Medical Laboratory Science Career
A medical laboratory scientist, also referred to as a medical technologist, is an allied health professional who is qualified by academic and practical training to perform analytical tests in a clinical laboratory. With the use of sophisticated skills and advanced instrumentation, medical laboratory scientists determine the levels of chemicals in blood and body fluids, classify cells for abnormalities, identify bacteria and viruses causing infection and uncover markers for cancer and inherited genetic diseases. In addition, they confirm the accuracy of test results and provide monitors for therapy.
Individuals interested in a career in medical laboratory science must have a keen interest in science and mathematics and enjoy problem solving. They must work well under pressure, finish a task once started, expect quality in their work and be able to work with minimal supervision. Patient contact is limited.
To prepare for a career in medical laboratory science, a student must have a bachelor's degree in science plus clinical education in an accredited medical laboratory science program. Many colleges and universities offer a degree in medical laboratory science via two routes of entry: a "3+1" or a "4+1" route.
In the "3+1" route (university-based program), students complete three years of appropriate prerequisite courses at an accredited college or university that is affiliated with a clinical laboratory. During the fourth year, they complete an internship at an affiliated clinical laboratory which is usually located in a hospital. In this route, the student will be granted a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Laboratory Science from the college or university upon successful completion of the clinical internship.
Students who elect a "4+1" route (hospital-based program) first complete their baccalaureate degree at a college or university that offers the appropriate prerequisite medical laboratory science courses. During the senior year, they apply and interview for admission into an accredited hospital-based medical laboratory science program.
Upon successful completion of either route, students are eligible to take the national Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) certification examination offered by the ASCP Board of Certification.
For more information on accredited medical laboratory science programs, contact:
National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
5600 N. River Rd. Suite 720
Rosemont, IL 60018-5119
For additional information and pre-requisite academic course requirements for the Medical Laboratory Science program at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, view our admission requirements or contact:
Nancy E. Ramirez, M.S., MLS (ASCP)
Program Director, Beaumont School of Medical Laboratory Science
Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak
3601 W. Thirteen Mile Road
Royal Oak, MI 48073-6769
Learn more about the career of a medical laboratory scientist:
- American Society for
33 West Monroe, Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60603
- American Society for
Clinical Laboratory Science
6701 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 300
Bethesda, Maryland 20817
- Diagnostic Detectives: The
Medical Laboratory Professionals