A magazine for friends of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Using Physics to Help Patients


Brown launches a graduate program in medical physics.

MRI, radiation therapy, CT scans—the array of technology that exists to make better diagnoses and deliver therapies is astounding. Behind those machines are medical physicists, who calibrate doses and provide guidance for therapy. The Warren Alpert Medical School is launching a new graduate program in medical physics.

“We have an outstanding Department of Physics and Medical School at Brown,” says Eric Klein, PhD, professor of radiation oncology and director of the graduate program in medical physics. He points out that this is one of only a handful of programs located within a school of medicine, making it highly focused on patients.

Another unique feature is an emphasis on research. Master’s degree students will spend a full semester doing research. That will better position them for a successful residency program, Klein says. A two-year residency is required before medical physicists enter practice.

Edward Walsh, PhD, the program’s assistant director, says Brown’s program will be kept smaller to allow students greater access to faculty and to research opportunities. “We offer a robust course load, including computational physics. We have quite a bit to offer that’s not found in other master’s programs,” he says.

Faculty for the program are drawn from the departments of Radiation Oncology and Diagnostic Imaging at The Warren Alpert Medical School. The program is co-sponsored by the Lifespan health system, so students will have access to the technology and be part of patient care teams.

The job market for careers in medical physics is “fantastic,” Klein says. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for medical physicists could grow as much as 24 percent in the next decade.

Learn more about the Graduate Program in Medical Physics here.


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