What Does A Medical Scientist Do? A medical scientist’s priority is to research and develop ways to improve health issues through clinical trials and other methods.
Your duties will usually include:
- Investigative studies on human diseases
- Finding ways to treat and prevent diseases
- Discovering causes and treatments of toxic pathogens and chronic conditions
- Establishing a standard dosage for medications
- Inventing medical devices
- Working with medical and industry personnel and medical departments to create health programs
- Writing grant proposals to receive funding for programs
- Following safety protocol to avoid contact with dangerous materials
You’ll work in an office or a lab where you’ll pour over data and reports to aid your research. You may lead a team of technicians or students who help you by performing tasks you’ll instruct them on. Whichever sector of the industry you work in will determine what you’ll be doing research on, whether you’re trying to link health to diet, the environmental factors to cancer, or many other conditions affecting the human body. You may also write about your findings and have them published in a health journal or other industry publication.
How to Become a Medical Scientist
To work as a medical scientist, you’ll need an advanced degree in biology or other related subjects. You may also decide to get a medical degree in conjunction with your Ph.D.
Your educational path will look like this:
- Get your high school diploma.
- Attend a four-year university and major in biology, chemistry, or another related field.
- Once you graduate with your bachelor’s degree, you’ll go continue on to a Ph.D. program.
- You can choose a dual degree program that allows you to get your medical degree and Ph.D.
- You can decide to specialize in areas such as gerontology, oncology, women’s health, and more.
- After you graduate, you and many of your peers may continue on with post-doctoral studies.
- The experience during your post-doctoral work is noted as work experience when you start to look for a job.
- Unless you will be administering medicine, gene therapy, or practice any type of medicine on patients, you don’t need to have a license.
- Most likely, you’ll start your career off as a resident or in a temporary research position, both of which can last 3-7 years.
Salary & Job Outlook of a Medical Scientist
When you first start your career as a medical scientist, you can expect your first-timer salary to be in the range of $45K. However, once you start gaining more experience, your median yearly pay will rise to $82K, and then head toward the $160K range.
There are currently 120K medical scientists working in the U.S. Over the course of the next few years, there will be over 16K positions opening, making this field’s job opportunities much better than most other occupations. Because of how important medical scientists are to the health of humans, there will always be a need for you.