Without the amazing work of medical research and development scientists we would still be using medieval methods and remedies to treat our various ailments: people would be using tobacco to solve their sore throats, rubbing herbs on their scalps to sort out their headaches and attaching leeches to their torsos to treat intestinal problems.
Thankfully, a wealth of medical research and development scientists are employed across the UK, which means we now have access to the very best medicines and treatments in the world. If you’ve got a passion for saving lives, helping people and conducting scientific experiments, then this could be just the career for you.
What does medical R&D involve?
Essentially, medical research and development scientists work in laboratories and apply their expert scientific knowledge to develop a better understanding of illnesses and other medical problems. Moreover, they apply their research findings and scientific nous to the development of practical solutions. These guys might be developing new medicines, changing existing drugs, testing new medical products and figuring out preventative measures for combating diseases.
Medical research and development is a fairly broad term and actually incorporates the hard work of biomedical scientists, clinical research scientists, geneticists, clinical engineers, pathologists, pharmacologists and many other kinds of medical science professionals.
How do I get into medical R&D?
Understandably, you will need to have an excellent academic background to build a career in this area. Most medical research and development scientists will have a degree (usually an MSc) in a relevant science subject, such as chemistry, biology, pharmacology, biotechnology or biomedical sciences.
You will spend your day working alongside other scientists, conducting tests and experiments and carrying out other research projects. You will be recording your results and then presenting your findings to senior staff members, clients and medical professionals.
You might find employment with the NHS, academic institutions, private healthcare organisations or pharmaceutical companies. You truly have a massive amount of options at your fingertips if you choose to work in this area. All you need to have is the academic credentials and ambition to succeed. Who knows? You could be the person who finds a cure for cancer!
This article aims to give you a general insight into the world of medical research and development. For more detail on specific areas of medical research and development, check out the following subsectors:
- Pharmacy & Pharmaceuticals
- Physiological Sciences
- Life Sciences
- Clinical Engineering & Physical Sciences
- Forensics & Pathology