MSci Physics, 2018
Clinical Scientist in Nuclear Medicine, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
I am a recently qualified Clinical Scientist in Nuclear Medicine. After graduating from the University of Birmingham in 2018 I started the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP), specialising in medical physics. This involved three years of work-based learning at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham across all areas of medical physics, as well as a part time MSc at the University of Liverpool.
My day-to-day role includes performing radioactive therapies for cancer patients, testing and monitoring sophisticated imaging equipment such as gamma cameras, and processing patients' nuclear medicine scans to provide diagnostic information for clinicians. I work alongside other physicists, technologists, nurses and consultants to provide a high standard of care for all of our patients.
What is the best thing about what you are doing now?
The best thing about my role is that I get to use physics on a daily basis to assist with the diagnosis and treatment of patients. As well as performing routine tasks like equipment quality assurance and image processing, I am also involved in radionuclide therapy dosimetry research, which I thoroughly enjoy. I started this research during my MSc project, which has now become a large part of my current role as Clinical Scientist.
What made you interested in your current role?
I became interested in medical physics when I undertook the Medical Imaging module in the third year of my MSci at UoB. I thought it was fascinating that physics was involved in multiple aspects of healthcare, such as radiotherapy, nuclear medicine, MRI and X-ray imaging. I think that the ability to apply physics and engineering to medicine, which goes on to improve the lives of patients, is amazing.
How has your career developed since graduating?
My degree from Birmingham put me in a great position to apply for the NHS STP, where the main aim of this programme is to become a state-registered Clinical Scientist. After completing this programme, I am now on a career path that promotes progression and development in terms of knowledge and research, but also as an NHS employee.
Why did you originally apply to Birmingham?
I remember visiting as a college student and being totally amazed by the campus and facilities. After attending an Open Day and meeting members of the School of Physics and Astronomy, I knew that this was the place I wanted to attend university. I covered many aspects of physics during my degree, and also obtained various skills such as laboratory work, coding, research, scientific writing, and presentation skills.
What are your fondest memories of the University?
My fondest memories are probably those involving the friends I made through my degree course who I lived with for three years, and who I am still in touch with today. I was exposed to many like-minded people at university who have all gone on to do wonderful things after graduating.
How did your time at University help you start your career?
After realising I wanted a career in medical physics, something which I didn't even know existed until I started at Birmingham, I sought out work experience opportunities as advised by physics tutors. I also attended workshops held by the university Careers Network, as well as 1-on-1 meetings, to discuss my NHS STP application and interview. These were extremely helpful and the guidance offered really helped me have a smooth transition between university and starting a career.
I'm proud of what I have achieved and the career path that I am on, and I couldn't have done it without my UoB experience.
“Whether you are unsure about what you want to do after university or not, make time to speak to the Careers Network. They give great advice and offer loads of resources. But above all, enjoy yourself! You are only an undergraduate once so take opportunities where they are offered to get the most out of your course.”