Heather - Senior Medical Physicist for Nuclear Medicine

Who’s this?

Heather is a Senior Medical Physicist at Manchester University Foundation Trust and is a specialist in her field, researching and developing improvements to existing imaging techniques, using radiation that is injected into the patient and then picked up by scanners with sensitive detectors in order to create images which can be used to diagnose a range of ailments.

What’s the story of their career to date?

Heather had always been interested in physics at school and after carrying out work experience in this area, decided that she wanted to become a medical physicist. Heather completed A-levels in Maths, Physics and Chemistry before achieving a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics with Medical Physics. Heather was then successful in her application to complete a two year NHS training scheme that enabled her to complete a Master’s Degree in Physics and Computing in Medicine and Biology. Heather has since gone on to complete a PhD in Positron Emission Tomography (PET), which is one of the sorts of imaging Heather uses within her current role as a state registered clinical scientist in the Nuclear Medicine department at CMFT.

What do they do?

Every day is different for Heather; she has a number of research projects that she is currently working on, and also teaches medics, technologists and junior colleagues as well as lecturing at several universities as part of her role. Heather also ensures that equipment is working correctly on a daily basis in the clinic, counselling patients in regards to the radiation associated with the tests used in the clinic, and attends meetings with her co-workers. She is part of a team that has done a lot of research work into the correct amount of doses to be given to each individual patient

What’s the best thing about their role?

Heather feels the best part of her role is that she is part of a great team that is able to deliver really good quality imaging on a day to day basis for patients that come into the clinic, and the fact that she has a part in bringing new and better imaging techniques into clinical use. She finds this really rewarding.

Where are they going from here?

Heather really enjoys her current job, but is looking forward to learning more combined Positron Emission Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (PETMR) over the next few years as she will be helping set up research scans on the new University of Manchester PETMR scanner - which is right next to her office in MFT.

How does a role like this pay?

Although they are a Senior Medical Physicist for Nuclear Medicine now Heather started their career as a Medical Physicist, this role typically starts at Band 5 on the Agenda for Change Pay Scale.

The National Careers Service have a section for Medical Physicist where you can find out information about the average pay for the role as well as information about the job and its responsibilities.

Where can I find out more?

This profile has been created by the Greater Manchester NHS Careers Engagement Hub in partnership with Manchester Universities NHS Foundation Trust (Central & Trafford Sites). If you have questions then feel free to contact us.

You can find out more about this role by visiting the Medical Physicist section of the Health Careers website. The site gives information about the role and responsibilities, pay and conditions as well as any qualifications that are required and what the relevant courses or entry requirements are.