Biomedical science is the study that combines the fields of biology and medicine to address health and wellness issues of humans and animals. This field will include expertise in anatomy and histology, epidemiology, pharmacology as well as biochemical and physiological functions. Some of the most pressing biomedical issues of today include disease prevention and immunology, nutrition and community health concerns. It is a specialized field that requires strong analytical, research and laboratory skills. At the same time, it is also a very broad field that intersects with various sectors such as pharmaceutical research, development and manufacturing as well as education and various levels of healthcare practice.
Competencies for Biomedical Science Majors
As the name indicates, this field of study leads to careers in the life sciences. It is a research-intensive field, much of which may be in a laboratory setting in public or private institutions. As a biomedical scientist, one should have a natural curiosity to investigate specific issues, using rigorous and accepted scientific procedures. This means efficiency and accuracy in data gathering and documentation along with in-depth analytical skills to examine results and possible outcomes. Required laboratory skills include familiarity with equipment and materials along with rigorous compliance with scientific procedures and safety measures.
Preparation for a career in this field starts with an undergraduate degree in the life sciences, which may be a bachelor’s degree in biology, zoology, biochemistry or related fields. During this phase, students are provided with hands-on experience in laboratory procedures as part of the curriculum, a practicum and through an internship. Not everyone in this field will end up in research and development although this is the primary goal of many biosciences majors.
Some graduates will favor careers in the academe as instructors, researchers or both. Others may end up with government agencies tasked with monitoring and administering community health programs. Advance degrees in the sciences or in education will provide an advantage in career advancement. It is not unusual for biomedical scientists to hold a degree in medicine, nursing or other healthcare fields or a doctorate in life sciences.
Future of Biomedical Sciences
Without a doubt, biomedical science will be among the sectors that will drive advances in science and technology to enhance the health and well-being of individuals, demographic groups and communities. For starters, the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics has identified health care as one of the fastest growing sectors with expected growth at 18 percent between 2016 and 2026.
This may be attributed, in part, to an aging population with more intensive health care needs. The task of finding palliatives, curative and preventive therapies rests on biomedical researchers. The process of developing, testing and gaining approval for new pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and therapeutic equipment takes many years and one can expect stable employment in this field. Additionally, greater mobility of people in the United States or from other countries has made disease prevention and management strategies more complicated, underlining the need for a robust research and development sector to find solutions to potential and existing health issues.
The field of biomedical sciences will continue to expand for the foreseeable future. While many sub-sectors in medicine and health care face obsolescence with wider use of artificial intelligence, biomedical science is one field that will benefit. Various laboratory procedures may be handled more efficiently with higher accuracy by AI-driven equipment. However, the critical and analytical aspects of biomedical science will always be human-driven.