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Medical Scientist

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Doctoral degree

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What They Do

Medical Scientists Career Video

About This Career

Conducts research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health. Engages in clinical investigation, research and development, or other related activities.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Biotechnology Research and Development pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Follows strict safety procedures when handling toxic materials to avoid contamination.
  • Evaluates effects of drugs, gases, pesticides, parasites, and microorganisms at various levels.
  • Plans and directs studies to investigate human or animal disease, preventive methods, and treatments for disease.
  • Prepares and analyzes organ, tissue, and cell samples to identify toxicity, bacteria, or microorganisms or to study cell structure.
  • Conducts research to develop methodologies, instrumentation, and procedures for medical application, analyzing data and presenting findings to the scientific audience and general public.
  • Teaches principles of medicine and medical and laboratory procedures to physicians, residents, students, and technicians.
  • Writes and publishes articles in scientific journals.
  • Writes applications for research grants.
  • Standardizes drug dosages, methods of immunization, and procedures for manufacture of drugs and medicinal compounds.
  • Studies animal and human health and physiological processes.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Study Director
  • Toxicologist
  • Physician Scientist
  • Researcher
  • Clinical Laboratory Scientist (Clinical Lab Scientist) — Performs lab tests that doctors use to diagnose and address patients' health issues.
  • Clinical Pharmacologist
  • Research Scientist
  • Scientist
  • Clinical Research Scientist
  • Medical Researcher


  • Email Support
  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900
  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733