Where do you want to work?
Medical scientists typically have a Ph.D., usually in biology or a related life science. Some medical scientists get a medical degree instead of a Ph.D., but prefer doing research to practicing as a physician.Education
Students planning careers as medical scientists typically pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, or a related field. Undergraduate students benefit from taking a broad range of classes, including life sciences, physical sciences, and math. Students also typically take courses that develop communication and writing skills, because they must learn to write grants effectively and publish research findings.
After students have completed their undergraduate studies, they typically enter Ph.D. programs. Dual-degree programs are available that pair a Ph.D. with a range of specialized medical degrees. A few degree programs that are commonly paired with Ph.D. studies are Medical Doctor (M.D.), Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.), Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.), and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). Whereas Ph.D. studies focus on research methods, such as project design and data interpretation, students in dual-degree programs learn both the clinical skills needed to be a physician and the research skills needed to be a scientist.
Graduate programs emphasize both laboratory work and original research. These programs offer prospective medical scientists the opportunity to develop their experiments and, sometimes, to supervise undergraduates. Ph.D. programs culminate in a thesis that the candidate presents before a committee of professors. Students may specialize in a particular field, such as gerontology, neurology, or cancer.
Those who go to medical school spend most of the first 2 years in labs and classrooms, taking courses such as anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, psychology, microbiology, pathology, medical ethics, and medical law. They also learn how to record medical histories, examine patients, and diagnose illnesses. They may be required to participate in residency programs, meeting the same requirements that physicians and surgeons have to fulfill.
Medical scientists often continue their education with postdoctoral work. Postdoctoral work provides additional and more independent lab experience, including experience in specific processes and techniques such as gene splicing, which is transferable to other research projects.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Medical scientists primarily conduct research and typically do not need licenses or certifications. However, those who administer drugs, gene therapy, or otherwise practice medicine on patients in clinical trials or a private practice need a license to practice as a physician.Important Qualities
Communication skills. Communication is critical, because medical scientists must be able to explain their conclusions. In addition, medical scientists write grant proposals, because grants often are required to fund their research.
Critical-thinking skills. Medical scientists must use their expertise to determine the best method for solving a specific research question.
Data-analysis skills. Medical scientists use statistical techniques, so that they can properly quantify and analyze health research questions.
Decisionmaking skills. Medical scientists must determine what research questions to ask, how best to investigate the questions, and what data will best answer the questions.
Observation skills. Medical scientists conduct experiments that require precise observation of samples and other health data. Any mistake could lead to inconclusive or misleading results.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Watson Health Medical Science Lead||IBM Corporation||Yorktown Heights, NY||Jul 09, 2016||$195,000|
|AD, Medical Science Liaison FBM (TA)||Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.||Walnut Creek, CA||Apr 05, 2012||$171,038|
|Medical Science Liaison, Hematology||Alnylam Pharmaceuticals||Cambridge, MA||Nov 15, 2016||$170,000|
|SR. Regional Medical Liaison||Amgen Inc.||Thousand Oaks, CA||Aug 15, 2016||$160,000|
|SR. Medical Science Liaison||Genentech, Inc.||South San Francisco, CA||Jun 12, 2015||$158,142 -
|Medical Science Liaison||Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercializat||Princeton, NJ||Oct 01, 2014||$155,000|
|AD, Medical Science Liaison FBM (TA)||Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.||Ridgefield, CT||Feb 05, 2016||$154,380 -
|Medical Science Liaison||Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.||Princeton, NJ||Jul 01, 2015||$152,714 -
|Regional Medical Liason||Trinet Pharma, LLC||Frisco, TX||Jan 12, 2015||$147,389 -
|Senior Medical Science Liaison||Baxalta Us Inc.||Highlands Ranch, CO||Dec 19, 2016||$145,000|
|Senior Medical Science Liaison||Baxalta Us Inc.||Highlands Ranch, CO||Dec 12, 2016||$145,000|
|Senior Medical Science Liaison||Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.||Cheshire, CT||Aug 22, 2014||$144,400 -
|Medical Science Liaison||Bestmsls, Inc., A Nevada Corporation||Seattle, WA||Dec 01, 2014||$142,500|
|Medical Science Liaison||Genentech, Inc.||San Marcos, CA||Apr 30, 2012||$142,000|
|Medical Science Liaison||Genentech, Inc.||South San Francisco, CA||Jun 11, 2012||$142,000|
|Medical Science Liaison, FBM (TA)||Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.||Cincinnati, OH||Feb 18, 2016||$141,000 -
|Medical Science Liaison, FBM (TA)||Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.||Cincinnati, OH||Oct 01, 2014||$140,860 -
|Senior Medical Science Liaison||Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.||MD||Aug 15, 2011||$140,000|
|AD, Medical Science Liaison FBM (TA)||Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.||Walnut Creek, CA||Oct 05, 2012||$139,693 -
|Senior Medical Science Liaison||Fresenius USA Marketing, Inc., A Fresenius Medical Care N.A. Company||Walnut Creek, CA||Dec 09, 2016||$138,689|
|Senior Medical Science Liaison||Genzyme Corporation||San Francisco, CA||Oct 01, 2011||$137,946 -
|Medical Science Liaison, FBM, TA||Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.||Ridgefield, CT||May 02, 2013||$133,531 -
|Medical Science Liaison||Roche Laboratories, Inc.||South San Francisco, CA||Oct 01, 2011||$131,613|
|Medical Science Liaison FBM (TA)||Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.||Denver, CO||Apr 05, 2012||$131,380 -
|Medical Science Liaison||TEVA Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.||Frazer, PA||Jul 21, 2014||$130,000 -
|Medical Science Liaison||MDEA, Inc.||New York, NY||Dec 15, 2011||$130,000|
|Medical Science Liaison||MDEA, Inc.||New York, NY||Dec 01, 2011||$130,000|
|Medical Science Liaison||EMD Serono, Inc.||Rockland, MA||Dec 01, 2014||$129,489|
|Medical Science Liaison||Agnovos Healthcare USA LLC||New York, NY||Jan 06, 2014||$125,000 -
|Medical Science Liaison||TEVA Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.||Frazer, PA||Apr 09, 2014||$125,000 -
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