What does a Medical Scientist do?

Learn all about Medical Scientist duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Medical Scientist.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A medical scientist is a professional who studies the science of medicine. They work to improve the understanding of how the human body works and how diseases develop. They also conduct research to find new ways to prevent and treat diseases.

Medical Scientist job duties include:

  • Develop and oversee clinical trials to test new treatments
  • Plan and direct research to develop new knowledge about human health and disease
  • Investigate the cause, diagnosis, and treatment of human diseases in laboratory experiments
  • Develop new methods for preventing or treating disease
  • Train other scientists and medical personnel in the latest research techniques
  • Present findings at scientific conferences and publish results in scientific journals
  • Collaborate with physicians, pharmacists, and other healthcare workers to develop new diagnostic or therapeutic procedures
  • Consult with government agencies, private industry, or public interest groups to advise on the implications of new scientific discoveries
  • Teach medical students or conduct research at a university

Medical Scientist Job Requirements

A medical scientist typically has a Ph.D. in Biology or a related life science. They may also have a medical degree. Medical scientists must be licensed to practice medicine in the United States. In addition to their scientific knowledge, medical scientists must be able to communicate effectively with other members of the healthcare team and with patients. They must also be able to work well under pressure and meet deadlines.

Medical Scientist Skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Computer skills
  • Creativity
  • Detail oriented
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Knowledge of medical terminology
  • Organizational skills
  • Patience
  • Problem solving skills
  • Research skills
  • Writing skills

Related: Top Medical Scientist Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Medical Scientist

There are many paths that one can take to become a medical scientist. The most common route is to first obtain a bachelor's degree in a relevant scientific field, such as biology, chemistry, or physics. After completing an undergraduate degree, the next step is to attend medical school and earn a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree. Once you have obtained your medical degree, you will then need to complete a residency program in your chosen specialty. After completing your residency, you will then be eligible to take the licensing exam in your state. Once you have obtained your license, you can then begin practicing medicine.

If you are interested in conducting research as a medical scientist, you may also want to consider obtaining a PhD in a relevant scientific discipline. With a PhD, you will be eligible for positions in academia or industry where you can conduct research and develop new treatments for diseases.

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