How to Become a Biomedical Scientist
Table of Contents Hide
- Who is a Biomedical Scientist?
- How to Become a Biomedical Scientist
- Qualifications You Need to Become a Biomedical Scientist
- Educational Requirements to Become a Biomedical Scientist
- Advanced Training Requirement to Become a Biomedical Scientist
- Work Experience
- What Professional Organizations Serve the Industry?
- Can a Biomedical Scientist Become a Doctor?
If you are interested in a scientific career, you should strive to become a biomedical scientist. This career not only offers high salaries but also allows you to contribute to the advancement of medicine and the improvement of human health. In this article, we define the role of a biomedical scientist, explain what they do, list their salary and job prospects, give you steps to pursue that career, and answer common career questions.
Who is a Biomedical Scientist?
Biomedical scientists conduct scientific research to identify diseases and improve overall human health. With their knowledge of biology and medicine, they contribute to the development of therapies and medicine. As part of a team, biomedical scientists want to understand the human body. They are essentially looking for ways to cure or treat various diseases through advanced tools or strategies. Biomedical scientists may also specialize in specific areas such as infection science, hematology, and molecular pathology.
As a biomedical scientist you will:
- Routine and specialty analytical tests on a range of biological samples
- Providing test results to medical professionals who use the information to diagnose and treat patients’ diseases
- Process patient samples promptly and ensure turnaround times for reporting
- Prioritize your workload and perform urgent analytical testing as needed
- Clinicians who identify abnormal or unexpected results and who report and follow up on requests
- Maintenance and operation of specialized laboratory equipment
- Maintain and order material inventory
- Answer phone inquiries about test results and other general lab questions
- Accurately collect data, write reports, and share results
- Develop new examination methods and keep pace with diagnostic innovations
- Support the laboratory’s quality management system and comply with all relevant health and safety regulations
- Supervise, mentor, and support aspiring biomedical scientists and other support workers
- Keep your expertise up to date and take responsibility for your continuous professional development (CPD).
How to Become a Biomedical Scientist
Pursuing a career as a biomedical scientist requires years of education and training. Fulfilling these requirements will help increase your knowledge in the field and give you a better chance of future employment as a biomedical scientist. Use these steps to become a biomedical scientist:
1 – Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree
Enter a bachelor of science in life sciences or a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences. Consider taking foundation courses in biology, math, physics, and chemistry. It also helps you to take writing and speaking classes to improve your communication skills.
Consider gaining work and research experience while earning your bachelor’s degree. Both internships and laboratory assistants expand your skills, knowledge, and academic application. They can also help you focus your education in an area of biomedical science.
2 – Consider Pursuing a Master’s Degree
After your bachelor’s degree, consider pursuing a master’s degree. While you don’t need a master’s degree to pursue a career in biomedicine or to apply to many Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs, a master’s degree can provide you with further education and open up your employment opportunities in the biomedical field.
If you are pursuing a master’s degree, consider courses in biomedical sciences or a related field. Coursework for this degree may include pharmacology, cell biology, and immunology.
3 – Earn a Ph.D.
A required program for all aspiring biomedical scientists pursuing a Ph.D. strive. The Ph.D. program includes coursework and professional research of your choice. For example, you could specialize in cancer biology or infectious diseases. Ultimately, such degrees prepare students for work in research, academia, and industry.
To get a Ph.D. to obtain it, you must also pass an aptitude test and write a dissertation.
If you are interested in a medical degree, you should enroll in a program that offers both a postdoctoral and a medical degree.
4 – Consider Pursuing a Medical Degree
If you want to work clinically, get a medical degree. To practice medicine, you must also complete an internship, specialist training, and a license to practice medicine. Keep in mind that you don’t need a medical degree to become a biomedical scientist if you just want to do research and not do clinical research.
Qualifications You Need to Become a Biomedical Scientist
You must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to work as a biomedical scientist in the UK. To achieve this, you must have completed a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (IBMS) or approved by the HCPC. You must also complete clinical laboratory training at an IBMS-accredited laboratory where you complete the IBMS Registered Training Portfolio.
IBMS-accredited bachelor’s degrees in biomedical sciences are offered by the university in full-time, part-time, sandwich, and combined formats. The combined degree includes an internship at an IBMS-accredited laboratory during which you will complete an IBMS-registered training portfolio. Upon successful completion of the course, you will receive an IBMS certificate of competency, which entitles you to apply to the HCPC for registration as a Biomedical Scientist.
If your IBMS-accredited degree does not have an integrated internship, you will need to organize a laboratory internship and complete the IBMS Registration Training Portfolio either in a sandwich year or after completing your degree.
Alternatively, you can earn a BSc (Hons) in Healthcare Science (Life Science) through the NHS Practitioner Training Program (PTP), which must be accredited by the IBMS or approved by the HCPC upon completion if you wish to apply to register as a biomedical scientist. The course lasts three years full-time and combines study and practice. Completion of the IBMS Registration Training Portfolio is an essential part of the program.
If you already work in NHS pathology and have a Baccalaureate or equivalent qualifications, including life sciences, your employer can help you pursue an accredited degree program either part-time or as part of an IBMS-recognized apprenticeship.
Educational Requirements to Become a Biomedical Scientist
Someone who performs basic experiments under the supervision of others can potentially become a biomedical scientist with a bachelor’s or master’s degree and years of laboratory experience. To be able to design and carry out experiments independently, a doctorate is essential. Some biomedical scientists have a medical degree, others a doctor of philosophy or a doctor of science. Some people in the biomedical sciences have other degrees, such as B. Doctor of Dental Surgery, Doctor of Dentistry, or Doctor of Ophthalmology. Laboratory scientists engaged in biomedical research may also need to pursue continuing education units in biomedically related disciplines. This is required for anyone working in biomedical science and research who wishes to retain a medical license or a registered nurse license.
Some biomedical scientists may be required to maintain specific certifications. They must be familiar with the Department of Health and Human Services Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) regulations, explains the Center for Medicare and Medicaid. CLIA regulations ensure that laboratories meet certain operational standards. Biomedical researchers may also need optional certifications such as health informatics, health analytics, comparative validity and outcomes research, or epidemiology. Physicians who specialize in biomedical sciences such as g. gene therapy may wish to obtain board certification.
Advanced Training Requirement to Become a Biomedical Scientist
Working as a biomedical scientist in a research laboratory requires working full-time to keep up with the latest laboratory techniques. This may require training from the instrument manufacturer or reagent supplier. It may also include travel to take advanced training courses in specific technologies, such as B. the use of robotics in gene therapy. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that most biomedical scientists spend an average of two to seven years learning the techniques they will use in their day-to-day work in research laboratories.
People with a medical degree or a doctorate in health sciences often have many years of professional experience. This is usually followed by a stipend for the research component they conduct in the lab. The educational process often includes a requirement to publish original, peer-reviewed research in scholarly journals. Aspiring biomedical scientists must also develop or hone specific skills while working in the laboratory or with patients. These skills include excellent written and oral communication, analytical skills, critical thinking skills, decision-making skills, and the ability to observe small changes that can have a significant impact on results.
Becoming a biomedical laboratory scientist takes years of education and training. However, anyone passionate about improving health outcomes and advancing medical knowledge should not be put off by the steps required for this career. A career as a biomedical laboratory scientist can be personally rewarding and allow one to leave a positive professional legacy for others.
What Professional Organizations Serve the Industry?
ASCLS is an organization of medical laboratory scientists with national and state chapters.
ASCI is a medical honor society with more than 3,000 doctors and scientists from all medical specialties. They work to advance research, improve understanding of diseases, and improve treatment. The members of the ASCI are committed to the care of future generations of physicians and scientists.
The American Association for Laboratory Animal Science Foundation (AALAS) supports educational research on the role of responsible animal husbandry and its use in science to promote human and animal health.
Americans for Medical Progress is dedicated and focused on building public understanding of fundamental and humane animal research. They work to ensure biomedical research has the resources to fend off movements that threaten medical research and advances.
NABR is committed to the humane use of animals in biomedical research, teaching, and testing. NABR is committed to providing opinions on legislative, regulatory, and legal matters affecting the responsible, humane and ethical use of laboratory animals.
SUBR is a network of non-profit associations that have come together to advance health through science and education. They work to build a collaborative network of organizations, institutions, companies, and individuals to advance understanding and support biomedical research and the humane care and use of animals in research.
Can a Biomedical Scientist Become a Doctor?
A biomedical scientist can become a doctor if he earns an MD and trains to become a biomedical scientist. There are dual-degree graduate programs that offer a Ph.D. in biomedical research and clinical work in an area of the student’s choice. Not all biomedical scientists have a clinical background to practice medicine.
Most life scientists work in research institutions such as pharmaceutical companies or universities, or hospital laboratories. Other options include veterinary labs, blood banks, forensic labs, and public health departments. As a biomedical scientist, you must be able to be both accurate and efficient, as this work often directly impacts patients’ lives and health, and the impact is far-reaching. Biomedical scientists must also have access to specialized laboratory equipment, computers, and powerful microscopes and be comfortable working with biological samples.
Becoming a biomedical scientist requires considerable skills and expertise. No wonder, then, that many professionally trained people also find employment in other, non-medical fields. Biomedical scientists can work in a variety of fields outside of healthcare, such as B. education, defense, publishing, and even space medicine.