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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Scientists in Birmingham, Alabama

There are many career and education opportunities for medical scientists in the Birmingham, Alabama area. The national trend for medical scientists sees this job pool growing by about 40.4% over the next eight years. In general, medical scientists conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health.

Income for medical scientists is about $21 per hour or $44,950 yearly on average in Alabama. Nationally, their income is about $34 per hour or $72,590 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Life Sciences, people working as medical scientists in Alabama earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Life Sciences nationally. Jobs in this field include: mental health researcher, research scientist, and cytologist.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can study to be a medical scientist, among fifteen schools of higher education total in the Birmingham area. Medical scientists usually hold a Doctoral degree, so it will take four or five years to learn to be a medical scientist if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or eight to ten years starting with a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Medical Scientist

Medical Scientist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, medical scientists conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health. They also engage in clinical investigation or other research, production, or related activities.

Medical scientists formulate and direct studies to investigate human or animal disease, preventive methods, and treatments for disease. Finally, medical scientists conduct research to evolve methodologies, instrumentation and processes for medical application, analyzing data and presenting findings.

Every day, medical scientists are expected to be able to piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for medical scientists to evaluate effects of drugs and microorganisms at various levels. They are often called upon to follow strict safety procedures when handling toxic materials to avoid contamination. They also teach principles of medicine and medical and laboratory procedures to physicians and technicians. They are sometimes expected to confer with and advise physicians, educators and others regarding medical applications of physics and chemistry. Somewhat less frequently, medical scientists are also expected to ready and analyze organ, tissue, and cell samples to pinpoint toxicity or microorganisms or to study cell structure.

Medical scientists sometimes are asked to investigate cause or mode of transmission of diseases or parasites. They also have to be able to use equipment such as atomic absorption spectrometers and chromatography systems And finally, they sometimes have to talk with health departments and others to evolve health safety standards and public health improvement programs.

Like many other jobs, medical scientists must have exceptional integrity and be persistant in the face of problems and impediments.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Biologist. Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, and functions.
  • Epidemiologist. Investigate and describe the determinants and distribution of disease, disability, and other health outcomes and develop the means for prevention and control.
  • Microbiologist. Investigate the growth, structure, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, algae, or fungi. Includes medical microbiologists who study the relationship between organisms and disease or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.
  • Scientist. Study the chemical composition and physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Scientist Training

Birmingham Southern College - Birmingham, AL

Birmingham Southern College, 900 Arkadelphia Road, Birmingham, AL 35254. Birmingham Southern College is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,458 students and an admission rate of 69%. Birmingham Southern College has a bachelor's degree program in Biochemistry which graduated five students in 2008.

Samford University - Birmingham, AL

Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229-2240. Samford University is a small university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,469 students and an admission rate of 89%. Samford University has a bachelor's degree program in Biochemistry which graduated seven students in 2008.

University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL 35294-0110. University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,149 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Alabama at Birmingham has 9 areas of study related to Medical Scientist. They are:

  • Biomedical Sciences, master's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Histology, doctor's degree which graduated 16 students in 2008.
  • Molecular Physiology, doctor's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Neurobiology and Neurophysiology, doctor's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Vision Science/Physiological Optics, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Pathology/Experimental Pathology, doctor's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology, doctor's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.
  • Biostatistics, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated three and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Epidemiology, doctor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.