Healthcare & Medical
Biomedical scientists carry out laboratory tests on tissue samples to help healthcare professionals diagnose and treat diseases.
What does a Biomedical Scientist do?
Biomedical scientists carry out laboratory tests on tissue samples to help healthcare professionals diagnose and treat diseases. They are responsible for investigating and diagnosing patient illnesses such as HIV, cancer, diabetes, food poisoning, hepatitis and leukaemia. Biomedical scientists may also be known as medical scientists or clinical laboratory scientists.
As a biomedical scientist, you would:
- use a variety of computers and lab equipment to test and analyse tissue samples or cultures
- identify blood groups
- screen and test samples for a variety of diseases and infections
- interpret results and liaise with medical staff
- monitor the effects of treatment and medication
- maintain accurate records
- write medical reports.
Biomedical scientists can work in three areas: infection sciences; blood sciences; and cellular sciences.
Key skills and interests
To become a biomedical scientist, you would need:
- a high level of ability and interest in science and computing
- an interest in medicine and the development of new treatments
- the ability to concentrate for long periods
- a good level of accuracy and attention to detail
- high ethical standards
- the ability to take responsibility for making decisions.
Working hours and conditions
You would usually work standard hours, Monday to Friday. You may also be expected to work evening and weekend shifts or be on-call.
You would mainly work in very clean and sometimes sterile environments in a healthcare or laboratory setting. You would be required to wear protective clothing.
Some biomedical scientists work in research in an academic institution, where they might divide their time between office, laboratory and classroom environments. Biomedical scientists are also employed by large pharmaceutical companies or biomedical companies.
How to become an Biomedical Scientist?
Entry Level Education
To become a biomedical scientist you usually have to study medical science, biomedical science or medical laboratory science at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
Graduates from accredited courses may be eligible for full professional membership of the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists (AIMS). Some employers require eligibility for professional membership of AIMS.
Employment of medical scientists generally is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.
An increased reliance on medical testing, more spending on medicines and a greater understanding of biological processes will all increase demand for medical scientists. Employment of medical scientists should grow as a result of expanded research related to illnesses such as AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer; and in relation to research into treatment problems, such as antibiotic resistance.