Medical librarians work in the health care system by providing assistance in finding medical documents and reports. They have a direct impact on patient care not only by assisting physicians and nurses, but also by serving as specialists in researching clinical/medical trials and procedures and studying other important medical information.
Medical librarians work primarily for hospitals, universities, medical schools, and research centers which focus on health and/or medicine. Some also work for corporations, non-profits, biotechnology companies, or government agencies of health, science, or medicine. Due to the emphasis on research in this position, medical librarians should be skilled in using databases and able to find important references in medical information. They may also be required and trained to keep databases maintained and up-to-date at all times. Much of their work involves acquiring and cataloging books, assisting those in need of research to provide staff or families with information, and working with staff to approve educational resources to be used and cited. Medical librarians also perform administrative tasks and similar daily operations.
Much of the work in this position is done on a computer, so medical librarians should have sufficient computer skills, as well as strong communication skills, passion for science and medicine, and the ability to work well under pressure. A bachelor's or master's degree is generally required for this position, though this varies by employer, and an undergraduate major in the sciences, humanities, or social services can be beneficial.
Medical Librarian Tasks
Help users find information and recommend resources and medical documents.
Select and evaluate the library's supply of books, journals, pamphlets, and multimedia offerings.
Maintain library databases.
Compile bibliographies and research for users.