Megan Satterfield Blackburn
[BSME 2004, MSMP 2006, Ph.D. Candidate 2009]
Graduate Research Assistant
Medical Physics Program
I was finishing up my bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering here at Georgia Tech in 2004, and I had applied to graduate programs in Biomedical Engineering. My main focus area within Biomedical Engineering was medical imaging. I did not know specifically what I wanted to do, so I just decided to continue with school. At the beginning of 2004, I received an email about the new Medical Physics program starting up at Georgia Tech. It seemed really exciting to me. It included the radiation therapy side as well as the medical imaging. I felt that if I didn't like the radiation therapy side, there was still the medical imaging to fall back on. I decided that this was the best fit for me rather than continuing in medical imaging.
I feel that the Medical Physics program at Georgia Tech is very good. I learned important background knowledge within the Nuclear and Radiological Engineering Program. I know some Medical Physics programs are housed within Biology departments, and I do not believe that the same amount of background knowledge can be taught within these departments. This information provides an important basis on which to build everything else.
The clinical rotations offered by this program were also of great importance. This provided us with a first-hand look at a medical physicist's daily routine. Not only was experience gained, but it also allowed each of us to determine if this was really the path we wanted to take. I feel in many fields, you simply go to school and then aren't really sure what the job will be like until you are working full-time. At that point, it is too late.
I feel that the major strengths lf the program are the courses themselves offered within the Nuclear Engineering program. They are difficult; however, they offer a very good background for everything a physicist will need to know. I also feel that the clinical rotations were of extreme importance. At a recent job interview, they were very impressed that our graduate program offered clinical rotations.
I feel that the professors are very good. The classes are difficult. I had not been exposed to much of the material before. The faculty were always approachable when assistance was needed.
I don't really have a single story about my time at Georgia Tech. I have been here for nine years total. Georgia Tech has been the place around which my entire adult life has really revolved. The classes I took helped me form my decisions on a career path. I met my future husband during my first semester at Tech. The study abroad program here helped foster my love of traveling. I've made lifelong friends all along the way. Georgia Tech has given helped to mold my life, and for that, I am thankful.