Biomedical science is a branch of study in the allied health sciences which trains people to provide auxiliary services and consultation to doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical personnel. Usually a biomedical degree takes about four years to finish. During that time, students will be exposed to subjects such as genetics, microbiology, physiology, immunology, and biochemistry.
Traditionally, biomedical students end up in the course because they just can’t get into a medical or pharmacy course for one reason or another. Parental expectations, peer pressure, and societal perceptions drive them to consider this course, which makes it something of a backup plan.
The good thing is, many Malaysian students who have taken a biomedical science course in Malaysia find it extremely enriching and inspiring. They also find that it has its own merits and benefits. In addition, biomedical science graduates are able to work in many fields, which makes it one of the most versatile and dynamic degrees out there.
In essence, biomedical sciences equip you with the skills and knowledge to provide support to the medical community, especially in terms of laboratory work technicalities and research. Here are some of the jobs that biomedical science students usually pursue after graduation:
Researcher or Academic Staff
There are plenty of opportunities for biomedical science grads to pursue a post graduate degree in various topics, especially things like disease control and development of new treatment methods. One biomedical research field that is rather active in Malaysia is cancer research. If you choose this path, it will probably land you in one of our private or public universities where you’ll have to complete a Master’s of Ph.D. thesis under an academic supervisor, which will take anywhere from 3 to 8 years. After that, you can continue at a research institution or in any university as an academic staff or as a postdoctoral researcher who is solely responsible for producing and publishing data.
Medical Lab Manager
With a biomedical science degree, you will usually be put in a leadership position in pathology labs, whether independent or connected to a hospital. Usually, you won’t be actually performing the tests, but will be overseeing operations, doing quality control checks, signing off results and the like. You may start off as a technician, but usually degree holders are trained by companies for administrative or overseer posts.
Whether drugs or instruments, a medical sales representative needs to speak the lingo and understand medical concepts when they’re trying to sell something to a doctor or a researcher. Therefore biomedical science graduates are in high demand as salespersons.
Medical technology is fast expanding, and new treatments, as well as research methods are being developed. Product specialists are therefore needed to provide the necessary training and consultation for anyone that needs these new technologies in their work. Their expertise is also crucial in maintaining and repairing these technologies, whether they are chemicals, machines or software.
A quick research on Malaysian job portals reveals that demand for biomedical science is still high. As with any other type of job, your chances of being employed will increase if you have a good command of English as well as of local languages. Additionally, work experience is a good way to improve your employability especially when you’re a fresh graduate, which is why summer internships are a really good idea.