"In terms of medical achievements and future opportunities, Australia is emerging as a leader in the development of targeted medicines." DR MARTIN CROSS, CHAIR OF THE PHARMACEUTICAL SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA

Science is a major driver of and partner in medical and health-related professions. Many associated fields, including medical research, the development of medical products and devices, health administration, and health policy rely on evidence-based methods and outcomes, which can only come from rigorous science. Jobs in this field can be found in universities, government and industry-funded organisations, the pharmaceutical industry, communications organisations, biomedical companies, and diagnostic laboratories.

Dr Martin Cross is the Chair of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. He says, "In terms of medical achievements and future opportunities, Australia is emerging as a leader in the development of targeted medicines and medical microelectronics and imaging systems. There's such a broad range of potential career opportunities. I'd encourage students to find one that excites and interests them it can lead to highly rewarding work that makes a meaningful contribution to people's lives."

Dr Cross competed a Bachelor of Science in biology followed by a PhD in microbiology before beginning a career in the pharmaceutical industry. "I think my strong grounding in science allowed me to really see how medicines work, and prepared me for the challenges and practicalities of working in the medical industry," he says. Undergraduate science or medical science studies create a strong foundation from which to pursue postgraduate study in clinical
medicine, medical science, research or dentistry.

A sample of career opportunities for science graduates in medical fields is listed below:

  • Analytical chemist: analyses and studies the physical or chemical properties of drug substances and formulations
  • Biomedical or medical scientist: performs medical laboratory tests on blood, other body fluids and tissues to assist clinicians in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease
  • Clinical research associate: sets up, monitors and completes clinical trials that investigate the effects, risks and benefits of a medicine
  • Health physicist: assesses health impacts to the community and environment from sources of radiation including radioactivity concentrations in water, soil and air as well as effective doses of radiation in people
  • Manufacturing operations manager: oversees all processes involved in the manufacturing of a medicine
  • Medical chemist: studies the structural properties of compounds intended for drug development
  • Medical information officer: provides technical resources and expertise in medical training of sales forces regarding new product development
  • Microbiologist: investigates the growth and characteristics of microscopic organisms such as bacteria, algae, or fungi
  • Neuroscientist: investigates areas of the nervous system and conditions that affect it; also involved in research into social problems such as addiction and gambling and longer-term issues such as ageing
  • Product manager: responsible for the development and implementation of an annual marketing plan and promotion budget

Average Salaries

  • Medical imaging: $136,000
  • Psychology: $74,000
  • Research: $88,000
  • Social sciences: $68,000


Industry bodies

Courses to consider

Consider enrolling in one of the following courses and majors to prepare yourself for a Medical career.

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