Medical Biophysics Graduate Student Association


Updates, opinion pieces, and news related to the department

The Inevitable Career Search, Part 2

Welcome back!

My last blog just scratched the surface of the many career options available to graduate students in the department of Medical Biophysics (or most graduate departments for that matter). So I'm going to discuss with you three more options today. Someone mentioned they'd be interested in hearing what a radiation physicist does, so I'll try my best to answer that question.

Medical Radiation Physicist (Radiation Oncology Physics)

These advanced degree holders (typically a Ph.D. in medical physics) work in the hospital setting. Medical Radiation Physicists are involved in all aspects of radiation therapy. Their day to day responsibilities include ensuring that radiation emitting devices within the hospital are functioning properly, monitoring emissions and recommending safe dosages and treatment parameters. Radiation Physicists verify that the hospital is following established guidelines for the use of radiation. This career will expose individuals to radiation equipment design and enable them to research particular medical devices in order to make policy recommendations based on the findings.

Becoming a Radiation Physicist unfortunately requires more training. The program lasts 2 years and includes both a classroom portion (typically in the first year) and a clinical rotation portion (typically in the second year). Does this sound interesting? Here are some links to get you started.

The Toronto Residency Program in Radiation Oncology Physics Radiation Oncology Physics: An in depth look (text book)

CT Scanner

Technology Transfer (Business Development)

Technology transfer professionals work at the hub between academia, private industry and law. They generally work either for large corporations or academic institutions. Backgrounds are diverse but they typically hold at least 1 advanced degree in the life sciences if not an MBA. Day to day activities can include market research to assess the potential of a new technology coming out of the lab, researching the existing patent landscape to determine if the invention is patentable or meeting with businesses, lawyers and researchers to help negotiate licenses or purchases. This career requires knowledge of law (particularly IP and contract), business (market research, business plans) and science. Nearby technology transfer offices include the UHN TTO at the MaRs centre (, Ryerson Office of Research Services (, McMaster Industry Liaison office ( and MaRs Innovation ( Sound like this is up your alley? Check out these other links!

Technology transfer professional talking about his career path Tech transfer professional giving an overview of their daily activities Tech transfer article

Technology Transfer Process

Securities (stocks/bonds) Analyst

Have you ever invested any of your own money? Are you interested in the stock market and in particular the technology sector? Being a securities analyst might be for you. People with a technical life science or physics background are in demand because they have a better understanding of the products that certain companies (ex. medical device, biotechnology) offer and already have strong quantitative skills. The main function of an analyst is to determine the intrinsic "worth" of a company by evaluating their product pipeline. They also stay updated on industry trends and regulations. With this information in hand the analyst will issue a statement to inform investors whether they should buy, sell or hold the security in question. Successful analysts may go on to obtain a CFA designation (chartered financial analyst), a rigorous exam.

Sound interesting? These links should get you started:

The type of article you would be responsible for writing as an analyst - Day in the life - The winding road to equity research

Biotechnology Stock Chart

Well that's it for this installment, I hope you found this information useful! As before if you have any particular career paths in mind for me to research, drop us a line or just leave a comment. There are ton of alternatives out there and I'm here to help you discover them!