My brother, Sean, has a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and attends medical school at the Medical college of Wisconsin. He was on a team of graduate students, doctors, and phds last summer for ten weeks doing research using patient kidney biopsies to determine the outcome of their disease based on the genetic changes in the kidney tissue. If certain markers were found in the kidney he could tell how quickly a patient would progress to kidney failure and require a transplant. The research was a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). He will be continuing to work on the kidney research for the next two summers. Medical science and biomedical science are very similar but they are not the same. A degree in biomedical science is a BSC degree, and a degree in medical science is a BMedSc degree. Biomedical science is much broader and offers more career opportunities. It applies biology and chemistry to the fields of anatomy, pharmacology, genetics, and more. On the other hand, medical science is more narrow and includes areas of specialty such as immunology, neurology genetics, and cardiology. Medical scientists do trials on volunteer test groups or individuals and determine how the drugs affect the patients. They work to find new ways to treat or cure diseases and to understand how the human body functions by doing tests and research. The desired result of the research is to make new drugs, treatments, and vaccines. They might do research on bacteria and viruses, then review, do clinical investigations, and write reports on their research. Scientists that run clinical trials need to interview patients and look at their medical histories. They decide which testing group the patients go into. One group might be given a trial medication while the other receives the placebo. The medical scientist would look for any change in the patients’ health and behavior and would report it. They conduct their work in clinics, hospitals, and laboratories. Conditions are generally safe but sometimes they need to work with unsafe substances and follow safety precautions. A 40-hour week is typical for a medical scientist, but long research projects can make the hours longer. The national average salary in the US is $80,069 per year for a medical research scientist which is about $38 per hour. The average yearly pay for a medical research scientist in Minnesota is $78,784 and is below the national average. Employment for medical scientists in Minnesota is around 4,000 and is projected to increase by 250 jobs in one year. Employment in the nation for medical research scientists is projected to increase from 120,000 to 135,900 jobs in the next ten years. There will continue to be a demand for them because of the treatments and medicines they help develop. There are a few requirements that need to be met in order to qualify someone to become a medical scientist. A bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology, biochemistry, or a medical health related major is usually required. The educational goal for a medical scientist is a PhD in a biological science, or an MSc. A career in this field without a PhD would be limited. If a medical scientist only does research, they do not need certifications or licenses, but a license is required for those who administer drugs, gene therapy, or interact directly with patients. These scientists must also pass an exam for the license. Medical scientists who work with patients need to be licensed doctors, requiring them to have completed one to seven years of medical school at a graduate level at an accredited medical school. Students on their way to becoming medical scientists in medical school will be doing laboratory work and taking classes like biochemistry, anatomy, pharmacology, microbiology, medical law, and medical ethics.A young person preparing to become a medical scientist should make their high school years count by taking advanced classes in the physical sciences, life sciences and math fields. Taking English and writing classes to build writing skills would be helpful because students have to learn to write grants for funding and publish reports on their research. The best courses to take in college on your path to becoming a medical scientist include biomedical sciences, molecular biology, pharmacology, and statistics. Medical scientists take these courses because they need to have the knowledge and the skills to do research on bacteria, viruses, and other things affecting human health. A student would take biomedical sciences to learn about the biological issues in health and medicine because they will be researching treatments for diseases as a medical scientist. They should take molecular biology because they need to know about the structures, processes, and functions of molecules. A course in pharmacology will teach a student the applications of drugs and how chemicals affect biological systems. A statistics course is important for researching because it is the science of analyzing and drawing conclusions from data. One particular area I would like to research would be cancer. I would like to research the causes of cancers, and research ways to prevent and cure them. Immunochemistry would be another area in the medical research field that I would like to become an expert on. I would be researching the reactions and effects that many different drugs have on the immune system. I would want to be involved in toxicology as well. I would research the effects of poisonous substances like household chemicals and harmful drugs. I would be working to determine safe dosage limits for drugs, radiation, and other treatments. One new and innovative approach that I would like to develop and do research on as a medical scientist would be using liquid biopsies to find circulating tumor DNA. This DNA is called cell-free circulating tumor DNA and it is 100 times more common in the blood than the tumor cells are. The liquid biopsies are tests that expose signs of DNA in the bloodstream which was shed off of a tumor. There are still studies underway on this new game changing cancer test but it is only a matter of time before cancer can be caught and treated as a routine yearly checkup.