5 Coolest Jobs in Medicine
So you got your biology major, toiled through med school, racked up $100,000 in debt, and you don't want the culmination of your life's work to be filling out paperwork all day? We can't blame you! Fortunately, your medical education enables you to work in fast-paced fields at the bleeding edge of important discoveries, and not just rot away in a sea of red tape. "But how?" you ask. Well that's where we come in. The following list puts forth five of the coolest jobs in medicine under the microscope and let you judge the results.
1) Cancer researcher
If filling out insurance claims forms isn't what you were
bargaining for, how about painstakingly unearthing the cure for cancer?
Typically, one begins as a research assistant in a lab earning roughly $40,000
per year. But with time and practical experience, ambitious assistants could
eventually become heads of their own research labs and theorize on
groundbreaking cures for cancer. Who knows? Your efforts of trial and error
could make a major contribution to wiping cancer out of existence!
2) Biotechnology scientist
The discipline of genetic engineering is home to some of the
most promising advances in the history of medical science. In his article
"Biotech vs. Bioethics", Alex Epstein explains just some of the
stunning work being done in this exciting field. It sure beats giving all those
physicals when high school football season starts!
"Regenerative medicine offers the potential to replace a diseased organ with a new one, grown from embryonic stem cells, that is a perfect genetic match. Genetic pharmacology promises access to a far wider variety of drugs than we have today, and drugs that are safer and more effective because they are customized to your own genetic makeup. Genetic testing would allow you to know with certainty your disposition toward various genetic diseases instead of relying on imprecise guesswork using family trees. Gene therapy promises to cure genetic diseases by "switching off" the function of bad genes in your body."
3) Genetic engineer
Genetic engineering is like biotech in that it's an
extremely promising field but not very straightforward to get into. For
instance, when one reads that genetic engineering offers the potential to
literally re-write malignant genes into remission, it seems like a field no one
could just "get into" one day. Fortunately, one of the leading forums
on the subject wrote a very helpful article called "Becoming a Genetic
Engineer." In it, it is explained what the day-to-day life of a genetic
engineer involves, what kind of credentials and personality traits are
desirable, and what the salary expectations are. Anyone wishing to get involved
in the coming medical revolution would do well to check it out!
4) Stem cell researcher
If you're the kind of person who feels at home in the center
of controversy, stem cell research might be the perfect place to ply your
medical trade. From the possibility of miracle cures to the theoretical study
of the makeup of embryonic cells, stem cell researchers investigate the inner
workings of human DNA in more detail than most ever care to theorize about. And
because the field is so new compared to other more established areas of
medicine, your work will help write its ultimate legacy that future scientists
inherit. If you want to make a lasting impression on an evolving field, stem
cell might be just what you're looking for!
5) Sleep Doctor
As part of the Popular Mechanics "Coolest Jobs in the
World" series, the job of "sleep doctor" was profiled. Basically
a sleep doctor is responsible for diagnosing any of almost 100 possible
sleeping disorders in his or her patients. As one doctor explains,
"I've had patients throw things at me and try to assault the staff while sleeping," says Clete Kushida, the director of Stanford University's Center for Human Sleep Research in Palo Alto, Calif. The 46-year-old physician needs only one or two tests to identify more than 90 disorders in his patients - everything from sleep apnea to night terrors to restless legs syndrome. As for the feisty sleepwalkers, "We try to stay out of their way," he says. "Eventually they go back to bed."
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