are three general career paths you can follow to become a researcher in a heart
Academic Researcher, Ph.D.
to the diverse and complex nature of current day medicine, which embrace molecular
biology and computer engineering, people with Ph.D in a wide variety of disciplines
contribute to our understanding of the health and disease. In general, a career
path of academic researcher includes: obtaining a college degree, followed by
graduate work in one of the related fields, which usually takes 5-6 years. The
goal of Ph.D. programs is to train independent research scientists who will
also have the potential to become educators. After obtaining Ph.D. degree in
natural science, one needs to find a so-called postdoctoral position to gain
the investigative techniques and experience needed to attract grant money and
set up their own research lab. Often it takes more than one postdoctoral fellowship
to gain enough credentials required to obtain the first independent position
- rank of Assistant Professor. The subsequent career steps in academia include
Associate Professor and Professor.
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Medical Doctor/Researcher, M.D./Ph.D.
Medical Degree by itself allows you to pursue research endeavors in academic
medicine. However, due to the complexity of modern day medicine, bright students
who have inspirations to become independent investigators are advised to pursue
both MD and Ph.D. degrees. They can do it by enrolling into a so-called MD/Ph.D.
program, which enables students to attain both the MD and Ph.D. degrees over
a period of six to nine years. Generally, students take the basic medical science
courses offered for medical students during their first two years in the Program.
They also begin to gain experience and insight into research during the summer
between years 1 and 2. The next two to five years are spent in study and research
in one of the school's graduate programs completing the requirements for the
Ph.D. degree. Two years of clinical studies are usually follow to fulfill the
requirements for the MD degree.
Pharmaceutical/Biotechnology Researcher/Master of Science Degree
advances in biotechnology and drug discovery have resulted in an explosive growth
of biotech companies. The research and drug development conducted in these companies
require skilled and dedicated labor. Albeit a wide range of specialists are
employed, including Ph.Ds, many of biotech employees hold a Masters Degree in
related disciplines (Physiology, Microbiology, Pharmacology being some of them).
Candidates for Master of Science degrees generally have bachelor degrees in
the chemical, physical, or biological sciences and are expected to have completed
college courses in biological science, chemistry, physics and mathematics. The
goals of master programs in medicine related fields is to train technically
competent biomedical scientists who qualify for positions in government, industry,
research laboratories, and college and high school science departments. Master
program is 2-3 years long on average.
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