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Cancer Care Chronicles
July 18, 2019

The Sciency Stuff

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
JAMA Oncol. 2019;5(9):1255-1256. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.1898

“I’m a medical physicist.”

“Oh. So are you, like, a doctor?”

“Well, yes, but not that kind of doctor. I help make sure your treatments are delivered safely. I do the ‘sciency’ stuff.”

“Okay. You know, I hated physics in high school.”

I have had conversations like this quite a few times throughout my career. I have never been very good at giving the medical physics elevator speech. I usually fumble around a bit about linear accelerators, radiation safety, and treatment planning, while waving my arms about in a sort of arc therapy interpretive dance. But the thing is, if you are interested, I really do want to tell you about it.

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