The medical industry heavily relies on the specialized work provided by Medical Researchers.
These professionals are at the forefront of medical advancements to develop treatments, medicines and possible cures for a variety of medical diseases and disorders.
Some common medical maladies and diseases Medical Researchers may study and investigate include: cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and the medicines and treatments being developed for these disorders.
Individuals who want to become a Medical Researcher will need an extensive medical background, postsecondary degree and skills in data analysis in order to succeed in this profession.
Education Requirements to Become a Medical Researcher
Individuals who want to become a Medical Researcher will need a strong background in medicine and complete required postsecondary degrees in order to enter this profession.
Medical Researchers will also have to attend medical school to attain a PhD in Biomedical Sciences or a Medical Degree (MD).
A medical license is a requirement for individuals who want to do medical research and treat patients.
As undergraduates, individuals who want to become a Medical Researcher will need pursue a degree in a science related field.
Some typical degrees individuals can seek include biology, chemistry and microbiology.
It is also highly recommended that undergraduates take classes in writing and English in order to develop skills useful in research and grant writing.
Other helpful courses include: mathematics, physical science and life sciences.
As graduate students, individuals who want to become a Medical Researcher have the option to pursue a PhD program or a dual program that combines a PhD and a medical degree.
Medical degree/PhD programs provide training in both research and medicine.
Under these dual programs, individuals can combine a PhD with the following degrees: Medical Doctor (M.D.), Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD).
Traditional PhD programs are approximately 4 years in length and focus more on laboratory work and an individual’s own research.
During this phase, students will have the opportunity to focus on a specialization such as: cancers, neurology or gerontology.
Individuals will also be given the opportunity to supervise undergraduate students.
Students will also work in depth on their original research and prepare for a thesis reporting on their findings.
A thesis is a written hypothesis focusing on a student’s research that needs to be presented to a committee of professors.
Medical Researcher Job Description
Medical Researchers are highly educated professionals who work in the medical field providing research that help improve human health.
These professionals will spend their time researching medical problems, writing grants to keep their projects funded and write reports on their findings.
Some laboratory work includes developing and managing studies that help understand a variety of human ailments.
They will also investigate preventative care and treatment for the diseases they research.
They will work with medical samples and information to determine the causes and treatments.
Medical Researchers also work in conjunction with a variety of professionals such as industry experts, doctors and health departments to create programs that improve a population’s health.
Medical Researcher Salary and Career Path
In 2012, the median salary for Medical Researchers and Scientists was approximately $76,980 per year.
Exact wages will depend on a variety of factors including industry, level of experience and company size.
For example, Medical Researchers who work for state colleges, universities or professional schools earn an annual median salary of approximately $53,740 while individuals who work for pharmaceutical and medicine production companies earn a median income of approximately $92,940 per year.
The job outlook for Medical Researchers is expected to grow by 13 percent through the year 2022.
This job growth is expected to grow as fast as average when compared to other professions and is attributed to the increased demand for research into illnesses such as cancer, AIDS and Alzheimer’s.
In addition, Medical Researchers are also needed to study treatments and medicines such as resistance to antibiotics.
Clearly, this profession is one that many people depend on to help solve medical problems.
A career in Medical Research may be a great path for individuals who would like to work in medicine, but not directly treat patients.
This career gives individuals the opportunity to help make advancements in medicine, work in a challenging environment and work in one of the fastest growing industries.