Can't think of anything more rewarding than working in science, but don't know where to start? We could write dozens of articles telling you about how rewarding this career can be but we figured, hey, why not let someone actually DOING the job do the talking, too?
And so, clinical scientist Lucy Pike talks health, highlights and being at the cutting edge of research.
Like what Lucy has to say? Then check out our career guide to clinical scientist jobs for more info.
What do you do for a job?
Clinical Scientist (PET physicist). I work supporting clinical trials using imaging and developing standards and guidelines for performing studies to obtain good quality data.
Childhood dream or something you just fell into?
I always wanted to be a scientist, but wasn't sure in what area until later at university. When I found out about medical physics I wanted to apply my knowledge to working in the health service and helping people.
How did you get into your job?
Qualifications (you need a minimum 2.1 in physics, a post grad degree and clinical scientist status) plus experience in the area. I also met my current manager by attending a course, which helped.
What does a typical working day involve?
It’s very varied from answering technical queries via phone and email, reviewing research data, attending research meetings, performing experiments and doing my own research. Currently I am also writing several technical reports and papers for publication.
What do you like about your job?
The challenge, working with people at the cutting edge of research and contributing to clinical trials, which ultimately improve outcomes for cancer patients.
Some aspects of the job can be repetitive.
What kind of person do you need to be to do well in this job?
Good communication skills, ability to work within a multidisciplinary team, a technical mind and strong physics background, including programming skills.
Becoming a registered clinical scientist.
If you could do any other job/career what would you choose and why?
I'd love to own a cafe and serve my own homemade food – I love baking!
If you had to offer one piece of advice to anyone looking to break into your industry, what would it be?
Try to get some relevant work experience to stand out above the other candidates – the competition is very tough.