Also called: Associate Director, Experimental Medicine; Investigator; Research Scientist; Scientist
Produced by CareerOneStop
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In their quest to improve human health, medical scientists study the cause of diseases and test new methods to prevent and treat them. Medical scientists oversee many phases of development for drugs and medical devices. For example, they might develop an experimental combination of drugs to slow the progress of an illness… then design and lead a clinical trial to test its effectiveness… and conclude by writing a report and publishing their findings. When a new medication is developed for mass production, medical scientists are responsible for determining standards for the potency, dosages, and methods of use. They also develop health programs for organizations. Much of their work includes leading teams of technicians or when in university settings students, who perform support tasks. Medical scientists work in private industry on company-approved research projects, and in government and university positions, where they typically write grant proposals to obtain funding for their research. Most medical scientists work full time… both in offices studying data and reports… and in laboratories conducting experiments. Precautions must be taken when they work with dangerous biological samples and chemicals. Medical scientists typically have a Ph.D. in biology or a related life science. Some medical scientists get a medical degree instead of, or in addition to, a Ph.D. Most have a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, or a related field.
What they do:Conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health. Engage in clinical investigation, research and development, or other related activities. Includes physicians, dentists, public health specialists, pharmacologists, and medical pathologists who primarily conduct research.
On the job, you would:
- Plan and direct studies to investigate human or animal disease, preventive methods, and treatments for disease.
- Conduct research to develop methodologies, instrumentation, and procedures for medical application, analyzing data and presenting findings to the scientific audience and general public.
- Study animal and human health and physiological processes.
Math and Science
Arts and Humanities
- English language
- medicine and dentistry
- thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
- using scientific rules and strategies to solve problems
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
- figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
- thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
- read and understand what is written
- listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
- make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
- notice when problems happen
- choose the right type of math to solve a problem
- add, subtract, multiply, or divide
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Analytical Thinking
- Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
Data base user interface and query software
- Database software
- Waters Empower 2
Development environment software