A biomedical scientist is a doctor or scientist educated in the field of biological science. To become a one, an individual needs training in biology, chemistry, and physiology, as well as a high level of organizational skill and attention to detail. Positions working in biomedical research facilities typically require a master's degree or higher. Many biomedical scientists choose to pursue a medical degree, which is required to do any clinical work. After graduation, it is often necessary to undergo an internship before being given full responsibilities.
The qualifications required to apply for medical scientist training programs are similar to those for medical school. Admission to a graduate program to become a biomedical scientist may require an undergraduate degree with a strong emphasis on the physical sciences, as well as some higher level mathematics. Additionally, a letter of professional goals and letters of reference from former professors or employers may also be required, along with a high score on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) test.
Unlike in clinical medicine, a lot of patient interaction is not necessary to become a biomedical scientist. These professionals typically have limited contact with patients, instead focusing on research and diagnostics. A biomedical scientist working in research applies scientific principles to human biology to develop and test vaccines, pharmaceuticals, or other medical treatments. Other biomedical scientists may work with patient samples to screen for blood disorders, toxins, or blood chemistry changes associated with kidney or liver disease. They may also work in public health to identify disease-causing microorganisms, such as E. coli or meningitis, and either develop or recommend possible treatments.
Most biological scientists work in research facilities such as pharmaceutical companies or universities, or in hospital laboratories. Other possibilities include veterinary laboratories, blood banks, forensic laboratories, and public health offices. An ability to be both accurate and efficient is necessary to become a biomedical scientist, as the work can directly affect the life and health of patients, often on a wide scale. Biomedical scientists also need to be capable of working with specialized laboratory equipment, computers, and high-powered microscopes, and must be comfortable working with biological samples.
To become a biomedical scientist requires considerable competence and expertise. It is not surprising, then, that many people who have trained to become one have gone on to find employment in other, non-medical areas. A biomedical scientist may work in various fields outside healthcare, such as education, national defense, publishing, and even space medicine.