In Summary - Medical Scientist
Medical Scientists typically work in the following Career Sectors:
The Work - Medical Scientist
A Medical Scientist works in the diagnosis and research of disease in healthcare or research laboratories.
The work of a medical scientist includes:
- Managing the laboratory service and ensuring that the patient receives quality-assured, standardised results which aid in their disease diagnosis, prognosis and therapy.
- Providing infection surveillance to monitor hospital-acquired infections and many novel molecular tests for disease-related genetic aberrations.
- Working in Pathology sectors including Blood Transfusion, Medical Microbiology, Cellular Pathology, Haematology, Clinical Chemistry, Clinical Immunology, Molecular Diagnostics, Clinical Cytology, Transplantation and Virology.
Medical Science disciplines include the following areas:
- Blood Transfusion Science
- Medical Microbiology
- Cellular Pathology
- Clinical Chemistry
- Molecular Diagnostics
- Clinical Immunology
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Plan and direct studies to investigate human or animal disease, preventive methods, and treatments for disease.
- Conduct research to develop methodologies, instrumentation, and procedures for medical application, analyzing data and presenting findings to the scientific audience and general public.
- Study animal and human health and physiological processes.
- Follow strict safety procedures when handling toxic materials to avoid contamination.
- Write and publish articles in scientific journals.
- Evaluate effects of drugs, gases, pesticides, parasites, and microorganisms at various levels.
- Use equipment such as atomic absorption spectrometers, electron microscopes, flow cytometers, and chromatography systems.
- Prepare and analyze organ, tissue, and cell samples to identify toxicity, bacteria, or microorganisms or to study cell structure.
- Standardize drug dosages, methods of immunization, and procedures for manufacture of drugs and medicinal compounds.
- Investigate cause, progress, life cycle, or mode of transmission of diseases or parasites.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Interests - Medical Scientist
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Entry Requirements - Medical Scientist
Medical Scientists typically hold a level 8 honors degree. An ACSLM-approved course that includes Clinical Placement is required to practice as a Medical Scientist in a hospital laboratory in Ireland.
There are three 3rd level institutions in Ireland which offer ACSLM approved courses:
- Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT): Biomedical Science DT204
- Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT): Medical Science GA785
- Cork Institute of Technology/University College Cork (CIT/UCC): Biomedical Science CR320
Graduates who have completed an ACSLM-approved honours degree and a clinical laboratory placement are then eligible to practise as medical scientists in clinical pathology (hospital) laboratories in Ireland as well as other countries.
Graduates of these degree programmes also work as scientists in commercial and private pathology laboratories, research laboratories and in biomedical science positions worldwide.
[See also: Why choose a career as a Medical Scientist? from ACSLM]
Last Updated: October, 2017
Pay & Salary - Medical Scientist
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 32k - 54k
The Salary Scale for the post is (01/04/17):
€32,048 – €33,380 – €35,498 – €36,501 – €37,455 – €39,712 – €41,172 – €42,646 – €44,144 – €45,640 – €47,141 – €48,654 – €50,176 – €51,717 – €53,213 – €54,241 LSI
Last Updated: October, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Medical Scientist
While the supply of graduates appears to be sufficient to meet the annual recruitment requirement (5,500 graduates in 2017), the demand is arising for roles for those with a high level of experience and/or in niche areas. The demand is for a small number of people given the relatively small size of this occupation (approx. 1% of total employment) and in the areas associated with pharmaceuticals, biopharma and food development.
National Skills Bulletin 2018