Introducing… a medical physicist

Introducing… a medical physicist

Janos Juhasz is a medical physicist based at Hamilton Health Sciences’ (HHS) Juravinski Cancer Centre (JCC). He has been with HHS since 2009.

Janos is also an assistant professor in the Department of Physics at McMaster University.

What does a medical physicist do?

Within the realm of radiation therapy, I measure radiation, determine the delivered dosage, establish protocols to ensure accuracy, and work with radiation oncologists and radiation therapists to design treatment plans.

I am the designated medical physicist for the breast disease site and hematology disease site teams. I also look after radiation technology at JCC, which includes upgrading technology, offering daily support for radiation treatments, and setting up quality control tests of devices used for radiation treatments.

We always try to implement new technologies for advancing patient care at HHS.

What do you love most about your job?

I love that I can contribute and refine some of our radiation therapy techniques. We always try to implement new technologies for advancing patient care at HHS.

This is a different environment from the academic world. In that space, a physicist has the luxury of saying, “Let me go back to my office or laboratory and I will get back to you with an answer soon.” Oftentimes in the hospital setting, the person receiving care is on the treatment bed and problem-solving must be done more efficiently.

I also work with a dynamic team of professionals, which makes it easy to come into work every day.

Who inspires you?

My all-time inspiration is Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. He was an outside-the-box thinker and an extremely popular physics teacher. He successfully explained the laws of nature without the need to come up with a strict definition or offer mathematical equations.

I also draw my inspiration from personal development, something I endeavour to do every day. This includes referring to material that motivate and inspire me to stay on purpose with my professional, personal and spiritual self. Bios and stories about famous scientists are my favourite.

Medical physics is where physics comes to life and actually has the potential to prolong life.

What made you enter your field of work?

During my graduate studies, I enrolled in a course called Radiation Therapy Physics. The lectures were held at the local cancer centre.

While I walked through the hospital on my way to the lecture theatre, I had my quantum moment. For the first time in my life, I was just so sure this is it; this is what I want to do for the rest of my life: medical physics.

It is where physics comes to life and actually has the potential to prolong life. The journey from there to here was quite long, but I enjoyed every minute of it.

What do you hope to accomplish while at HHS?

What I set to accomplish in my career is to represent the field of physics with a cheerful human face everywhere I work: the hospital hallways, in the treatment rooms, in offices and in lecture theatres.