Medical physicists research and develop techniques and equipment used to diagnose and treat illness.

What does a medical physicist do?

This job role can involve:

  • developing and testing new systems, such as MRI scanning, to investigate patients’ conditions
  • monitoring equipment, such as x-rays and ultrasound
  • training hospital staff to use new equipment
  • helping to plan treatment programmes
  • as well as performing certain procedures and analysing test results

Medical physicists also help to develop new technology for diagnosis and treatment, covering areas such as imaging techniques, radio therapies, electronics, and laser technology. 

What do I need to do to become a medical physicist?

After completing a degree in physics, you will need to find a trainee healthcare scientist job through the NHS Healthcare Scientist Training Programme (STP). The STP is a three-year work-based training qualification, which leads to a master’s degree in your chosen specialism. You will be employed by an NHS organisation while you train, and be paid a salary.

Related skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork

Academic route

  • Five GCSEs (A-C), including English, maths and at least two sciences
  • Three A levels, including maths and physics

Related subjects

  • Maths
  • Physics

Essential qualifications

  • Degree in physics

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

You will most likely be working within the NHS or at a private hospital, but you may also work within a medical research institute or the medical equipment manufacturing industry. 

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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