Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsMedicine · 2 years ago

Which of these Medical jobs is the least competitive?


-Physician Assistant

-Medical Physicist

-Biomedical scientist -Geneticist

1 Answer

  • Jason
    Lv 7
    2 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Do you mean competitive to get into? Competitive to get a job? Competitive in the field?

    For starters, a PA is a master's degree (and there are even bachelor's degree programs available) whereas the other two require a PhD to get a job. PhD programs are considerably more work.

    PAs have a pretty easy time finding a job. Getting into the program in the first place is competitive; you need an excellent GPA in the core prerequisites and a good GPA overall plus the majority of your competition has several years in health care already. The programs operate on a cohort model so once you start you can't stop. You start with your class and you graduate with your class. You can't take classes out of order and you can't get off the treadmill. Getting into the program is hard but once you're there your chances of graduating are excellent and you're all but guaranteed a job when you graduate.

    Medical physicists are just applied physicists with a focus on medical physics in particular; most especially in the field of radiology & nuclear medicine. They can work in medical device development & engineering, maintenance, quality control, safety... there are plenty of avenues. The field is quite small however so you're a little more limited in where you can work. There are a few places in the country that are hotbeds of medical device design and manufacture. The vast majority of the medical physicist jobs are in those few cities.

    "Geneticist" is a specific job title and might not be quite what you're thinking it is. At any rate, there are a LOT of biomedical jobs in genetics. It depends on what you want to do. Genetic engineering, drug development, genetic testing & development, genetic counseling... genetics is a very broad category. Some jobs only require a master's degree (e.g. genetic counselor) while others will require a PhD and post-doc work.

    Of the three, the biomed/genetics PhD is probably going to be the most difficult in terms of the combination of getting into a program, graduating from that program, and getting a job thereafter.

    PAs have virtually no trouble finding a job, but getting into the program in the first place is quite competitive. Once you're there, you're pretty much good.

    Medical physicists don't have trouble finding a job but they have fewer options for the location of that job. It's a physics PhD -- so getting in is hard and graduating is even harder. There is a reason programs like that have such a high dropout rate. But graduate and the jobs are more or less there for the picking.

    Biomed PhDs aren't as hard to get into or graduate from as a physics PhD but it is still academia and there are a LOT more biomed PhD candidates than there are medical physics candidates. The field is packed and you need to publish -- so the workload is tremendous. The expectation to do publishable work is steep and there are far too many of you to publish everything. PhDs have a reputation for brutal hours and hard work as it is. Biomed PhDs do all of that in a field that is incredibly crowded. Standing out in a field that crowded is very difficult. Just because you got in, did well, and graduated doesn't mean you'll get a job -- there are a whole bunch of other biomed PhDs right behind you who also did comparable work. Academia is a murderous field to make a living in no matter what your specialty and biomed is among the roughest. So while there are a ton of jobs in a growth industry, there are also a ton of PhD candidates all vying for those jobs too. Getting a job will depend heavily on the kind of work you do and the quality and volume of it.

    Best wishes.


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