Medical Laboratory Scientist as a Career
Medical Laboratory Scientists interpret data, analyze results, manage information, and communicate with other members of the health care team. They determine the presence and extent of disease, providing data to treat and monitor the patient. The job market for Medical Laboratory Scientists is excellent with good salaries. This career path could also serve as an alternative to becoming a physician or as another step in preparation for medical school.
Students have two options:
- Complete a B.S. degree (commonly in Biology, Microbiology or Biochemistry) and a 1-year clinical internship in a hospital laboratory, and then pass the national board certification exam; OR
- Complete all prerequisite coursework (as a 3+1 student) and a 1-year clinical internship in an affiliated hospital laboratory, fulfilling requirements for a B.S. degree, and then pass the national board certification exam.
For more information, see Explore Health Careers.org: Overview and Academic requirements, American Society for Clinical Pathology: How You Become a Medical Laboratory Professional (pdf), National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences: US Programs search engine, and American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science: A Life Saved: Laboratory Professionals Make a Difference (video)
University Course Work
- Carefully check admission requirements at each school of interest.
In general, most schools require at a minimum:
- Chemistry (minimum of 16 semester credits, including general chemistry (Chem 111 and 112), organic chemistry (Chem 277 and 372) and/or biochemistry (MMBB 300 or 380)
- Biological Sciences (minimum of 16 semester credits, including general biology (Bio 115 and 116 or MMBB 154), general microbiology (MMBB 250), immunology (MMBB 409) and pathogenic bacteriology (MMBB 412)
- Mathematics (one course beyond remedial math)
- Courses in the following subjects are also encouraged: hematology, clinical chemistry, human anatomy and physiology, molecular biology, instrumentation, quantitative analysis, biochemistry (in addition to the minimum requirement), advanced medical microbiology, pathogenic bacteriology (or infectious diseases), clinical diagnosis, mycology, parasitology, virology, antimicrobial therapy, genetics and statistics.