Becoming a Clinical Scientist
Clinical Scientists use clinical trials and other investigative methods to conduct verities of research for improving overall human health. They interpret test results and suggest new methods of diagnosis and treatment. They analyze the effects of pharmaceutical products or other medical treatments given to patients. Besides, they may also have some administrative responsibilities, such as preparing grant proposals for research funding, supervising technicians and specialists in the laboratories etc.
Clinical Scientists are employed at various environments such as public or private hospitals, laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, educational institutions, private research firms etc. They usually work for fulltime. However, they may have to work in the evenings or weekends depending on the nature of responsibilities and settings.
To become a Clinical Scientist, the aspiring candidates need to earn a Ph.D., usually in biology or a related life science, from an accredited institution, which usually takes six years to complete. However, some employers also accept a medical degree with a major like medical technology, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, or microbiology.
The syllabus includes hematology, microbiology, biochemistry, organic chemistry, anatomy, biostatistics, body fluid analysis, molecular techniques, clinical correlations, and clinical laboratory management medical ethics along with advanced training through extensive laboratory work.
Since a Clinical Scientist needs to be licensed in most of the states in the USA, the candidates have to pass the necessary examination and meet all the qualification to earn a required license.
Clinical Scientists possess wide range of knowledge and skills such as willingness to keep up to date with the latest scientific and medical research, clinical problem solving and decision making abilities, understanding of regulations, high levels of accuracy and attention to detail, competent in computer operations, teamwork and leadership skills, excellent written and verbal communication skills, clear focus on quality and effectively counseling abilities etc.
Job Outlook and Salary
The job outlook for a Clinical Scientist remains excellent across the USA. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 13% during 2012-2022. The average annual salary of a Clinical Scientist was $76,980 in 2012.