Careers In Medical Science Essay Research Paper

Careers In Medical Science Essay, Research Paper

The career I chose is in the Biological and Medical Science area. It was the closest thing that I could find to the actual specific career that I intend to pursue. I want to be an epidemiologist, which is a biological and medical science so the information that I found will apply. Epidemiology is the study of the spread of diseases, which includes vaccinations as well. This career interests me because I want to be in the medical field, but not a medical doctor. I want to work in a lab setting and perform experiments in hopes of producing vaccinations or breakthroughs in medical technology. I want to be able to gain a personal sense of accomplishment and have the chance to be recognized for what I may do. I want to help people in a huge way so that my discoveries can change people’s lives.

In this field, regular hours are worked. Some of the hours may be in an office and others in a laboratory setting. A typical day would probably include about eight hours and a week would most likely be the usual forty hours. However, the scientist could decide when more time is needed and when it is crucial to put more effort forward. Currently, there are about 112,000 people employed in the United States in the Biological and Medical Sciences field. Most of the employees work in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Interior, and Defense, and in the National Institutes of Health. I know from my own findings that many epidemiologists work for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Military in biological warfare areas and infirmaries. Geographically, the jobs are more prevalent in bigger cities along both coasts and in the south near the Gulf. However, some can be found in government institutions all across the U.S.

A current trend in this field as of now has to do with needle exchanges. Epidemiologists are working together with the government and several AIDS foundations and the provision of sterile syringes to, and collection of contaminated syringes from, injection drug users. This is supposed to help diminish the number of AIDS infections. Many epidemiologists from all across the US are working to support the government and the AIDS foundations in their cause.

The educational requirements vary depending on the type of work you wish to do. A Ph.D. degree is necessary if you wish to do independent research and advance to administrative positions. A Ph.D. is not necessary but is better if you wish to work in a Bio-level Four lab. That is a lab that works strictly with the world’s most deadly diseases and viruses. A master’s degree will give you more flexibility than just a bachelor’s degree, but will not allow the privileges that a Ph.D. does. A master’s is sufficient for applied research, product development, and for jobs in management, inspection, sales, and service. A bachelor’s degree is appropriate for some non-research jobs. Some graduates with a bachelor’s degree will start as biological scientists in testing and inspection. It is rare, but some are able to work in a lab environment on their own projects. Many choose to work as research assistants. This is how I want to start. I would like to be a lab assistant to someone working at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention while I work on getting my master’s and eventually my Ph.D. Also, with a bachelor’s degree, you are able to work as biological technicians and medical laboratory technologists. Biological scientists should be able to work independently or as part of a team and be able to communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing. Those who wish to do field research in remote areas must have physical stamina. In my own opinion, I believe that you have to love what you are doing because it is an important job that has effects on people’s lives. You should be ready to give your full effort and work past scheduled hours. I think that one should also be very analytical and observant.

Earnings vary in this field depending on whether you are a medical or biological scientist. I consider epidemiology a combination of the two so I will average them together. The average salary is near $48,300. It also depends on the location. If you work for the government, you are bound to earn more than for an independent research company. However, I plan to earn what the top ten percent in these fields earn which is more along the lines of $109, 050. The salary also highly depends on the amount of education. Obviously, the more education one has, the more money they will be paid.

Internships are available at almost any well-known facility involving biological and medical science. I know from my own browsing that there are epidemiology internships available at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and Denver. There are also other internships at the CDC for related careers. It is also common for biological and medical scientists to spend a few years in a postdoctoral position so that they may acquire valuable laboratory experience, including experience in specific processes and techniques. In many institutions, a postdoctoral position will lead to a permanent position.

The are many job openings listed on the official site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The one best suited to me is an opening for an epidemiologist at the CDC in Atlanta. It is the specific career that I want and requires a bachelor’s degree in a health science as well as one year of specialized experience at a level equivalent to the next lower grade in the Federal service. The duties range from lab work to vaccination intervention and those are the things that I wish to do.

I haven’t really learned anything that I didn’t already know except the earnings and money is the least of my worries. I have often done research on this career because I have been interested in it for a few years now. I am definitely still interested in it, but I haven’t chosen a major yet, because I figure I have all the time in the world (or at least until I get my Gen. Ed.’s done) to decide on one. Like I said in my opening, the thing that keeps me interested in this career is the fact that I will be able to have an impact on many lives and I will have the chance to be widely known for my accomplishments. I believe that there is no way there can ever be a dull moment when you are working in a lab environment with viruses and vaccinations. It would be thrilling to have the chance to watch a new technological advancement unfold right before my very eyes. I believe that I have the capability to be highly successful in this field because I possess the qualities necessary and the ambition to change the world.


Occupational Outlook Handbook. Biological and Medical Scientists.

17 July. 2000. U.S. Department of Labor. 23 Sept. 2000.


Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Vacancy Announcement: Epidemiologist GS-0601-13/14. 22 Sept. 2000. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 23 Sept. 2000.


Moss, A.R.. Epidemiology and the Politics of Needle Exchange. Sept. 2000. American Journal of Public Health Vol. 90,Issue 9, p1385, 3p. 23 Sept. 2000.



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