How to become a Medical Researcher

How to become a Medical Researcher

For many people, the medical field is something desirable. Helping people, improving the world’s health, and making a person’s life better is appealing to those with compassion. However, to some people, the idea of performing medical tasks such as injections, sutures, or surgery is something they just don’t want to be a part of. The field of Medical Research is a great option for those who want to go into medicine but work more behind the scenes.

What does a Medical Researcher do?

In short, this profession works to solve human health problems. They can work in laboratories, hospitals, universities, and other research sites. They work to complete complicated and in-depth experiments and trials, usually with members of the public who go through studies.

A Medical Researcher can also become a teacher for biological science and other medical degree programs. Their communication abilities must be solid to enter this field.

The responsibility of a Medical Researcher is to develop experiments involving drugs or techniques that help to prevent or even cure diseases and conditions. They examine the outcomes of clinic trials and analyze the results to determine changes and how the medicine works with the human body. Much of their time is spent creating reports, analyzing data, and working to tweak experiments and drugs to find the right answer to a problem.

How to become a Medical Researcher

Medical Researchers (or in some places, called Medical Scientists) require a Ph.D in biology or a similar life related science. A medical degree from a postsecondary institution can also be accepted in the field, for instance having a doctorate in neurology can qualify one to work in neuroscience research.

Here is a list of just some schools that offer degrees aimed at future Medical Scientists:

  • John Hopkins University – Maryland
  • Harvard University (Medical division) – Massachusetts
  • University of Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania
  • University of California – San Francisco
  • Washington University – Missouri
  • Duke University – North Carolina
  • University of Chicago (Pritzker) – Illinois

Don’t see a school close to you on this list? Most any major state university offers undergrad and postgrad programs in biological life science divisions. Contact a school advisor to see how in-depth their classes are for medical scientists.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Medical Research

The biggest benefit is obviously helping to cure and prevent diseases that hurt people. With so many incurable diseases, advancing treatments that only address symptoms, and countries that are ravaged by disease, Medical Researchers are always in demand.

A drawback though is that the profession often means long hours, team regulation, and intense study. In some cases, Medical Scientists put their license on the line that an experimental vaccine or drug will work on a group of test subjects. If the drug or vaccine causes permanent harm, the scientist can be removed from the field and face possible lawsuits.

However this is rare considering the work that is put into research and execution. The benefits are consistent and often, researchers can go onto teaching or even start their own practices or research facilities later in life. The level of knowledge they require to work in the field opens many possibilities to them.

If you think medical research is the field that suits you, research your local universities and the top medical science schools to get more information.

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