Medical Librarian - How to Become a Medical Librarian

Medical Librarian

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Medical Librarian Job Description


Medical librarians perform a key task for both healthcare professionals and patients by managing the flow of medical information. They provide high quality health data to patients and keep doctors and other medical experts up to date on the latest advances in their specialty, ensuring effective care and superior diagnoses.

 

Responsibilities

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A medical librarian may assist in training new health care providers in an academic setting, performing faculty work in which they show these providers how to access and analyze information related to their biomedical or health care degree. They use all kinds of data tools, ranging from standard print sources to cutting-edge electronic resources.

Medical librarians can also contribute positively to the creation of new products, services, and medical treatments by putting their expertise at the disposal of research teams. These teams can be part of a pharmaceutical company or a university medical faculty. Outreach programs that furnish the latest medical information to individuals, students, unaffiliated medical providers, and public health departments. Websites, blogs, online libraries, and distance education programs are among the methods available for spreading the word about the latest the clinical and healthcare advances.

These experts also help medical personnel find the information they need on a daily basis. A fresh specialization is the informationist, who participate in either research or clinical settings and work to retrieve biomedical information and train others in the necessary use of information science.

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Skills

 

Maintain Databases

Must know how to keep information current and update databases as time progresses. Must sort info and keep it organized.

Research

Be able to study and research practices and procedures to stay current on medical practices.

Critical Thinking

Must constantly be devising new ways of interacting with people, adapt to changes, and learn about the things a medical professional needs to know.

Analytical

Must be able to analyze information and use logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Complex Problem Solving

Use logic and reason to determine the best routes to solve issues as they arise.

Reading Comprehension

Must be able to understand written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents and be able to relay information as it is gathered.

Communication

Be able to work and communicate with doctors to keep them current on medical news and advancements as they are learned.

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Working Conditions:


A medical librarian can find work in a huge range of settings, including hospitals, universities and other academic facilities, companies making prescription drugs or medical equipment, research facilities, publishing firms, and government health departments at every level, among others. Their expertise is needed wherever medical data is required.

Major hospitals and academic medical centers employ many medical librarians to organize and access their libraries, or to build and index online resources. Internet-based medical information companies also utilize the services of these experts. In academic settings, medical librarians often serve in positions of authority and public prominence such as deans or associate deans. The chief information officer of a medical organization is often a medical librarian.

 

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How to Become a Medical Librarian:


Many medical librarians prepare themselves for their career by first earning a bachelor's degree concentrating on management, medical terminology, biology, medical sciences, and similar topics, though any will suffice. You will also need a master's degree in library and information science to become a medical librarian. 

 

1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree (4 Years)

 

First you have to get a bachelor's degree if you want to get into a library science graduate program. While there is no specific major requirements, some schools might look for humanities, social sciences or science backgrounds. It wouldn't hurt if you decided to take science or pre-med courses during college since you are going into a field where you need to know about subjects related to medicine.

A course load for a library science major could look like the following:

Grade Level Example Courses

Freshman Year

 

  • English 101, 102 
  • History 101
  • Foreign Language 101,102
  • Aesthetic Values (art, music)
  • College Math
  • Psychology
  • Elective 

Sophomore Year

  • ENG 203
  • Communication Studies
  • Foreign Language 201,202
  • Science 
  • Science Lab
  • Physics
  • Library Science 201
  • History 102

Junior Year

 

  • Lib. Science 401 
  • Lib Science 405 
  • Lib. Science 416 
  • Electives
  • Lib. Science 408
  • Lib. Science 411 
  • Lib. Science 415 3
  • Lib. Science 417 
  • Electives (300/400 level)

Senior Year

  • Lib. Science 418 
  • Lib. Science 445 
  • Lib. Science 491 
  • Lib. Science Electives
  • Lib. Science 489 
  • General Electives

Additionally, here is a list of other courses that could help in your career path:

  • Medical terminology

  • Anatomy

  • Nursing

  • Epidemiology or biostatistics

  • Computer science

  • Database structure, design, and searching

  • Web design

  • Adult education or teaching experience 

 

2. Take the Graduate Requisite Exam (GRE)

 

Most graduate programs require the GRE for admittance. It's a 3 hour and 45 minute, standardized, multiple choice exam that covers analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning.

 

The GRE is broken down into six primary sections:

 

1 Analytical Writing Section
  • 2 writing assignments
  • 60 minutes
  • Tests student's abilities to assess arguments and communicate ideas
2 Quantitative Reasoning Sections
  • ~20 multiple-choice questions
  • 35 minutes per section
  • Tests student's abilities to solve mathematical problems and interpret data

2 Verbal Reasoning Sections

  • ~20 questions per section
  • 30 minutes per section
  • Tests the ability to understand and analyze written material
1 Unscored Section
  • A duplicate of one of the above sections

 

You can find study materials, GRE registration, and your test scores on the GRE website.

 

3. Earn a Master's Degree (2 Years)

 

Medical librarians must have a Master of Library and Information Science degree from a school with an ALA-accredited program. These programs are typically 48 semester hours of graduate-level course work and focus on the following:

  • Human Information Interactions (3.0 credits) (suggested for first or second semester)

  • Information Resources and Services (3.0 credits) (suggested for first or second semester)

  • Resource Selection and Evaluation (3.0 credits) (suggested for first or second semester)

  • Organization of Information (3.0 credits) (suggested for first or second semester)

  • Overview of Research Methods (3.0 credits) (suggested for first or second semester)

  • Management for Information Professionals (3.0 credits) (suggested for third semester)

  • Proposal Preparation and Presentation (1.5 credits) (suggested for third semester)

  • Master's Thesis

There are certain Library Science graduate programs that give you the option of choosing a health sciences or medical library concentration. Some colleges have dual degree programs that allow you to get your medical degree and your master's degree in library science. 

 

4. Earn a Doctoral Degree (Optional)

 

Optionally, a medical librarian can also earn a degree in medical informatics or go on to pursue a PhD in Library and Information Science. Regardless of exact academic details, the universities chosen should be accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). The degree will also have a specialty track, such as special libraries, public libraries, and so on, and may involve information technology studies to help with current electronic and database management in the medical world.

 

5. Join a Credentialing Program

 

Once you become a medical librarian, you may apply for membership in the Academy of Health Information Professionals, a credentialing program for medical librarians sponsored by the Medical Library Association (MLA).

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
10.24.2017
TO ABSTRACT, SUBMIT, VALIDATE, TRACK, AND ANALYZE, PATIENT INFORMATION FROM A RANGE OF SOURCES TO INCLUDE MEDICAL RECORDS AND INTERVIEWS WITH STAFF OR PATIENTS FOR THE PURPOSES OF RESEARCH ACTIVITIES. TO CODE THE INFORMATION AND INPUT INTO...
12.13.2017
Universal Health Services, Inc. (UHS), is one of the nation's largest and most respected health care management companies, operating through its subsidiaries acute care hospitals, behavioral health facilities and ambulatory centers nationwide....
12.01.2017
Southwest Medical Center is seeking a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) for our Medical and Surgical Unit. Scheduled shift would be 7am- 7pm or 7pm- 7am. At Southwest Medical Center, we care about our employees. Because we care, we offer a...
12.13.2017
Universal Health Services, Inc. (UHS), is one of the nation's largest and most respected health care management companies, operating through its subsidiaries acute care hospitals, behavioral health facilities and ambulatory centers nationwide....
11.19.2017
Responsible for medical screening procedures and care of patients to physician office. Will be responsible for collecting blood samples, assisting the providers, as well as overall clerical duties. ***Must be willing to take AAMA certification...
12.13.2017
Aiken Regional Medical Centers currently has a MEDICAL TECHNOLOGISTposition available. Responsibilities: This position provides examination and test performance on human specimens for purposes of obtaining information for the diagnosis,...
12.01.2017
Southwest Medical Center is seeking three (3) full-time MLT/MT positions in our Laboratory department. Applicants must demonstrate and promote high standards for quality and care for the treatment of patients. Highly motivated...
12.13.2017
High school diploma required. 2 years clerical with medical and computer experience preferred.
12.13.2017
NOW OFFERING A $5,000 SIGN-ON BONUS! (Contact HR for details) We are currently seeking a Medical Technologist to join our team! Description: Work Schedule: Wed &Thurs 7 pm - 6:15 am Fri 10 pm - 6:15 am Sat, Sun, & Mon 7 pm -...
12.13.2017
We are currently seeking a Medical Assistant to join our EAHV Team!!! Assists in the delivery of direct patient care under the supervision of a Registered Nurse and receives written and/or oral assignments and direction....
09.28.2017
The Medical Lab Tech performs laboratory testing in any of the various sections of the laboratory, performs control testing and initiates troubleshooting steps for problem areas. The following statements reflect the general duties considered...
11.29.2017
The Medical Lab Tech performs laboratory testing in any of the various sections of the laboratory, performs control testing and initiates troubleshooting steps for problem areas. The following statements reflect the general duties considered...
10.27.2017
TO ASSIST PHYSICIANS AND OTHER PRIMARY HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS WITH CLERICAL, FINANCIAL AND OTHER GENERAL MEDICAL OFFICE OPERATIONS IN AMBULATORY PRACTICE. TO WORK IN SUPPORT OF CLINIC OPERATIONS PERFORMING MEDICAL OFFICE, BILLING AND CLINICAL...
08.14.2017
TO ASSIST PHYSICIANS AND OTHER PRIMARY HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS WITH CLERICAL, FINANCIAL AND OTHER GENERAL MEDICAL OFFICE OPERATIONS IN AMBULATORY PRACTICE. TO WORK IN SUPPORT OF CLINIC OPERATIONS PERFORMING MEDICAL OFFICE, BILLING AND CLINICAL...
10.20.2017
TO ASSIST PHYSICIANS AND OTHER PRIMARY HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS WITH CLERICAL, FINANCIAL AND OTHER GENERAL MEDICAL OFFICE OPERATIONS IN AMBULATORY PRACTICE. TO WORK IN SUPPORT OF CLINIC OPERATIONS PERFORMING MEDICAL OFFICE, BILLING AND CLINICAL...
  1. MEDICAL ABSTRACTOR Jackson, MS University of Mississippi Medical Center
    TO ABSTRACT, SUBMIT, VALIDATE, TRACK, AND ANALYZE, PATIENT INFORMATION FROM A RANGE OF SOURCES TO INCLUDE MEDICAL RECORDS AND INTERVIEWS WITH STAFF OR PATIENTS FOR THE PURPOSES OF RESEARCH ACTIVITIES. TO CODE THE INFORMATION AND INPUT INTO...
  2. Medical Technologist (PRN) Aiken, SC Aiken Regional Medical Centers
    Universal Health Services, Inc. (UHS), is one of the nation's largest and most respected health care management companies, operating through its subsidiaries acute care hospitals, behavioral health facilities and ambulatory centers nationwide....
  3. CNA- Medical/Surigcal Team Liberal, KS Southwest Medical Center
    Southwest Medical Center is seeking a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) for our Medical and Surgical Unit. Scheduled shift would be 7am- 7pm or 7pm- 7am. At Southwest Medical Center, we care about our employees. Because we care, we offer a...
  4. Medical Assistant - Neuroscience Center Aiken, SC Aiken Regional Medical Centers
    Universal Health Services, Inc. (UHS), is one of the nation's largest and most respected health care management companies, operating through its subsidiaries acute care hospitals, behavioral health facilities and ambulatory centers nationwide....
  5. Certified Medical Assistant /or LPN Alexander City, AL Russell Medical
    Responsible for medical screening procedures and care of patients to physician office. Will be responsible for collecting blood samples, assisting the providers, as well as overall clerical duties. ***Must be willing to take AAMA certification...
  6. Medical Technologist (prn) Aiken, SC Aiken Regional Medical Centers
    Aiken Regional Medical Centers currently has a MEDICAL TECHNOLOGISTposition available. Responsibilities: This position provides examination and test performance on human specimens for purposes of obtaining information for the diagnosis,...
  7. Medical Technologist MT(ASCP) Liberal, KS Southwest Medical Center
    Southwest Medical Center is seeking three (3) full-time MLT/MT positions in our Laboratory department. Applicants must demonstrate and promote high standards for quality and care for the treatment of patients. Highly motivated...
  8. Certified Medical Assistant Gooding, ID North Canyon Medical Center
    High school diploma required. 2 years clerical with medical and computer experience preferred.
  9. MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIST II Opelika, AL East Alabama Medical Center
    NOW OFFERING A $5,000 SIGN-ON BONUS! (Contact HR for details) We are currently seeking a Medical Technologist to join our team! Description: Work Schedule: Wed &Thurs 7 pm - 6:15 am Fri 10 pm - 6:15 am Sat, Sun, & Mon 7 pm -...
  10. MEDICAL ASSISTANT - EAHV Opelika, AL East Alabama Medical Center
    We are currently seeking a Medical Assistant to join our EAHV Team!!! Assists in the delivery of direct patient care under the supervision of a Registered Nurse and receives written and/or oral assignments and direction....
  11. Medical Lab Tech Guntersville, AL Marshall Medical Centers
    The Medical Lab Tech performs laboratory testing in any of the various sections of the laboratory, performs control testing and initiates troubleshooting steps for problem areas. The following statements reflect the general duties considered...
  12. Medical Lab Tech Guntersville, AL Marshall Medical Centers
    The Medical Lab Tech performs laboratory testing in any of the various sections of the laboratory, performs control testing and initiates troubleshooting steps for problem areas. The following statements reflect the general duties considered...
  13. MEDICAL OFFICE ASSISTANT Jackson, MS University of Mississippi Medical Center
    TO ASSIST PHYSICIANS AND OTHER PRIMARY HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS WITH CLERICAL, FINANCIAL AND OTHER GENERAL MEDICAL OFFICE OPERATIONS IN AMBULATORY PRACTICE. TO WORK IN SUPPORT OF CLINIC OPERATIONS PERFORMING MEDICAL OFFICE, BILLING AND CLINICAL...
  14. MEDICAL OFFICE ASSISTANT Jackson, MS University of Mississippi Medical Center
    TO ASSIST PHYSICIANS AND OTHER PRIMARY HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS WITH CLERICAL, FINANCIAL AND OTHER GENERAL MEDICAL OFFICE OPERATIONS IN AMBULATORY PRACTICE. TO WORK IN SUPPORT OF CLINIC OPERATIONS PERFORMING MEDICAL OFFICE, BILLING AND CLINICAL...
  15. MEDICAL OFFICE ASSISTANT Jackson, MS University of Mississippi Medical Center
    TO ASSIST PHYSICIANS AND OTHER PRIMARY HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS WITH CLERICAL, FINANCIAL AND OTHER GENERAL MEDICAL OFFICE OPERATIONS IN AMBULATORY PRACTICE. TO WORK IN SUPPORT OF CLINIC OPERATIONS PERFORMING MEDICAL OFFICE, BILLING AND CLINICAL...