What is Medical Physics?

What is Medical Physics?

Medical Physics is a branch of applied physics which employs physical concepts for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease. It is a truly diverse field that utilises the knowledge gained in other areas of physics and applies it to heal people. 

Medical Physics is now a highly recognisable and valued area of medicine. Its disciplines are vital components of many aspects of healthcare such as medical imaging, radiotherapy for cancer patients, cardiology, orthopedics and other specialties, as well as medical research in general.

Medical Physics has been a key catalyst in the evolution of modern medicine ever since the discovery of X-rays by Roentgen in 1895 and Becquerel's 1898 discovery of radioactivity. At present the rapid translation of new physical techniques into medical instrumentation, means physicists are becoming increasingly essential in a wide range of clinical areas, e.g. radiotherapy, radiology, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound imaging, positron emission tomography, pulmonary physiology, cardiology, opthamology or biomedical sensors and implants. 

Medical Physics has four main specialised areas: Radiation Oncology, Nuclear Medicine, Radiology and Radiation Safety.