As a medical researcher, your job is to conduct research to improve the health status and longevity of the population. The career revolves around understanding the causes, treatments, and prevention of diseases and medical conditions through rigorous clinical investigations, epidemiological studies, and laboratory experiments. As a medical researcher, simply gaining formal education won’t suffice. You also need to hone your communication, critical thinking, decision-making, data collecting, data analyzing and observational skills. These skill sets will enable you to create a competitive edge in the research industry. On a typical day, a medical researcher would be collecting, interpreting, and analyzing data from clinical trials, working alongside engineering, regulatory, and quality assurance experts to evaluate the risk of medical devices, or maybe even preparing and examining medical samples for causes or treatments of toxicity, disease, or pathogens.
How To Become a Medical Research Doctor?
The roadmap to medical research is a bit tricky to navigate, because it is a profession that demands distinctive skills and expertise along with mandatory formal education. If you harbor an interest in scientific exploration and a desire to break new ground in medical knowledge, the first step is to earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as biology, chemistry, or biochemistry. After completing your undergraduate education, you will need to earn a Medical Degree (MD) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree, from a quality institution such as the Windsor university school of Medicine.
After that, the newly minted doctor of medicine (MD) may choose to complete a three-year residency program in a specialty related to medical research, such as internal medicine, pediatrics, or neurology, in addition to a doctor of philosophy (PhD) degree—the part that provides the research expertise. In some medical school programs, students may pursue a dual MD-PhD at the same time, which provides training in both medicine and research. They are specifically designed for those who want to become research physicians. Last but not the least, all physician-scientists must pass the first two steps of the United States Medical Learning Examination (USMLE).
Use your fellowship years to hone the research skills necessary to carry out independent research. You may also take courses in epidemiology, biostatistics, and other related fields. In order to publish your research in peer-reviewed journals to establish yourself as a medical researcher. To apply for a faculty position at a medical school, research institute, or hospital. To maintain your position as a medical research doctor, you must publish your research and make significant contributions to the field.
How Much Do Medical Researchers Make?
Having a clear idea of what to earn when you become a medical researcher can help you decide if this is a good career choice for you. The salaries of Medical Researchers in the US range from $26,980 to $155,180, with a median salary of $82,240. There is also room for career advancement and higher earning potential as you gain experience.
The Most Popular Careers in Medical Research
- Medical Scientists – conduct research and experiments to improve our understanding of diseases and to develop new treatments. They also develop new medical technologies and techniques.
- Biomedical engineers – design medical devices, such as pacemakers, prosthetics, and imaging machines. They also develop and improve existing medical technologies.
- Clinical Trial Coordinators – oversee and manage clinical trials, which test new drugs and treatments. They are responsible for recruiting participants, collecting and analyzing data, and ensuring the trial is conducted in compliance with ethical standards.
- Medical Laboratory Technicians – analyze bodily fluids and tissues to diagnose diseases and conditions. They perform tests using specialized equipment and techniques, and report results to physicians.
- Biostatisticians – collect statistics to analyze data and test hypotheses in medical research. They design and analyze clinical trials, and use statistical models to understand the causes and effects of diseases.
- Epidemiologists – study the causes, distribution, and control of diseases in populations. They collect and analyze data, and use their findings to develop strategies for preventing and controlling diseases.
- Pathologists – diagnose diseases by examining tissues and bodily fluids. They use microscopes and other diagnostic tools to identify and study the changes in tissues caused by disease.
- Genetic Counselors – help individuals understand and manage the risks associated with inherited genetic disorders. They educate patients about genetic tests and help families make informed decisions about their health.
- Health Services Researchers – study the delivery of healthcare and identify ways to improve it.
- Medical writers – write articles, reports, and other materials related to medical research.
- Microbiologists – study microorganisms, including bacteria and viruses, to understand their behavior and impact on human health.
- Neuroscientists – study the brain and nervous system to understand the underlying causes of neurological conditions.
- Toxicologists – study the effects of toxic substances on living organisms and the environment.
Skills You Need to Become a Medical Researcher?
To be a successful medical scientist, you need a range of soft and hard skills to excel in your work. First things first, medical researchers must be able to analyze data, identify patterns, and draw conclusions from their findings. They must be able to think critically, ask relevant questions, and design experiments to answer those questions. Additionally, you should also have the knack of articulating your findings clearly and effectively, be it writing research papers, grant proposals, or technical reports that are clear, concise, and free from errors.
Medical researchers must be proficient in using various computer programs and software to collect, manage, analyze and interpret research data. They must be able to use laboratory equipment and techniques, as well as statistical analysis software and other tools for data analysis. Since medical research involves precise and meticulous work, so you must also pay close attention to detail to ensure that your findings are accurate and reliable. Not to mention, medical researchers often work in teams, so it pays off if you are good at collaborating with others effectively, sharing ideas, and working together to solve complex problems.
Lastly, medical researchers must have a thorough understanding of regulations and ethical guidelines that govern research, such as obtaining informed consent from study participants, ensuring data confidentiality, and adhering to safety protocols.