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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Scientists in Chicago, Illinois

Medical scientist career and educational opportunities abound in Chicago, Illinois. There are currently 1,080 working medical scientists in Illinois; this should grow by 19% to 1,280 working medical scientists in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for medical scientists, which sees this job pool growing by about 40.4% over the next eight years. Medical scientists generally conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health.

The average wage in the general category of Life Sciences jobs is $32 per hour or $65,585 per year in Illinois, and an average of $30 per hour or $62,473 per year nationwide. Jobs in this field include: post-doctoral fellow, nanotechnologist, and clinical laboratory scientist.

There are thirteen schools within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be a medical scientist, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. Medical scientists usually hold a Doctoral degree, so you can expect to spend four or five years studying to be a medical scientist if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or eight to ten years if you have 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 Chicago 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.
  • Food Technologist. Use chemistry, microbiology, and other sciences to study the principles underlying the processing and deterioration of foods; analyze food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, and protein; discover new food sources; research ways to make processed foods safe, palatable, and healthful; and apply food science knowledge to determine best ways to process, package, and distribute food.
  • Forester. Manage forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes. May inventory the type, amount, and location of standing timber, appraise the timber's worth, negotiate the purchase, and draw up contracts for procurement. May determine how to conserve wildlife habitats, creek beds, and soil stability, and how best to comply with environmental regulations. May devise plans for planting and growing new trees, monitor trees for healthy growth, and determine the best time for harvesting. Develop forest management plans for public and privately-owned forested lands.
  • 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.
  • Natural Resource Manager. Research or study range land management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife.
  • 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.
  • Soil Conservation Technician. Plan and develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil and water conservation, and sound land use.
  • Zoologist. Study the origins, behavior, and life processes of animals and wildlife. May specialize in wildlife research and management, including the collection and analysis of biological data to determine the environmental effects of present and potential use of land and water areas.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Scientist Training

University of Illinois at Chicago - Chicago, IL

University of Illinois at Chicago, 601 S Morgan, Chicago, IL 60607. University of Illinois at Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,709 students and an admission rate of 60%. University of Illinois at Chicago has 3 areas of study related to Medical Scientist. They are:

  • Biochemistry, bachelor's degree which graduated 37 students in 2008.
  • Physiology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and six students respectively in 2008.
  • Pharmacology, doctor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Elmhurst College - Elmhurst, IL

Elmhurst College, 190 Prospect Ave, Elmhurst, IL 60126-3096. Elmhurst College is a small college located in Elmhurst, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,315 students and an admission rate of 69%. Elmhurst College has a bachelor's degree program in Biochemistry.

National University of Health Sciences - Lombard, IL

National University of Health Sciences, 200 E Roosevelt Rd, Lombard, IL 60148-4583. National University of Health Sciences is a small university located in Lombard, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 733 students. National University of Health Sciences has a bachelor's degree program in Biomedical Sciences which graduated forty-nine students in 2008.

North Central College - Naperville, IL

North Central College, 30 N Brainard St, Naperville, IL 60540. North Central College is a small college located in Naperville, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,726 students and an admission rate of 69%. North Central College has a bachelor's degree program in Biochemistry.

Midwestern University - Downers Grove, IL

Midwestern University, 555 31st Street, Downers Grove, IL 60515-5514. Midwestern University is a small university located in Downers Grove, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,013 students. Midwestern University has a master's degree program in Biomedical Sciences which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

University of Chicago - Chicago, IL

University of Chicago, 5801 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637. University of Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,620 students and an admission rate of 28%. University of Chicago has 7 areas of study related to Medical Scientist. They are:

  • Biophysics, doctor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Immunology, doctor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Human/Medical Genetics, doctor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Molecular Physiology, doctor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Neurobiology and Neurophysiology, doctor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Pathology/Experimental Pathology, master's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Oncology and Cancer Biology, doctor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.

Benedictine University - Lisle, IL

Benedictine University, 5700 College Rd, Lisle, IL 60532-0900. Benedictine University is a medium sized university located in Lisle, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,053 students and an admission rate of 80%. Benedictine University has 2 areas of study related to Medical Scientist. They are:

  • Biochemistry, bachelor's degree.
  • Molecular Biology, bachelor's degree.

Lewis University - Romeoville, IL

Lewis University, One University Parkway, Romeoville, IL 60446-2200. Lewis University is a medium sized university located in Romeoville, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,536 students and an admission rate of 71%. Lewis University has a bachelor's degree program in Biochemistry.

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science - North Chicago, IL

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, 3333 Green Bay Rd, North Chicago, IL 60064. Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is a small university located in North Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,741 students. Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science has 4 areas of study related to Medical Scientist. They are:

  • Biophysics, master's degree and doctor's degree.
  • Physiology, master's degree and doctor's degree.
  • Pathology/Experimental Pathology, master's degree and doctor's degree.
  • Molecular Pharmacology, master's degree and doctor's degree.

Northwestern University - Evanston, IL

Northwestern University, 633 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208. Northwestern University is a large university located in Evanston, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,128 students and an admission rate of 27%. Northwestern University has 2 areas of study related to Medical Scientist. They are:

  • Neurobiology and Neurophysiology, master's degree.
  • Medical Scientist, master's degree and doctor's degree.

Loyola University Chicago - Chicago, IL

Loyola University Chicago, 820 N. Michigan, Chicago, IL 60611-9810. Loyola University Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,670 students and an admission rate of 74%. Loyola University Chicago has 7 areas of study related to Medical Scientist. They are:

  • Biomedical Sciences, master's degree.
  • Biochemistry, master's degree.
  • Molecular Biology, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated seventeen, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Immunology, master's degree and doctor's degree.
  • Physiology, master's degree and doctor's degree.
  • Pharmacology, master's degree and doctor's degree.
  • Medical Scientist, master's degree.

Illinois Institute of Technology - Chicago, IL

Illinois Institute of Technology, 3300 S Federal St, Chicago, IL 60616. Illinois Institute of Technology is a medium sized school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,404 students and an admission rate of 57%. Illinois Institute of Technology has a bachelor's degree program in Biochemistry which graduated nine students in 2008.

Rush University - Chicago, IL

Rush University, 600 S. Paulina St. STE 440, Chicago, IL 60612. Rush University is a small university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,764 students. Rush University has 7 areas of study related to Medical Scientist. They are:

  • Biochemistry, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated zero and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Biophysics, master's degree and doctor's degree.
  • Anatomy, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Immunology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated zero and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Physiology, doctor's degree.
  • Pharmacology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical Scientist, master's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.