Medical scientists conduct medical laboratory tests to provide information for diagnosing, treating and preventing disease.
Roles and responsibilities
What does a Medical Scientist do?
Medical scientists may perform the following tasks:
- study blood and its diseases, count blood cells and examine blood slides with a microscope
- identify blood diseases such as anaemia and leukaemia
- determine the suitability of blood for transfusion by cross-matching the blood with the patient and checking for the presence of diseases such as hepatitis and AIDS
- test blood for blood group antibodies that may cause disease in newborn babies and check the compatibility of bone marrow, kidney and other organs for transplantation
- determine the chemical composition of specimens such as blood and urine, important in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease, liver disease and diabetes
- grow disease-causing organisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi that are taken from a variety of clinical specimens
- prepare body tissues (taken from the body during surgery or post-mortem examinations) for microscopic examination
- prepare body fluids for microscopic examination and diagnose abnormalities
- isolate and examine genetic material (DNA and RNA) for alterations specific to genetic diseases and cancer, to assist with the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions
- supervise the work of other scientists, technical officers and assistants
- advise medical practitioners on the interpretation of tests.
What personal requirements will you need?
- able to make clear and precise observations
- able to work accurately with attention to detail
- good verbal and written communication skills
- able to identify and analyse problems and develop practical solutions
- able to perform under pressure
- able to organise and prioritise work.
Postgraduate Courses To Become
Coursework courses to pursue this career
The University of Western Australia