graduate school I had heard about getting your doctorate it sounded like a cool thing for me but
if I could only narrow down what was I wanted to study. I wasn’t ready to
make that leap yet so i was sworn into my institutions master’s program for
Computer Science. even though i’ve never written a line of
code in my life– they just said you’ll be fine just go for it. I was fine
eventually. It turned out that i loved computer science too- so it seemed
like I was casting an even wider net for myself but luckily amid all of these
studies I did go to a conference where I heard a
woman I give a very cool presentation on Medical Physics. I’ve never heard of it before but I did
more research I heard about UTHSCSA and then I ended up here. so an antiquated definition for what
Medical Physics actually is very generally anytime that you have
radiation in medicine you want a physicist present and that
happens quite a bit. Our program is about four years long so
we do about two years of course work your qualifying examinations, and then
research for your dissertation then you’re done. Many of us will go on
to take boards and complete residency much like medical students do. Then
when you’re done, There’s about three general things you can do is a medical physicist. The first would be if you want to bring
home the “big bucks” you can be a therapy physicist– they work alongside oncologists
to help plan radiation treatments for cancer therapy. Another major branch of medical physics
would be that of health physics so that is maintaining radiation safety in
places like UTHSCSA and hospitals and what not so our own Environmental Health
and Safety Officer here at UTHSCSA, Dr. Michael Charlton, he is also a certified
Medical Health Physicist. so in addition to making sure we do safe
radiation practices here, he’s also the person who gets called when someone in
the dental building burns a bag of popcorn and the fire trucks have to come
so please pop responsibly everyone for Michael Charleton. I’m in the other major sect of Medical
Physics would be that of Imaging Physics so using radiation and other new things
nowadays to image the human body. That’s what I get to do– I work over in
the Research Imaging Institute I get to do all of the cool things that i really like– perfect intersection I do data mining on massive amounts of
brain data and people who suffer from depression. Just a really cool
intersection of all these fields I do have quite a passion for Mental
Health research and mental illness it’s kind of mysterious field right now. So what we’re doing studying the physical mechanisms and markers. We can actually see in the brain the people who have these disorders. I think it’s going to be big news
someday and UTHSCSA is the perfect place for me, I’m glad I’m here. Thanks Guys.

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