Studies & Degrees in Biomedical Sciences
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Biomedical Sciences Study Programs
Biomedical science is a science dealing with understanding the causes, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. A variety of subjects are explored in order to achieve this aim – mainly biochemistry, genetics, immunology, microbiology, pharmacology, molecular biology, anatomy, biochemistry. The more specialized fields within the biomedical sciences, dealing with disease are cellular pathology, clinical biochemistry, clinical immunology, etc.
Biomedical science is a subject that develops with great speed, but most of all it is highly relevant to investigating and understanding current controversies, concerns and dilemmas of modern life; i.e. the use of genetically engineered products in healthcare. Biomedical science graduates would possess sound knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, molecular genetics, and immunology. They would also understand the factors and processes which contribute to human health and disease. Therefore, a biomedical scientist would develop and test vaccines, pharmaceuticals, or other medical treatments; they could also apply sophisticated tools and techniques to examine samples of human tissue with the purpose to identify the presence of abnormalities such as bacteria, viruses, and cancers. Other biomedical scientists may work with patient samples to screen for blood disorders, toxins, or blood chemistry changes associated with kidney or liver disease.
To get involved in biomedical sciences, you need to be strictly dedicated to your education – the discipline requires a lot of diligence and patience, as these scientists usually spend about 12 years in universities and practical training positions before they are fully prepared to work independently. Some other qualities include:
- Aptitude for sciences
- Excellent analytical and research skills
- Excellent communication skills
- The ability to be both accurate and efficient
- Capable of working with specialized laboratory equipment, computers, and high-powered microscopes
- Must be comfortable working with biological samples
- Good at problem solving and self-management
- Team working abilities
- Good IT skills
If you wish to become a biomedical scientist you would typically need to complete a four-year bachelor's degree program in biology, chemistry, or premedical studies from an accredited university. After graduation, you can apply for admissions into a medical scientist training program; this is a specialized educational path that ultimately leads to both a science Ph.D. and a Doctor of Medicine degree. The accredited medical scientist programs are not too many, compared to the large number of students who apply for positions. Therefore, you are more likely to be successful if you are one of the students with the strongest grades, admissions test scores, and recommendation letters.
Once accepted into a program, a student usually spends the first three years attending lectures and participating in laboratory activities. The final three years are mainly dedicated to conducting original research with other students, professors, and experts in the field. A graduate of a medical scientist training program can apply for a postdoctoral fellowship position at a hospital or laboratory to gain additional experience. Fellowships usually last about three years and allow a new scientist the opportunity to hone their skills under the supervision of established biomedical professionals.
After completing a fellowship, a biomedical scientist can look for a permanent position at a hospital, university, or pharmaceutical company.
Biomedical scientists work at pharmaceutical companies, universities, or private research institutions to develop new drugs and add to the collective knowledge of disease. Other possibilities include veterinary laboratories, blood banks, forensic laboratories, and public health offices. A lot of people who have trained to become a medical scientist, however, have gone on to find employment in other, non-medical areas like education, national defense, publishing, and even space medicine.