Career Stories

Medical Physicists at PTW

Thomas Jobs

Qualification: Biomedical Engineer, Medical Physicist

Current Position: International Sales Manager

Location: Freiburg, Germany

„Medical physics is very challenging scientifically and technically. You devote yourself to improving human health and consequently contribute to making the world a little better. As a sales manager, you act as a kind of ambassador between countries.“

Why I became a medical physicist and

what got me to PTW.

Follow Thomas' story.

I studied biomedical engineering at the Technical University of Karl-Marx-Stadt (now Chemnitz). I had an assignment agreement to work at a hospital at that time, as was usual in East Germany. In other words, I received money for books and, in return, I agreed to work in the hospital after my studies. However, many things changed in the healthcare sector after German reunification, which is why I applied for a new position nationwide and was hired as a sales engineer at PTW in 1992. I then completed postgraduate correspondence courses at Technical University of Kaiserslautern to become a medical physicist to be able to communicate on an equal basis with customers and contact persons in hospitals.

As a sales engineer I was initially responsible for an area in Germany, supported and advised customers on our products and installed our equipment. In 1995, I was responsible for providing training on using a water phantom in Malta, which was the start of my sales activity in southern Europe. Then the Middle East was added to that. I am currently responsible for the market of radiation therapy and diagnostic imaging in Latin America and Eastern Europe, support our subsidiaries and dealers, represent PTW at trade fairs and visit end users. In addition, I am responsible for the metrology product division, i.e., for sales of equipment for calibration laboratories worldwide.

My work is scientifically as well as commercially exciting and varied. There is virtually no standard solution. I am in contact with people of different cultures, and it is important to find individual solutions for them. Compared to the past, I go on fewer business trips today, but I still enjoy them because the trips are always very interesting.

I never worked as a medical physicist in a hospital. However, I was able to gain clinical experience as an auxiliary nurse during my studies. I greatly appreciated contact with patients during that time. However, I didn’t have liked the idea of working shifts and mainly without daylight, since many tasks in medical physics are carried out in a basement bunker.

I appreciate the working atmosphere at PTW, which is characterized by respectful dealings, both within the company and with customers. I was initially given clear assignments of what I was to do, but now I can decide what needs to be done myself and there is little routine work. That makes my work very rewarding.

Basically, the decision must be made whether you prefer routine work, which is more the case in a clinical environment, or whether you want to have variety, which is more the case in industry. It is important to be able to deal with patients when working in a hospital. For work in industry, you should have communication skills as a basic requirement. This is not just about foreign languages. When presenting a company to the outside world, language skills as well as knowledge of different cultures are necessary.

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