Medical Physicist at The Cancer Center at The Medical Center in Bowling Green
Graduated from Western Kentucky University
How did you become interested in science?
I have loved science and math ever since I was a child. I remember two of my favorite gifts growing up were a miniature microscope and a toy circuit board. I had great science and math teachers in school that helped fuel the passion.
The main reason I entered the field of Medical Physics was to use my science knowledge to improve the lives of cancer patients. It is a very rewarding job.
Tell us about your job and what it is you do for The Cancer Center.
My graduate school professor has one of the best descriptions of a medical physicist’s job. Basically, as a pharmacist is to drugs, a medical physicist is to radiation. In other words, the physician prescribes a certain dose of radiation to the patient, and the medical physicist is responsible for making sure the correct dose is delivered. There are many aspects to the job, including calibrating the machines that deliver the radiation and verifying that the customized radiation plans for each patient are correct.
Why is it important to the future of this country to get more students interested in science?
I believe a lot of people take for granted the impact science has on their daily lives. Many of our creature-comforts including electricity, air conditioning, microwave dinners, cell phones, etc. would not exist without science. People can live longer, healthier lives thanks to science-driven medical advancements. Obviously these are just a few ways in which science has improved our lives. It is crucial that students continue to be interested in science so as a society we can continue to enjoy the advancements science brings.
What is the professional goal of a Medical Physicist like yourself?
My number one professional goal is to ensure the safety and quality of patient care. The main reason I entered the field of Medical Physics was to use my science knowledge to improve the lives of cancer patients. It is a very rewarding job.
What do you think would help get students more interested in science at a younger age?
I think teachers and parents should be enthusiastic about science. If science is exciting, more students will want to be involved.