Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Toxicologist
  • Serologist
  • Senior Scientist
  • Senior Research Scientist
  • Scientist
  • Scientific Director
  • Research Specialist
  • Research Scientist
  • Research Group Director
  • Research Associate
View All

What They Do

  • Confer with health departments, industry personnel, physicians, and others to develop health safety standards and public health improvement programs.
  • Teach principles of medicine and medical and laboratory procedures to physicians, residents, students, and technicians.
  • Consult with and advise physicians, educators, researchers, and others regarding medical applications of physics, biology, and chemistry.
  • Investigate cause, progress, life cycle, or mode of transmission of diseases or parasites.
  • Standardize drug dosages, methods of immunization, and procedures for manufacture of drugs and medicinal compounds.
  • Prepare and analyze organ, tissue, and cell samples to identify toxicity, bacteria, or microorganisms or to study cell structure.
  • Use equipment such as atomic absorption spectrometers, electron microscopes, flow cytometers, or chromatography systems.
  • Evaluate effects of drugs, gases, pesticides, parasites, and microorganisms at various levels.
  • Write and publish articles in scientific journals.
  • Follow strict safety procedures when handling toxic materials to avoid contamination.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IRA.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic and Artistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Recognition and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Wages

In 2017, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $110,210 with most people making between $56,050 and $181,570

Outlook

0.37%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 5,880 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 6,100 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 22 openings due to growth and about 178 replacement openings for approximately 200 total annual openings.

Education & Training



Pennsylvania Department of Education