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Physiologists are biological scientists who study the various life functions of plants, animals and man under normal and abnormal conditions. They may specialize in the study of cells, tissues or one of the organs or systems, such as the digestive, nervous or circulatory system.

Physiologists are concerned with the internal "communication" of organs, energy procurement and utilisation, blood circulation, defence systems against infection, repair mechanisms, reproduction and metabolism. The work also entails investigating the effects that factors such as drugs or pollution have on the life processes and bodily functions of plants, animals and man.

Plant physiologists, as the name implies, study the life processes of plants. Many physiologists lecture medical students in physiology at university medical schools.

Physiology provides the basis for much of the work done by pathologists, endocrinologists, nutritionists and toxicologists.

Satisfying Aspects
- working as part of a team
- helping to improve the health of the nation through research
- various specialities to choose from

Demanding aspects
- working under pressure
- long periods of seemingly unsuccessful research

A physiologist should:
- have aptitude for and interest in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics;
- have a systematic, probing mind;
- have good health;
- be accurate and methodical;
- have manual dexterity;
- be patient and have perseverance;
- able to think logically;
- concentrate well;
- have good health;
- be able to work in a team;
- have skill in the use of laboratory equipment.

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences
Recommended Subjects: Life Sciences

Degree: BSc Physiology - UJ, NWU, UKZN, UP, UFS, NMMU, UNISA, UCT, Wits and most other universities

Postgraduate study: BSc Honours, MSc and PhD are necessary for top positions in research, administration or university lecturing..

- Chamber of Mines' Human Science Laboratory
- Central Medical Laboratory of the Defence Force
- Medical Research Council
- Department of Agriculture
- Veterinary Research Institute, Onderstepoort
- Agricultural research institutes
- Medical schools
- Hospitals
- Pathology laboratories
- Universities
- ISCOR (Industrial Hygiene)
- Self-employed as industrial physiologist