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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Scientists in Columbia, Maryland

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for medical scientists in the Columbia, Maryland area. About 2,640 people are currently employed as medical scientists in Maryland. By 2016, this is expected to grow 15% to 3,040 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for medical scientists are expected to grow by about 40.4%. In general, medical scientists conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health.

Medical scientists earn about $43 hourly or $89,480 annually on average in Maryland and about $34 hourly or $72,590 yearly on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Life Sciences, people working as medical scientists in Maryland earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Life Sciences nationally. Jobs in this field include: research grant specialist, medical health researcher, and post-doctoral fellow.

The Columbia area is home to 109 schools of higher education, including thirteen within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree as a medical scientist. The most common level of education for medical scientists is a Doctoral degree. You can expect to spend four or five years training to become 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 Columbia 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.
  • Park Ranger. Plan, develop, and conduct programs to inform public of historical, natural, and scientific features of national, state, or local park.
  • 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.
  • Soil Scientist. Conduct research in breeding, physiology, and management of crops and agricultural plants, their growth in soils, and control of pests; or study the chemical, physical, and mineralogical composition of soils as they relate to plant or crop growth. May classify and map soils and investigate effects of alternative practices on soil and crop productivity.
  • 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

Howard University - Washington, DC

Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059-0001. Howard University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,696 students and an admission rate of 49%. Howard University has 6 areas of study related to Medical Scientist. They are:

  • Biochemistry, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated three and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Anatomy, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated three and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical Microbiology and Bacteriology, doctor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Physiology, doctor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Pharmacology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated zero and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology, master's degree.

Columbia Union College - Takoma Park, MD

Columbia Union College, 7600 Flower Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912. Columbia Union College is a small college located in Takoma Park, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 974 students. Columbia Union College has a bachelor's degree program in Biochemistry which graduated one student in 2008.

University of Maryland-Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250. University of Maryland-Baltimore County is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,268 students and an admission rate of 72%. University of Maryland-Baltimore County has 3 areas of study related to Medical Scientist. They are:

  • Biochemistry, doctor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Molecular Biology, master's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.
  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Histology, doctor's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.

University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,339 students. University of the District of Columbia has a master's degree program in Endocrinology.

Georgetown University - Washington, DC

Georgetown University, 37th and O St NW, Washington, DC 20057. Georgetown University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,318 students and an admission rate of 19%. Georgetown University has 6 areas of study related to Medical Scientist. They are:

  • Biochemistry, bachelor's degree which graduated 11 students in 2008.
  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Histology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Physiology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated 168 and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Pathology/Experimental Pathology, master's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Pharmacology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated seventeen and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Biostatistics, master's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University has 7 areas of study related to Medical Scientist. They are:

  • Biomedical Sciences, doctor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Biochemistry, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated six and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Biophysics, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Immunology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Human/Medical Genetics, bachelor's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.
  • Biostatistics, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Epidemiology, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated two, one, and two students respectively in 2008.

Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N Charles St, Mason Hall, Baltimore, MD 21218-2688. Johns Hopkins University is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,049 students and an admission rate of 26%. Johns Hopkins University has 9 areas of study related to Medical Scientist. They are:

  • Biochemistry, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated forty-nine and sixteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Biophysics, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated nine, two, and nine students respectively in 2008.
  • Molecular Biology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated sixteen and twenty-one students respectively in 2008.
  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Histology, doctor's degree which graduated 15 students in 2008.
  • Anatomy, doctor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Pharmacology, doctor's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • Biostatistics, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated twelve and fifteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Epidemiology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated forty-five and thirty-two students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical Scientist, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated eight and eight students respectively in 2008.

Catholic University of America - Washington, DC

Catholic University of America, 620 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20064. Catholic University of America is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,705 students and an admission rate of 81%. Catholic University of America has 2 areas of study related to Medical Scientist. They are:

  • Biochemistry, bachelor's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.
  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Histology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and two students respectively in 2008.

University of Maryland-College Park - College Park, MD

University of Maryland-College Park, , College Park, MD 20742. University of Maryland-College Park is a large university located in College Park, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,000 students and an admission rate of 39%. University of Maryland-College Park has 2 areas of study related to Medical Scientist. They are:

  • Biochemistry, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated two, one, and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Molecular Biology, doctor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

American University - Washington, DC

American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016-8001. American University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,684 students and an admission rate of 53%. American University has a bachelor's degree program in Biochemistry which graduated six students in 2008.

Trinity Washington University - Washington, DC

Trinity Washington University, 125 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, DC 20017-1094. Trinity Washington University is a small university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,734 students and an admission rate of 74%. Trinity Washington University has a bachelor's degree program in Biochemistry which graduated one student in 2008.

George Mason University - Fairfax, VA

George Mason University, 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. George Mason University is a large university located in Fairfax, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,800 students and an admission rate of 63%. George Mason University has a postbaccalaureate certificate and a master's degree program in Epidemiology which graduated two and one students respectively in 2008.

University of Maryland-Baltimore - Baltimore, MD

University of Maryland-Baltimore, 520 West Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1627. University of Maryland-Baltimore is a medium sized university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 6,156 students. University of Maryland-Baltimore has 9 areas of study related to Medical Scientist. They are:

  • Biomedical Sciences, master's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Molecular Biology, doctor's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Human/Medical Genetics, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated two and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Physiology, doctor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Molecular Physiology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Pathology/Experimental Pathology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated ten and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Pharmacology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and six students respectively in 2008.
  • Toxicology, doctor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Epidemiology, doctor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.