The Importance of Medical Research.
The rate of increase in knowledge in human health has never been greater. The internationalisation of research has never been a more powerful force. The need for stronger public health approaches to prevention of ill-health has never been more accepted.
The need for reliable research into effective delivery and uptake of health care changes has never been more urgent. Smart countries and industries throughout the world have realised that knowledge, intellectual resourcefulness and the ability to take up new knowledge rapidly is essential to future good health and to prosperity. Will we have the courage and dash to improve how we do medical research in this country, to further increase our public and private investment, to respond to the national and international health needs and to back the best people and ideas?
In the 21st century, research is becoming rapidly more expensive.Some of the increasing support will need to come from government, some from private sources. Large clinical trials are needed to answer many of the nation’s most important health questions.Health services research requires data acquisition, analysis and implementation approaches that are complex and time consuming. Clinical and fundamental research can be advanced often only with the aid of expensive technologies.We simply cannot afford to have gaps in our health research effort. Who would propose that we could leave a whole health area to other countries – eg we will study cancer and cardiovascular disease but not mental health or infectious diseases? Can we afford not to have more researchers undertaking health delivery research itself, or more researchers capable in biotechnology, or willing to tackle socio-economic aspects of ill health, or helping train and collaborate with our regional neighbours who face all our causes of ill health and then some?
What does a medical researcher do?
A medical researcher is a scientist, technician or medical doctor who has been highly and specifically trained to discover ways of improving human and animal health care. He or she is usually employed by hospitals, universities, research institutes, and other companies or organizations that may benefit from any form of medical research.
As knowledge of the factors determining health and disease grows deeper and research methodology grows more complex, we need to link up approaches across disciplines from molecular sciences through public health, to achieve ambitious and worthy aims.
The duties assigned to a medical researcher.
Scientific research has a strong ethic built on accuracy, total honesty and rigorous and even pitiless selfexamination of techniques, results and process. It iscollegial too, with respect for the role of all involved a key feature. Lose these values, and we have lost the heart of the enterprise. Cutting corners, speculative disclosure, and dishonest authorship must not be tolerated, it damages us all.
A medical researcher, in his quest to find ways of improving health care for the purpose of curing diseases and prolonging life expectancy, has several duties to perform. Before they can even perform the brunt of their work, they first formulate methods on how best to proceed with their study or investigation. They list ways in which they can tackle the particular research assigned to them.
Upon arriving at the best method for his assignment, the medical researcher prepares his instruments, and works in a quiet place, where he won’t likely get disturbed. He also has his data collection methods and equipment ready, to capture immediate results.
Different types of medical researchers have different sets of duties. Usually though, they study the nature of human diseases. By doing this, they are better able to find and even assist in developing cures. A medical researcher, however, does not only study human diseases to try to cure them, but also to discover the best preventive measures. He is pretty adept at analyzing various bacteria and microorganisms that can cause diseases. By knowing how these organisms behave, he is able to find out how best to inhibit them.
A medical researcher is expected to do something about his conclusions or discovery. He prepares reports to the people who have assigned him the task. He may also produce initial reports to help himself get some funding from the government or an interested private organization.
A medical researcher can best satisfy his job description by being able to not only share his findings to the general public but also to produce drugs that can cure a particular disease. However, coming up with an effective drug is not the end of a medical researcher’s responsibility. He must also be able to conduct clinical trials, in which he can find the ideal dosage for the drug. Clinical trials are a huge responsibility on the researcher as he will be eliciting the help of human volunteers, who are willing to try a yet unproven drug. The medical research has to monitor all the volunteers as negative side effects are expected when it comes to these clinical trials. Clinical trials are usually conducted in hospitals and research institutes where the researcher’s equipment, as well as medical help, is all within reach.
Medical researchers who are also certified physicians are the most qualified to conduct clinical trials. Those who have a different background may have to elicit the help of physicians to assist them during the experimental drug trials. Anyway, these tests are best conducted in hospitals or research facilities that are equipped to effectively monitor patients and respond to negative side effects, whether mild or severe. The medical researcher is not only tasked to regulate drug doses but may also be asked to standardize methods of immunization.
When a medical researcher has ensured the success of each step of his research project, from the investigation to the conclusion of the clinical trials, he must make sure that he relays it to the concerned public. In short, he must announce the success.
How much does a medical researcher get paid?
There is increasing competition from around the world for medical researchers and salaries and job prospects look good.A new emphasis on bringing targeted research to bear on the nation’s most important health and
research issues, such as how we can be well and productive as we age or how to combat growing levels of obesity in our community is responsible for driving an ever growing demand for medical technicians.
Salaries can arrange from $30,000 p.a. for a graduate student to $150,000 plus for experienced clinical scientists.
People a medical researcher works with
A medical researcher does not do everything himself. He can be part of a large team, with each member playing a unique role or all members working towards the same goal. He works with laboratory technicians, physicians and sometimes students, when working in the university setting. To achieve proper test results, medical researchers also usually have to work with engineers, photographers, nurses and graphic artists. These skilled specialists have different things to contribute to the research process. For example, engineers may help in the design of the laboratory, and nurses could assist in the extraction of human samples.
How a medical researcher goes about his duties
As a scientist, a medical researcher is methodical. He plans his actions, and studies every aspect involved. This means that if one is searching for possible cures for a particular disease, he will have to know everything about the virus, bacteria, or whatever cause of disease it is. He will also take samples from patients of varying backgrounds. He works in a sterile environment that will not disturb the contents of the samples he is studying. Even within that sterile clean environment, he still makes sure that he does not do anything to contaminate the samples, himself, or anything else that he handles. Working with other personnel, he strives to look for ways to improve health standards.
The varying roles of a medical researcher
Because there are different types of medical researchers working in varying environments, the amount and structure of work of each researcher differs. Those who work in the academe will mostly find themselves largely unsupervised. They are only asked to report at certain periods. They work alone, or with student assistants, towards the deadline given. Their independence allows them to formulate their own hypothesis. They will follow this hypothesis as guidelines to how they will proceed with their investigation and experiments. Some of these university researchers will elicit the help of undergraduate students, who will be taking the measurements and making observations for them. In the university scene, the researchers usually focus on coming up with new and improved medicinal methods. They also teach students about how to create experiments that can effectively investigate what cause diseases. However, they must also make sure that they caution students about the ethical implications of research involving human volunteers. The more passionate the instructor/researcher is, the better he can inspire new would-be researchers. Of course, this passion must be regulated with information about what is to be expected in medical research.
Medical researchers working for the federal government also conduct studies on how to solve all sorts of medical problems. These researchers mostly hold clinical studies, which do not rely on human volunteers. In fact, they work with non-human test subjects. Whatever they come up with, successful or not, are to be published in medical journals and other related publications. Government medical researchers are most likely to conduct research on the determinants of illness, as well. They look for social, economic and other determinants that affect the spread of disease. They then zero in on people who are most likely to contract the disease. This way, they are clearer with their next course of action. Not all of these public health researchers will focus on infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, but will also investigate the premier causes of non-infectious diseases, which may have been brought on by genetic makeup, lifestyle and/or environment. An example of such a disease is diabetes.
There are also medical researchers who work for private companies, usually pharmaceuticals. They discover drugs that could cure different diseases and have to test these drugs to ensure that they will be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is a government agency in charge of regulating food and drugs that are to be sold in the market. The FDA approval of a particular drug, which may be in the form of pill, vaccine, syrup or therapy, may take years to process. Because of this difficulty, private pharmaceuticals instead opt to develop existing products instead of engaging in active research. Medical researchers working for private companies also test for the effectiveness of medical equipment. Because they are working for private companies, they do not really have much freedom in terms of picking their research topics. They have to work on the products sold by the companies they are working for.
The specific duties of a medical researcher
Medical researchers, as mentioned in the beginning, may be physicians or scientists. Scientists may have various types of training. The field of medical research is pretty wide on its own, with specializations on blood-related research such as blood banking, haematology and transfusion. Others are into stem cell research, clinical chemistry, anatomical pathology, disease diagnosis and even DNA/forensic testing. There are even medical researchers who train to specialize in managing teams of researchers.
Medical researchers, on a whole, are expected to work with cells and molecules. They need to fully engage in what they are doing because of the miniature quality of what they are investigating.