"Health scientist" is a general term that can be applied to a number of different medical and scientific specialties. For example, researchers seek solutions to health problems by performing experiments that discover better treatments for disease, while health practitioners interact directly with patients to diagnose and administer solutions. The difficulty and complexity of health science occupations requires significant investment in education and development.
Health Scientist Duties
Health science researchers organize experiments, develop hypothesis, arrange samples, examine medical data and create standards for drug doses and other medical procedures. Epidemiology is an example of a field of health science research, focusing on the discovery of trends in the occurrence and treatment of diseases. Environmental health scientists investigate diseases created by our surroundings, discovering the link between medical cause and effect. Health scientists also work directly with patients, diagnosing, preventing and treating disease as doctors, dentists and other types of medical practitioners.
Requirements for Health Science
Professionals who work in health sciences typically earn a bachelor's degree in a discipline such as biology or chemistry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recommends that researchers working as medical scientists obtain a Ph.D and a medical degree. Some health science work requires specializing in a specific field like neurology and psychology. Medical degrees take many years of study and preparation and require licensing and certification. Specific fields of practice, such as dentistry, require training at specialized institutions such as dentist schools.