Working as a medical scientist involves combining clinical and scientific knowledge with research skills to improve the health of patients. Read on to learn if a career in the biological sciences is right for you.
Inside Medical Science
Medical scientists research diseases and the biological processes that cause them. These scientists work to improve human health by developing remedies, medications and vaccines to combat disease, as well as use laboratory equipment to analyze data. Individuals working in this field generally need good writing skills as they may be required to prepare grant proposals and publish research. They often work in university and hospital research laboratories or for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
The first step towards a career in medical science is earning an undergraduate degree in a biological science; however, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in a biological science is often considered the minimum requirement for a medical scientist career (www.bls.gov). Postdoctoral work in a laboratory is becoming more common and many prospective medical scientists now choose to complete a joint Ph.D. and medical degree program.
Combined degree programs can take 7-8 years to complete and qualifies individuals to complete clinical lab work, but may also result in improved marketability for graduates. Some medical scientists must become licensed, especially those who wish to perform medical procedures on patients.
From 2008-2018, the BLS estimated a 40% increase in the employment of medical scientists, while growth for laboratory technicians was projected to increase by 14% in the same decade. The BLS also reported in May 2010 that the average annual salary for medical scientists was $86,710 and medical and clinical laboratory technicians earned $38,190.
Learn More About Medical Science
If you want to study diseases and work to find new or improved medications to fight disease, add to your knowledge base as a practicing doctor or teach in a medical field, then a career in medical science may be for you. Education-Portal.com has information on degrees, careers and online opportunities in medical science to help with your education choices.
There are many degrees paths open to individuals pursuing medical and biological science. Below are only some of the options available to students.
- Associate's Degree in Medical Assisting
- Bachelor's Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science
- Master's Degree in Medical Science
- Doctorate Degree in Medical Science
Careers for graduates in the medical and biological science fields generally require a graduate degree; however, some entry-level laboratory jobs may require an undergraduate degree or certificate. The following are a sample of the career options open to students and graduates in these fields.
Distance Learning Options
Although full medical programs are not typically available online, you can find introductory or postgraduate science courses, as well as degree programs from related fields.
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