Medical Science and Research
Look closer at the field of medical science, which involves research to promote the maintenance of health and the prevention and treatment of disease. Unlike doctors who treat patients, medical scientists work in a clinical environment to study the causes of disease and other health problems. This topic includes an array of specialized fields, including genetics, molecular and cell biology, and neuroscience, among many others.
Medical research may include the development of new devices and drugs to treat disease. As part of the development process, medical scientists may design and run trials in partnership with doctors to test the safety and efficacy of a new drug or medical device. They will make modifications as necessary, depending on their analysis of the information collected during the trial. They will determine a drug’s potency and dosage in preparation for bringing a drug to the market.
Medical science is also valuable in public efforts to improve health outcomes. For example, medical scientists may conduct studies on the link between smoking and lung cancer and distribute these findings through published studies in medical journals in order to increase public awareness of the dangers of smoking.
Internal medicine is the medical specialty dealing with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of adult diseases. Physicians specializing in internal medicine are called internists or physicians. Internists are skilled in the management of patients who have undifferentiated or multisystem disease processes. Internists care for hospitalized and ambulatory patients and may play a major role in internal medicine teaching and research.
Because of the high costs, most medical research is conducted in one of three places: in a government-funded facility, at a university, or for a private company such as a pharmaceutical company. Professionals working in the nonprofit sector typically must acquire funding for their research by writing grants. Those who are working in the private sector generally must adhere to the research agenda of their employer.