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Doctoral in Pharmacology

Pharmacologists are responsible for finding out how drugs interact with the human body. They may specialize in regulatory pharmacology, clinical pharmacology or neuro-pharmacology. These medical scientists conduct research on animals or on human subjects to find out chemical compounds that can be used as new medications. Some of them focus on the research of the harmful and beneficial effects of chemicals on particular parts of body. In addition, they are also responsible for standardizing drug doses and following safety procedures. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of pharmacologists, which falls under the category of medical scientists, is expected to increase by 36% between 2010 and 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. So if you are considering a career in healthcare that can possibly offer growth prospects as well, consider pursuing a doctorate of pharmacology.

Pharmacology Degrees
Students can work towards the bachelor and master programs to learn the fundamentals of pharmacology, toxicology, and microbiology. The coursework may also include courses in drug delivery systems, and molecular cell biology and path physiology. Those who want to pursue a master’s degree can work towards a program in cardiovascular pharmacology, clinical investigation programs, drug development and free radical biology.

In addition to traditional universities, some online schools also offer programs in pharmacology. Students who want to study from their homes or those who already hold a degree in the field can pursue the self-paced online programs and maintain the balance between their personal and professional lives.

Doctorate in Pharmacology
Though a variety of degrees are offered in pharmacology, a PhD or a Pharm.D. Degree is required by positions entailing a higher degree of responsibility. The doctoral programs in pharmacology allow students to explore the subject in depth by studying biochemistry, principles of pharmacology and advanced pharmacology. The dissertation is the most essential part of these programs. These advanced degrees combine traditional aspects of pharmacology with novel approaches drawn from other disciplines, such as molecular genetics, biophysics, and biomedical engineering.

The PhD programs in pharmacology may take 5 to 7 years to complete. The duration of a program depends on the enrollment status of candidates. The major focus of the program is the development of expertise in basic research. In addition to covering the core curriculum, students also go through laboratory rotations where they get a chance to investigate potential areas for dissertation research.
Admissions Requirements
Candidates who want to pursue a PhD degree in pharmacology need to hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field. They may also have to submit a personal statement, letters of recommendation and official transcripts. In addition, these programs also require candidates to take the GRE general test.

Employment Opportunities
Pharmacologists can work in hospital labs or get into academic research. Scientific research and development services, pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing and drugs and druggists' sundries merchant wholesalers are other industries that employ these medical scientists.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of medical scientists in 2010 was $76,700.

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