One of the biggest drivers of positive change for humanity has been advances in medical science. As new medical treatments and therapies are developed, lives are saved. These breakthroughs allow people all over the world to live longer and happier lives freer of pain. If you want to take on a career that will truly matter to the human race, there can be no better choice than starting a career in medical research. You just need to know how to get started on this long career path.

Undergraduate Education

As should be expected, you need lots of education to enter the career field of medical research. At the very minimum, you will need a bachelor’s degree. This bachelor’s degree should be in a field relevant to medical science. Examples of good choices would be a bachelor’s in biology, biotechnology, pharmacology, or nursing. However, degrees specifically in clinical research are also available. If you want to focus exclusively on medical research, that may be your best choice.

Graduate Education

To increase your qualifications, a masters or doctorate’s degree in a medical science related field is also suggested. While not needed for every medical research position, obtaining a higher degree will allow you to more quickly ascend to a higher status in the field. A PhD will certainly give you an advantage over other applicants for the same position.

Internships and Volunteer Work

Obtaining a degree is one thing. However, having practical experience in medical research is something else entirely. You should certainly investigation internship opportunities at facilities that perform medical research to broaden your qualifications. Look at the possibility of volunteering or obtaining an internship at a clinical research organization or hospital to increase your experience.

Certifications and Licenses

Based on the kind of clinical research being performed, certifications or licenses may be required to obtain a position. Investigate the employer you are interested in working for. They may, for example, require a certification in clinical research for many positions. Such a certification can be obtained from organizations like the Society of Clinical Research Associates.

Entry Level Positions

Lastly, you’ll want to obtain an entry level position in medical research to begin on your long-term career path. A job title you should probably look for is that of medical research associate. This job involves assisting a scientist in planning and conducting clinical trials and other forms of medical research. This experience should allow you to learn what you need to know to advance to higher positions in the field.

Starting a career in medical research is not easy. It requires a lot of hard work. Even after you make it into the field, you can expect your work to be challenging. Still, you will be doing an important service. The research you complete could end up saving and improving countless lives.