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Raygun77

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People like me with engineering minds are all about thinking of new gadgets and technology developments that could advance the field of medicine. I know there's a bit of scope in surgical and other procedural specialities for medicos to have a hand in developing products and devices, just wondering if such opportunities exist for Radiation Oncologists?

Ideas would include new immobilisers, targeting systems, imaging setups, blocks, etc.

Any thoughts guys?

Thanks
Ray
 

Neuronix

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My PhD, while not formally in engineering, was in an engineering lab and involved a lot of custom high-tech device work. I'd love to hear more about opportunities in this area as well.

I wasn't able to find much of a role for MDs in this area when rotating and interviewing for residency. I even got negative feedback when I brought this up as a role for radiation oncologists at some programs. I was rather surprised to hear this, particularly at programs with close ties to the equipment manufacturers. If anything, currently this seems to be a PhD-only physicist area.
 

RadOncDoc21

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I received a similar response as well during my interviews. Almost to the effect of why would we need to advance our field, it's advanced enough! I guess the current leaders are stuck in their ways. Hopefully other fields don't gain ground and start using radiation to treat people.
 
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Gfunk6

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I think it depends a bit on where you do your residency and the relative strength of your physics department. In my experience, medical physicists are dying to work with MDs on collaborative projects. Frequently that collaboration is limited to the clinical arena (retrospective dosimetry studies). However, if you expressed interest on the device side of things (especially if you had relevant experience) you would find your talents welcomed.

However, you REALLY have to talk face to face with physicists as your Chair and PD may lack interest and expertise in these areas to properly guide you.

If you are looking for a role model, consider contacting Dr. Parikh at WashU.
 
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