Medical Laboratory Science (also called Clinical Laboratory Science) is one of the most under-recognized health professions – with excellent job prospects

In 2014, Dr. Rodney E. Rohde offered some unique and valuable insights into a career that very few people know about, yet has a critical impact on ensuring accurate patient diagnosis, treatment and monitoring.

“Have you ever wondered who conducts the detailed laboratory testing for your annual exam, such as cholesterol and glucose levels, and analyzes the results? Or who conducts specialized testing for genetic disorders like sickle cell disease? How about those who identify an antibiotic resistant infection like Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and determine which antibiotic is required to save someone’s life? Well, if you thought that it was your physician, or perhaps a nurse or someone else you see at your doctor’s office or in the hospital, you would be incorrect.”

Medical Laboratory Scientists provide answers to life-and-death decisions every day. From providing your cancer testing results, to predicting the correct antibiotic to prescribe, to typing the correct blood for surgery, laboratory tests results provide doctors with the necessary information to ensure timely and accurate patient diagnosis.

The highly trained professionals who run these tests deserve to be recognized for the critical part they play in our health care system. So how do we, as a community and as individuals, work to remove the “hidden” and simply become a “profession that saves lives”? Next month, Dr. Rodney E. Rohde and Stephanie Noblit will explore ways to highlight this profession with LabTestingMatters.org.

The original article “The Hidden Profession that Saves Lives” was published in February of 2014 on Elsevier Connect. To read the full article, please CLICK HERE.

Dr. Professor Rodney E. Rohde, PhD, MS, SV, SM(ASCP) is Professor, Research Dean and Program Chair and Director of the Clinical Laboratory Science program in the College of Health Professions of Texas State University.

Stephanie Noblit, MLS(ASCP)CM, is a medical laboratory scientist in the medical toxicology lab at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She is an active member of ASCLS

  • Richard A Winder

    Would like to say thanks for taking out the other have of the laboratory profession. There are still Medical Laboratory Technicians (MLT) that are working right beside the CLS/MLS/MT’s that are not getting any credit.

    • RodneyRohde

      Richard, in no way do we not value or promote the MLT’s in our profession. I think if you read through my original article “The Hidden Profession that Saves LIves” you will find that I consistently define our profession as medical laboratory professionals – this includes MLS, MLT, and other specialists within and under the laboratory medicine umbrella. Thanks for your comment.