Can a Medical Laboratory Scientist Become a Medical Doctor

Last Updated on January 15, 2023 by Team College Learners

It is commonly believed that in order to become a medical doctor, one must first attend medical school. Most people do not know that this is not always the case. Lab techs and other clinicians can often become doctors even though they never went to medical school.

Getting the most updated information on the internet isn’t always easy. That’s not always the case. However, this article brings you more information on doctor of medical laboratory science in Nigeria, career options for medical laboratory scientists & can a medical laboratory scientist become a medical doctor in South Africa.

You will also find related posts on can a medical laboratory scientist be called a doctor, is a medical laboratory scientist a doctor, doctor of medical laboratory science salary, biomedical engineering, medical laboratory science requirements, can a medical laboratory scientist become a pathologist right here on Collegelearners.

Can A Medical Laboratory Scientist Become A Medical Doctor - Daily Medicos

Is a Medical Laboratory Scientist a Doctor

Many medical scientists form hypotheses and develop experiments, with little supervision. They often lead teams of technicians and, sometimes, students, who perform support tasks. For example, a medical scientist working in a university laboratory may have undergraduate assistants take measurements and make observations for the scientist’s research.

Medical scientists study the causes of diseases and other health problems. For example, a medical scientist who does cancer research might put together a combination of drugs that could slow the cancer’s progress. A clinical trial may be done to test the drugs. A medical scientist may work with licensed physicians to test the new combination on patients who are willing to participate in the study.

Can a Medical Laboratory Scientist Become a Doctor

Medical lab scientists can become medical doctors by following the same education path as other aspiring doctors by attending medical school. To become a medical lab scientist, you must earn a bachelor’s degree in the sciences, and many of the required undergraduate courses overlap with the prerequisites for medical school. There may be additional qualifications, so research what other criteria you need to get into medical school.

Yes, a medical laboratory scientist can become a doctor just like anyone else if they go to medical school and graduate. As a former medical laboratory scientist the doctor would have a better understanding of the tests they are ordering and able to understand more clearly the results of those tests. I have not been to medical school but all of the doctors I have interacted with have at best a quick and short exposure with laboratory processes which is a shame since 90% of all patient diagnosis comes from or is verified by the lab.

Curriculum - Medical Laboratory Science Program (Florida and Minnesota) -  Mayo Clinic College of Medicine & Science

What does a Medical Scientist Do

Medical scientists are trained to conduct research and carry out clinical trials in the quest of improving the overall health of humans. Clinical trial procedures are conducted on volunteer test groups or individual subjects to see how various drugs interact with their systems.
Research is also carried out on the life processes of viruses, bacteria and other infectious living organism, which affect human health. All of this is done in order to find new, more effective ways to cure or treat diseases by developing advanced diagnostic tools or new therapeutic strategies.

Medical scientists work full-time and are found working in a variety of settings like hospitals, clinics and laboratories. They may sometimes have to work with dangerous biological samples and chemicals, and in these instances, precautions must be taken in order to ensure a safe environment.

Is this career for you?

In order to determine whether or not a career as a medical scientist is for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you interested in contributing to the body of medical science dedicated to improving human health?
  • Do you have the emotional and intellectual stamina to not only complete advanced coursework to become a medical scientist, but to practice it as well?
  • Do you have good writing skills and are you articulate?

These are important skills to have because medical scientists need to communicate their findings and draft research grant proposals.

Medical Laboratory Scientist - Explore Health Care Careers - Mayo Clinic  College of Medicine & Science

Important skills and qualities

Some important skills and qualities that a medical scientist is required to have include:

  • Good communications
  • Critical thinking
  • Data-analysis
  • Good decision-making abilities
  • Astute observation
  • A keen interest in science and math
  • Good people skills as you may be working with teams of scientists
Medical Lab Science: Critical care behind the scenes

Job duties

Some of the common job duties of a medical scientists include:

  • Conducting research and clinical tests that investigate human diseases and the potential methods of preventive care and the treatment of diseases
  • Using knowledge acquired during research to develop new drugs and medical treatments in order to improve medical outcomes
  • Studying biological processes to understand why diseases occur
  • Writing research grant proposals in order to get funding from government agencies and private funding sources

How to become a medical scientist

Typically, a medical scientist needs to have a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Biological Sciences from an accredited college or university. There are some candidates, however, who choose to practice as a physician instead and therefore opt for a medical degree, such as the Doctor of Medicine (MD).
Whichever route you decide to take, the first step is to attain a bachelors degree in biology , chemistry, or in a health related major. Typical courses taken at this stage include life sciences, chemistry, physics and math. In addition, classes in writing and communications are very important because they will prepare students to write grant proposals and publish research results.
After completing undergraduate studies, students have two graduate school educational routes to  choose from:

What you can do with a Career in Medical Lab Technician - Education Today  News
  • Earning a PhD in genetics, pathology or bioinformatics, or
  • Earning a joint MD-PhD program at a medical school

The difference between the two routes is that while a PhD program focuses solely on research methods, in dual degree programs students learn both the clinical skills needed to be a physician and the research skills needed to be a scientist.
For those who seek a medical degree, they can expect to take courses in physiology, anatomy, microbiology, biochemistry, pathology, pharmacology, psychology, medical ethics, and medical law. They will also learn how to record medical histories, examine patients, and diagnose illnesses. Medical students must also participate in residency programs.
Furthermore, if candidates wanting to become medical scientist wish to interact with patients by either administering drugs, gene therapy, or drawing blood, they must also be a licensed physician. Licensing requirements include passing a licensing exam.
In addition to formal education, medical scientists also usually continue with postdoctoral work. This  provides them with valuable hands-on training, lab experience, and experience in specific processes and techniques such as gene splicing.

Job outlook and salary

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average median salary for medical scientists in 2012 was $76,980. The top ten percent earned more than $146,650.
In addition, in 2012, the median annual wages for medical scientists in the top five industries were as follows:

  • Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing – $92,940
  • Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences – $87,620
  • Offices of physicians – $77,180
  • General medical and surgical hospitals; private – $71,840
  • Colleges, universities, and professional schools – $53,740

Data from BLS also indicated that employment for such professionals is expected to grow at the rate of 13 percent between now and 2022. This is slightly faster than the average for all other occupations, which is 11%. This growth rate is attributable to a number of factors and considerations that include:

  • An increasing dependence on pharmaceuticals
  • Greater affluence results in more spending in the medical field. The federal government is a major source of funding for medical research. More wealth results in large budget increases at the National Institutes of Health
  • Increasing aging population
  • The constant stream of new discoveries results in opportunities for research, and this will require the services of medical scientists
  • Greater efforts to understand illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, Ebola, AIDS, and cancer
  • Continued antibiotic resistance will call for research into how to combat this phenomena
  • Globalization and increased worldwide travel results in the spreading of diseases and may evengive rise to new ones. This requires the work of medical scientists.  

Medical scientists are professionals whose services contribute to the development of treatments and medicines that improve human health. They are constantly carrying out research in the quest of understanding illnesses and diseases better so as to be able to treat them more effectively.

States with the highest employment level in this occupation:

StateEmploymentEmployment per thousand jobsLocation quotientHourly mean wage ($)Annual mean wage($)
New York6500.070.8520.1241840

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