Demand for Better Medicines Creates Need for More Medical Scientists

By Chris Hassan
Posted February 11, 2013 01:00 PM

An aging population fuels the need for more medical scientists.
An aging population fuels the need for more medical scientists.

While the current economy has not been good to many occupations, the nation's aging population has created job opportunities for professionals in the healthcare industry. One occupation that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects to experience faster-than-average job growth is medical scientist. Between now and 2020, people's ongoing reliance on pharmaceuticals could help generate a 36% increase in employment for these individuals.

Medical scientists have many responsibilities, from investigating human diseases to standardizing drug doses. Ultimately, the work they do serves the overall purpose of improving people's health.

Recognizing the need for new medical scientists, several colleges and universities already offer graduate programs that can prepare students for this line of work. For example, at Northeastern University individuals can pursue a Master of Science in pharmacology, while Drexel University offers a Master of Science in drug discovery and development.

Tufts University is the latest institution to take an interest in preparing students for this field, as it recently announced in a press release that it will offer a Master of Science in pharmacology and drug development in September 2013.

"As the pharmaceutical industry continues to expand, master's degree holders are playing a more significant role in drug development," said Emmanuel N. Pothos, director of the pharmacology & experimental therapeutics graduate program, which will offer the master's degree. "This program offers students with the training needed to understand the mechanisms of drug action and contribute to research to develop effective therapies and treatments."

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