Medicine and healthcare are vast and complicated fields of study and work. While most people picture a doctor as the head of their local private practice, or a pharmacist as the person at their local pharmacy, there are more behind the scenes ways to contribute to people’s health. Researching, developing, testing, and selling new medications are all a vital part of working in healthcare. If you are a medical student and are considering working “behind the curtain” in medicine, read on and find out about these fascinating fields.


Discovering a medication that fulfills a need is a complex process. Identifying a need is only the beginning. Chemists, physicists, biologists, and medical professionals must work together. Many medications involve finding the right protein to defuse or destroy a virus or malignant cell. Finding the exact right compound requires knowledge of a complex set of variables. One must know about plants as well as chemical compounds and physical interactions. Just research alone is a vast field with multiple different required expertises. Consult with your student advisor to find out what part of it would best fit your interests and expertise.


After the medicine is researched and developed, you have to make sure that it works, as well as understand any potential side effects. This, of course, must be done before the US Food and Drug Administration will approve it. While surprises can occur, the professionals run tests to determine if and how the drug is effective at combating the chosen illness. This is also an important part of discovering new strains or diseases that have new resistances. These trial periods ensure that the medication is safe and effective.


After the researchers decide the content of the medication, it must also be packaged and distributed. This is less simple than it might appear at first. You have to avoid outside contaminants, maintain a high standard of cleanliness, and much more. You will need to put together, with an appropriate company, lateral flow test assembly kitting to create a standardized and safe way to manufacture the product. Working in the direct manufacturing of drugs is a medical field in its own right.

Creating medicine is a vital part of healthcare. It is just as important as the more public facing and direct means of caring for people. Consider any of the above factors and career options as you decide what to specialize in during medical school.