Mar 22, 2021 10:03 AM EDT
How to Start a Career in Medical Research
Health is an important aspect of our lives and we can thank medical researchers for developing better ways to detect and treat diseases, including newly discovered ones such as COVID-19. If you are planning to enter this field that has helped save millions of lives, you have a long way ahead of you. Medical research is not for everyone, but as long as you have a heart for science and effective healthcare, there's nothing to stop you from moving up that path. You just have to apply a few tips that can help you forge a stable career as a medical researcher. Get started with the list below:
1. Get a degree in medical science or other related specialties
Becoming an expert on virology is no easy feat. Considering the technical dimensions of such a career, you need to undergo formal training. You may need to complete an undergraduate degree in any pre-med specialty. If medical research is the career you're aiming for, then the closest undergraduate specialty would be medical laboratory science. Other than that, you can also opt for a bachelor's in biological sciences, chemistry, physical sciences, or statistics. Picking the right pre-medical degree lays the foundation for your career in medical research.
2. Follow up with continuing education
After you have obtained your undergraduate degree, you will still need to undergo post-graduate training before you can become a full-fledged researcher. Top universities offer master's degrees in medical research across various areas, from infectious diseases to neuroscience and policy development. Regardless of your choice, your continuing education will involve learning advanced concepts. You may have to work extra hard to earn credits, so take the time to focus on building the skills you need to survive.
3. Develop essential skills
Medical research is a form of scientific study, and it's important to hone the required skills for the field. For one, you need to be detail-oriented when it comes to data. As a researcher, you need to develop an eye for patterns and a desire to read through entire journals. You should also invest in developing your communication skills, since you will need to write about your research work in a clear and technical way. Other than that, you should also have a desire to learn new tools and approaches along the way. Whether you are using medical apps to analyze complex data or knowing how to safely conduct a clinical trial, having the ability to adapt can get you far in your career.
4. Get started from the bottom
The ladder of success in the medical field is a difficult one to climb. You will need to acquire extensive experience before you are allowed to lead research teams. To start, you have to apply for an entry-level position that equips you with the skills you need for managerial and supervisory roles. Whether you start as a clinical research associate or a research coordinator, you are still on the path towards building a stable career in medical research.
While you can't expect instant success in medical research, your growth is as good as guaranteed in a field that protects and saves lives.
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