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A Day In The Life Of A Medical Physicist

Name: Dr. Francis Hasford

Qualification: Ph.D. (Medical Physics); MPhil (Medical Physics); BSc (Physics)

Secondary School/s attended: Opoku Ware Secondary School, Kumasi

Tertiary Institution/s attended: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (1999 – 2003); University of Ghana (2004 – 2006; 2011 – 2015)

I got into my job by: I got into my job in 2008, barely 2 years after completing my Masters degree programme in Medical Physics from the University of Ghana in 2006. I had applied for the position of Assistant Research Scientist at Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) during the final year of the Masters programme and memorably attended an interview session on the day of my birth, 26th January 2006. At the latter stages of my clinical internship at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, following the Masters programme, I got my long-awaited appointment to work with the Atomic Energy Commission. As a Medical Physicist in the research and academic field, I have since 2008 till date transitioned from Assistant Research Scientist to Principal Research Scientist and a Senior Lecturer. Following my PhD degree in 2015, I was appointed to serve as Head of the Department of Medical Physics at the School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences, University of Ghana – Atomic. I have played the role as academic head till date and combined the responsibility with research work at the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission. Coupled with these, I serve as the General Secretary for the Ghana Society for Medical Physics (GSMP) and the also the Secretary General for the Federation of African Medical Physics Organizations (FAMPO).

My day usually starts at 5 am and ends at 11 pm.

On a typical day, I get to work at 7.30 am. I first check my emails and letters, and respond to ones needing quick attention before the office turns busy with the arrival of colleague staff members. With my responsibility as head of an academic department at the University, I check on the activities of staff in my department each morning and ensure that any outstanding issues are cleared for the day to commence and all activities are within scheduled timelines. In absence of any scheduled meetings, I usually have my lectures with students around mid-morning after which lunch break is around mid-day. I check on the general departmental academic work and student research activities mostly during afternoons. I also steal some time to attend to some research and professional activities I may be involved in. My working day usually ends around 5.30 pm when I leave office to have time with family at home.

The best part of my job is that as lecturer and academic head, I regularly get to help students to achieve their cherished ambition of earning higher degrees and becoming well trained, highly skilled professionals. As a medical physicist, the best part of my work is when my contribution results in successful diagnosis or treatment of patients, mostly those with cancers.

The worst part of my job is to see well trained graduates from my department not getting job placements to apply the knowledge acquired.

A memorable moment I have had was when I was announced by the International Organization for Medical Physics (IOMP) and the International Union for Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) as the 2016 Young Scientist of the Year in Medical Physics. The award presented me a great deal of honour and an awareness that my contribution to medical physics scientific work and professional practice was being acknowledged nationally and internationally.

To succeed in my profession, the most important skills are discipline, hard work and dedication to excel.

Outside of work I enjoy cooking and doing charitable work: helping the aged, less privileged and orphans by providing medical screening,donating food and clothes and also embark on empowerment and mentorship programs for students and pupils.

My advise is, Be God fearing, trustworthy, follow your passion and work towards it without allowing anyone to kill your dreams.