How does someone become a Medical Physicist?
Several U.S. universities offer academic programs in medical physics leading to a master's or doctor's degree. A thorough preparation in general physics is highly desirable before entry into these programs. The most common programs emphasize the physical properties and medical applications of radiation of all types. Important skills that should be acquired during academic training include knowledge of electronics and computer techniques. A list of training programs is available here.
Academic training alone does not make a medical physicist. Practical experience with medical problems is essential. This experience may be acquired through a residency traineeship or postodoctoral program of one or two years in a hospital. These programs are becoming an increasingly important mode of entry into the profession. A list of institutions offering such residency programs is also available here.