A new three-year postgraduate course in medical physics will commence in Mangalore University from the 2018-19 academic year.

The university is the first among the conventional State universities in Karnataka to introduce this course, having a one-year internship in identified hospitals.

The course approved and recognised by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) deals with application of physics to the needs of medicine. It is also referred as health physics, according to H.M. Somashekarappa, coordinator, medical physics division at the university.

“Medical physics incorporates both theoretical and experimental methods, but inherently an applied discipline,” he said.

Medical physicists are concerned with clinical service and consultation, and academics and research. The areas are equally important in treating patients and developing new methods and techniques to deliver the benefits of radiation physics to the public. Medical physicists have the responsibility for ensuring radiation protection in all medical applications, he said in a release.

Referring to the subject matter, he said that the syllabi would include subjects such as foundations of nuclear and radiation physics, radiation detection measurements, radiological mathematics, electronics and biomedical instrumentation, radiation dosimetry and standardisation.

The university has signed memoranda of understanding with medical colleges and hospitals for conducting practical classes related to radiation therapy and planning, radiation dose estimation and optimisation, image analysis, and so on.

Career opportunities

After completing the course, one can become a clinical physicist. They can become consultants in clinical and scientific advice to the doctors and act as resource persons to solve numerous and diverse physical problems that arise continually in many specialised medical areas. Every hospital and clinic that uses radiation requires medical physicists.

They can also become faculty members in departments of medical physics, radiology, radiation oncology, radiation biology, nuclear medicine and nuclear engineering. If the postgraduates complete an examination conducted by the AERB, they can be employed as radiological safety officers in government and private sector.

Scientists from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre would also teach students in addition to adjunct professors. Candidates who have completed BSc with physics as one of the optionals or major are eligible to apply provided they have studied mathematics as major / optional / special / minor / subsidiary subject for at least two years and secured a minimum of 65% marks in physics. The total intake is 14 seats.

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