Medical physiologists study the function of the human body from the cell to complex biological systems and their relationship and interaction with each other.
Physiology is a diverse field that offers many career choices and chances to increase knowledge through the study of the human body.
A medical physiologist determines a normal condition and the pathology in a disease condition as the human body parts function in unity.
Many medical physiologists work with patients, by working alongside medical specialties that will increase knowledge about the cells in the body.
For example, physiologists may work with cardiologists to discover how to improve heart function; work alongside organ transplant specialists to develop the best ways for patients to retain their new organs after transplant, and with pharmacists to develop effective therapies for patients in different conditions.
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in physiology, one must then determine a focus for their postgraduate and doctoral degrees. Common focuses include blood physiology, neuroscience, reproductive physiology, renal physiology, endocrinology, immunology, and cardiovascular physiology.
After this rigorous process, one can be certified as a medical physiologist because he/she must have been involved in many medical pieces of research and training.
Different researches in these areas are in concert with medical physicians at hospitals, universities, and government institutions.
Medical physiologists can do theoretical research in a laboratory or clinical research with physicians and patients. Researchers at universities are also required to teach classes in their specialty.
Medical physiologist Degree Requirements
Medical physiology degree requirements are generally intensive and require maximum attention to excel in the field. Doing medical research requires getting a bachelor’s degree in the biological or basic medical sciences, and then obtaining a graduate degree in a particular specialization of physiology.
Getting a bachelor’s degree in basic medical sciences from an accredited university typically takes 4-5 years depending on the country. After which a student is required to obtain a master’s degree in a preferred specialty, which includes:
- Renal physiology
- Cardiovascular physiology
- Reproductive physiology
- Neurophysiology or neuroscience
- Blood physiology and other areas of interest
To obtain a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), one is required to complete around six years of research and specialized courses. Students must also complete a dissertation to be evaluated by a panel of faculty members.
Researchers can get a joint Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)/Ph.D. degrees so they are able to work in a medical environment with patients as well as in a laboratory.
These programs typically take seven or eight years to complete. Working with patients and prescribing drugs also requires passing medical board exams to obtain a license and doing a residency program after obtaining an M.D.
Physiology is coined from “physis-logos” in Latin but it’s originally Sanskrit which transcended into Greek as physikos.
Physikos essentially means one who has complete knowledge- from physical nature to everything about vegetation that gives rise to drugs/medicine.
Physiology is the basis of medicine, the mother of medical science Physiology epitomizes Medicine. Therefore, while undergraduate doctors specialize in a sub-branch, a Physiologist will grow in all parts- from the very fundamental to the most advanced, while the other doctors will do the routine a Physiologist goes beyond that.
A medical physiologist creates knowledge, teaches, and researches alongside doing the patient-related job directly or indirectly.
Quite unfortunately some people neglect the foundation of medicine, which is medical physiology, which deals with the effective function of the human body.
Medical Physiologist Job Description
The medical physiologist Job description is a versatile one indeed, which makes physiologists be analytical, creative thinkers, problem-solving, and research-oriented with technical skills in laboratories.
There are many career fields and job opportunities that physiologists can find interesting. The medical field is one where the physiologist can be involved in patient care or research.
Medical Physiologist is usually responsible for investigating human diseases, developing instruments for medical applications, analyzing medical samples, writing research grant proposals, maintaining safety from contamination, and working with health departments or physicians on improvement to health.
Through their expertise in the medical sciences, physiologists conduct research projects that explore the interactions between tissues, cells, and sub-cellular components with various different biological systems. It will interest you to read
“where can a physiologist work in Nigeria”
Some physiologists choose to explore exercise and sports sciences in order to work within training or rehabilitation.
Yet, other physiologists get the most out of their careers by training other scientists in an academic field.
Through their expertise in the medical sciences, Medical physiologists conduct research projects that explore the interactions between tissues, cells, and sub-cellular components with various different biological systems.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are around 103,100 physiologists and other medical scientists employed throughout the United States.
Most physiologists find employment in research institutes, universities, physician offices, pharmaceutical manufacturing companies, medical or surgical hospitals, and other health-related organizations.
While the majority of their full-time job is situated within an office or laboratory setting to study data analysis reports, some may need to work with patients to conduct observations for research. In particular, exercise physiologists will use exercise equipment to observe the human body in motion, track specific body systems, and develop treatment plans.
- Biomedical scientist
- Clinical research associate
- The Clinical scientist, audiology
- Exercise physiology
- Therapeutic radiographer
34% of Medical physiologists (that’s around one-third) work in R&D in physical, engineering, and life sciences. Individuals working in this area typically operate in labs. They may develop treatments for natural agents (antidotes, vaccines, or other preventive measures) or carry out testing of these substances.
Some 27%, that’s just over one quarter, work in education. They will work as lecturers and researchers in college and university labs or in practice – this is for our high schools too. Medical schools, specialist units are also inclusive, and they could work in practice or in labs.
15% or just under one-sixth of qualified physiologists work in hospitals around the country. They will also work in practice direct with patients, or in labs conducting studies and research. Similarly, 4% work in medical diagnostics.
Their knowledge of human physiology and reaction to agents such as chemical spills, cold and heat exposure, and animal and plant venom means there is also demand for physiologists in pharmaceutical development. Around 6%, that is one in every sixteen work in medical R&D for drugs.
The physiology job description goes beyond these stated below
- Monitor medical patients during exercise or cardiopulmonary diagnostic testing, monitor their vital signs and record observations and deliver those findings to physicians
- Operate and maintain medical devices and instruments used to perform cardiopulmonary exercise stress tests
- Teach courses on anatomy, physiology, or laboratory courses at an undergraduate or graduate level
- Conduct experiments in a laboratory setting and deliver test results to supervising physician or physiologist
- Conduct pharmaceutical research projects under the direction of a supervisor
- Establish a research laboratory and ensure all laboratory procedures are being followed
- Act as a research project leader, including designing projects, analyzing findings, developing clear and compelling reports, and presenting those findings to internal and external audiences
- Supervise applicable laboratory staff and monitor the progress of patients or study participants
The career focus of the physiologist will have a significant impact on their salary.
Medical Physiologist Salary
A medical physiologist’s salary varies depending on some factors like location, work experience, qualifications, and area of specialty. A recent study shows that the average wage of a physiologist is around $74,000 annually, which is more than 28,000,000 naira.
Because physiologists have such a wide array of career choices, this estimated salary can vary significantly between practicing scientists, those focused on patient care, lab research, field research, and teaching.
Depending on the area of work, the scientist’s salary may be dependent on grant money and obtaining an approved long-term research grant.
However, for physiologists who have taken the career path outlined above and obtained experience and credentials as a specialized physician, the salary can be quite a bit higher.
For example, an immunologist can be around $126,000 per annum; the median income of an endocrinologist is $207,000 per year, and the salary of a cardiologist averages $300,000 annually.
The median salary statistics for medical physiologists in the US in 2015 was $82,240. At the top end of the scale, those with the most experienced in the right roles earned in excess of $155,000. The lower end of the scale came in at $44,000. The top-paying industry was pharmaceuticals, despite employing relatively few in number.
The biggest employer was the second-highest payer. Medical R&D’s median salary came in at $96,290.
Medical and diagnostic labs were third and just under the median at $79,020. Hospitals were the fourth-highest payer at $76,670. Considerably down the pay scale was academia (colleges and universities) at $58,370. Moreover, the salary of a medical physiologist has escalated the above-stated figures.