With time, the purview of immunology has only expanded, and it has accommodated various kinds of immunologists such as environmental immunologists, who study chemical and natural substances found in our environment which may have effects on the immunity system. So, if you plan to become an immunologist, you will have to undertake a rigorous research into the aspects of the profession.
The freelance community has accommodated immunology in its family, and now and then, freelance immunologists are increasing in number. The rising numbers are attributable to increasing demand for immediate healthcare treatment, cut-throat competition, and willingness of employers to recruit independent professional immunologists for a temporary period. Thus, as a freelance immunologist, you may have a magnificent career ahead.
Competition makes the freelance community not an easy thing to deal with. There are certain pointers you must know in order to make it large in the community. In this article, we are going to mention four major pointers actively involved in the making of a successful immunologist in the freelance community.
1. Job requirements to become a freelance immunologist
Becoming a medical professional is not easy in India or anywhere abroad. Oh, let me just put it more precisely—becoming a credible medical professional is not easy. Many become doctors every now and then, but only a few are able to maintain the dignity of the profession. So, while you work towards becoming an immunologist, you must ensure you put to best use your knowledge and practical skills.
Now the fundamental question: How to kick-start the process? Well, read below:
- A Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) is what you need to start the transformational process into an immunologist. In order to be eligible for an MBBS course across various medical institutions in the country, you are required to qualify 10+2, with Biology as one of the subjects and minimum 60 percent marks, from a recognized school in India.
- Fill in application forms for various national and state level entrance examinations. National entrance examinations include National Eligibility cum Entrance Examination (famously known as NEET), All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Pre-Medical test, Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) Entrance examination, Manipal Undergraduate Entrance Examination, etc. State level entrance examinations include Andhra Pradesh Engineering, Agriculture and Medical Common Entrance Test (AP EAMCET), Tamil Nadu EAMCET, Bihar Combined Entrance Competition Examination (BCECE), Chattisgarh Pre Medical Test (CGPMT), Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (MH CET), Jharkhand Common Entrance Competitive Examination (JCECE), UttrakhandPre Medical test (UPMT), Uttar Pradesh Combined Medical Entrance Test (UPCMET). The examinations are usually conducted between May and June and comprise objective type questions on the subjects English, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, etc.
- Upon the completion of MBBS, you will have to go through a specialization course, MD, which usually lasts for two-three years. Choose immunology for the specialization and work hard in it.
- Now that you have enough educational qualifications, it is time to decide whether you wish to open a clinic. If you do, get necessary regulatory approvals such as registration and start working. In case you wish to associate with a private or public body, the option of freelancing will only be exercisable depending on the clauses in the employment contract.
2. Skills needed to become a freelance immunologist
The portfolio of skills serves as a document of all the relevant skills you possess for the job. But, what skills are relevant in the field of immunology, apart from the typical theoretical and practical knowledge? The answer lies below:
- Exemplary communication skills: It is absolutely important that you possess very good interpersonal skills. Throughout work, you will have to constantly interact with customers, colleagues, and other individuals. Especially with customers, these skills will help immensely. You must be patient and able to listen to the customer—who may not necessarily be able to communicate his/her problem sufficiently—and, accordingly, give him/her advice. You must ascertain the background of the patient, as in whether he/she is a literate or not or comes from a rural background, etc and approach him/her with as much consideration as necessary.
- Teamwork: You may have relative independence as a freelancer, but you will, nevertheless, work with a team. While working, you must endeavor to coordinate with fellow colleagues and acknowledge suggestions from them positively.
- Meticulous documentation: An immunologist has to maintain a humungous volume of paperwork. You will have to record the amount flowing in, the customers already attended, the shortage of medicines and what not.
- Tech-savvy: You must be amenable to technology in corporations such as the use of computers for data entry, mailing prescriptions electronically, submitting orders online, etc. Basic knowledge of computers is much in demand in the freelance community.
3. Work opportunities for a freelance immunologist
The work opportunities are plentiful in the health care sector. You can work in academic laboratories, government agencies such as National Health Portal of India, Public Health England, private or public hospitals. There is huge scope for academicians as well, and since they are paid well and academics offer a great learning environment, you can go for this option.
To keep a tab on vacancies, you can subscribe to the official websites of these institutions, or join any of the freelance websites. The freelance websites have emerged in the last decade as prominent communities of employers and independent professionals, and have sprung up the reputation of freelancing across the globe. These websites require the creation of a profile, update of a portfolio of skills and customization of search results on the basis of skills; they regularly send emails to notify about latest job openings. Examples of these websites are letsintern.com, freelance.com, linkedin.com, and guru.com.
4. Pay scale of a freelance immunologist
Young freelance immunologist will usually start off with a pay scale between Rs.15,000 and Rs 25,000 on an average. However, with time and experience, the pay scale will climb up and you may end up earning in lacs. So, there are many factors playing key roles in the amount of pay a freelance immunologist may receive: experience; educational qualification; the status of the employer, as in whether it is a huge, multinational company or a start-up, etc. What more, competition will be a key determinative factor in deciding the pay scale for a particular freelancer. Thus, you will have to do a lot of research in this area before citing the pay rate.