|Physics with Philosophy
|Trainee Clinical Scientist (Medical Physics)
|Oxford University Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust
|Large business (250+ employees)
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A day in the life of a Trainee Clinical Scientist (Medical Physics) in the United Kingdom
At university I was involved in many different things which broadened my skillset and ultimately led to being accepted onto the programme.
Briefly describe the organisation you work for
I work for a hospital in the NHS in the Medical Physics Department
What do you do?
I'm on a graduate programme to become registered as a Clinical Scientist. Clinical Scientists quality assure medical equipment in imaging and radiotherapy, are responsible for all aspects of radiation within the hospital, plan radiotherapy and nuclear medicine treatments and share their expertise in making clinical decisions.
Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?
I first learned of medical physics at UoY when exploring possible career options with my physics degree during my 1st year at university. I took advantage of WRIPA (physics department careers service) and found the sectors I was interested in working in. After many different trips none of the careers interested me much until I found out about medical physics and joining the NHS Scientist Training Programme. Despite lockdowns, I reached out to people and went to online Open Days and found that it was the career I wanted as it combined applying physics to helping others and in a medical setting which I was very interested in.
Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?
It's a sector I wasn't aware of until university and actively trying to find out more about it. Healthcare science as a field is not well-known so I didn't know it existed. I was accepted onto the programme before graduating and have enjoyed it since.
Describe your most memorable day at work
As I'm learning, every day is memorable because they're all so different, There is such a variety in medical physics and it's even better that you're encouraged to get involved in what you're interested in even if that's everything.
Are there any challenges associated with your job?
Clinical Science involves a lot of problem-solving to try new ways to fix issues such as with machines or software. As we work in a clinical environment, everyone is always busy but this allows for being able to take charge of your own training and be self-sufficient whilst the help and support is always available.
What’s your work environment and culture like?
Depending on what I'm doing, I work in the office and also in different areas of the hospital. We wear fairly smart clothing - not super formal but no trackies or jeans either. The NHS has the same set of values nationally outlined in the NHS Constitution. Everyone at work is there for the patients and therefore are there for each other to provide the best care for patients. Every question is answered or signposted to who knows and I'm never short of help when I need it. Depending on responsibilities, the workday is very flexible - as a trainee, as long as I work my hours in the day I can start at 7 or 10 and finish at 3 or 7 depending on how I want to schedule my day and also what is going on in the department.
What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?
At university I was involved in many different things which broadened my skillset and ultimately led to being accepted onto the programme. In terms of sport I was part of UoY Barbell Club and then Jiu Jitsu in (part of) 2nd year. The determination and consistency I developed from these sports to continuously improve and manage many hobbies at once was very valuable. I was also a part of GoodGym York which improved my fitness and allowed me to volunteer and meet lots of people making the community better. Now in Oxford I have joined GoodGym Oxford and continue this volunteering.
What would you like to do next with your career?
I would like to qualify as a Clinical Scientist in Medical Physics at the end of my programme and continue developing further.
What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?
Think about your values, what you enjoy and what you're good at and apply for those roles. Alternatively, if you don't know what you want to do, just try out anything that you might like. I was fortunate to find a role I knew would fit me straight away but careers can change. Doing things that turn out not to be a good fit are valuable because they show you what you don't want so that you are closer to finding roles you do like.
What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?
University, Physics, Extra-curriculars, Medical Physics, NHS, STP applications, Volunteering and work experience, making your own opportunities.
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