Real-life story - Katharine Kenny

Katharine wanted to use her physics knowledge in a more applied way, so medical physics seemed like the perfect option for her.

Healthcare scientist Katharine Kenny
Katharine Kenny Trainee healthcare scientist
Employer or university Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust
Salary range £20k-£30k

How I got into the role

Katharine studied physics at university and took options in medical physics and a Master's project in radiotherapy drugs. She wanted to use her physics knowledge in a more applied way, so medical physics seemed like the perfect option.

What I do

As a trainee healthcare scientist in medical physics, my job includes monitoring patients who have had radionuclide therapy and advising them about safety, measuring x-ray image quality and planning radiotherapy treatments.

The best bits and challenges

In my role, I get to use my physics knowledge and work with advanced technology, but I’m also rewarded by knowing I’m helping people to get well. I always loved science and particularly physics at school so when I got the chance I did a week of work experience in the Radiation Protection Department of King’s College Hospital, London – my local hospital.

Having the chance to study for an MSc, paid for by the Department of Health, is an amazing opportunity and not something offered by many graduate schemes. In the workplace-based components, trainees get to take part in all the most interesting work of the department, as well as trying out small projects and observing clinical procedures.

Career plans and top tips for others

If you like science and interacting with people, try and visit hospitals to find out about healthcare science jobs. And if possible talk to people in a variety of jobs about their day-to-day work and interests.

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