Need for medical lab scientists soars

April 27, 2023

The overall shortages seen throughout the medical professions is acute in the case of medical laboratory professionals, such as Medical Laboratory Technicians (MLTs) and Medical Laboratory Scientists (MLSs), according to Angela Tomei Robinson, Retired Associate Administrative Director, Laboratory Medicine, St. John’s University.

Robinson writes in the Biomedical Journal of Scientific and Technological Research how these shortages are not as noticeable as those in skilled nurses and physicians to the public, since these professionals often work behind the scenes in the laboratory, turning clinical specimens into actionable medical data. These include testing specialties such as microbiology, molecular diagnostics, hematology and chemistry. 

To read this opinion article please follow this link.

Read: Healthcare: Severe Shortages of Qualified Medical Laboratory Professionals
Streck employee using a microscope

Statistics cited in her article point to a 15% shortage in qualified laboratory personnel in microbiology and an overall nationwide 7% vacancy rate of laboratory professionals in the United States. These shortages can be alleviated through recruitment, training and retention of qualified and accredited laboratory scientists for at least the next decade.

With the nation’s population aging, the increasing volume of lab test orders and the retirement of the current generation of laboratory personnel make the need for a large new generation of qualified MLSs and MLTs apparent.

Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI)

American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)


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