Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Today's fortune: October 19, 2011

Today's fortune: You could prosper in the field of medical research.

I'm going to assume this fortune doesn't mean I should start performing research on human test subjects (willing or otherwise), since I have no knowledge or training... or ethics.

Fortunately, a close friend of mine happens to work in the field of medical research. I turned to her today to get her thoughts about how I could break into the field.

"If you want to be involved with the patients," she said, "you could go back to school for a degree in the medical field and become a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist."

Hmm. Back to school? I don't think so - at least not now. Soon we'll be paying back Jamie's student loans, and it's probably not wise to be paying for med school at the same time. Besides... I dissected a frog once in a biology class and I yakked up my lunch shortly thereafter. I'm not sure the medical profession needs me.

But my friend had more ideas.

"If you want to be involved in research and development, you could go back to school for a degree (or multiple degrees) in pharmacy, chemistry, medical physics, etc. Be prepared to do a lot of work for shockingly little money early on. If you want to work 'behind-the-scenes,' a degree in public health administration or data administration are always good options."

Again, we have the problem of additional schooling. However, I have a resume-full of experience working hard jobs for shockingly little money.

Now my friend gets to the juicy stuff: test subject!

"To be a test subject, I would recommend being a healthy, non-smoking male between the ages of 18-65 and taking no medications. Check out the announcements on the radio, tv, and internet to find one that you could participate in and start filling out the applications. It helps to only have a part-time job since a lot of them require you to stay overnight for monitoring."

Darnit. Full-time job and I smoke three packs a day (just kidding, mom). But my friend said being a test subject is not all champagne and roses:

"Medical tests require a sense of adventure too. You might be testing a drug that hasn't been tested very much on humans yet. Watch out for any weird side effects."
I'm sure I would end up being the reason the drug company had to make a disclaimer on the end of their ad.

My friend also suggested a really, really bad way to get into the field.

"Alternatively (and morbidly), you could be diagnosed with a disease and enter a trial targeted for people with that disease. If you go this route, be sure to choose a somewhat common disease; there's more money in it for the pharm companies that way and you'll be more likely to have a variety of options to choose from for your treatment."

Wow. Thanks a lot. I think I'll pass.

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