Updates on the Doctorate in Clinical Laboratory Science (DCLS)

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CLS48 in California

61 months ago

The following is the most recent article from Advance about the DCLS, from Sept 22, 2009.

laboratorian.advanceweb.com/Article/DCLS-Basics-2.aspx

"A recent water cooler topic in the clinical laboratory science world is the prospective Doctorate in Clinical Laboratory Science (DCLS) degree. Laboratorians have different views on how this degree could change the field and the way it's viewed. Some still have questions: What will one have to do to obtain this degree? What kind of responsibilities will a person holding a DCLS have in the lab? How long until schools start offering DCLS programs?

ADVANCE spoke with DCLS task force and committee members to get the lowdown on this degree and to help answer some of your questions.

The History
Many different people and groups have been discussing the possibility of a doctorate degree for years. Elissa Passiment, EdM, CLS(NCA), executive vice president of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS), dates the discussions back to 1987, when ASCLS, then the American Society for Medical Technology (ASMT), produced a position paper on where education for the clinical laboratory science profession should go in the future.

"The paper recognized the ever-changing science and the health policy issues the profession was facing were straining the curriculum at every level," Passiment told ADVANCE. "That paper mentioned a doctorate and what this level of practitioner might do."

Passiment reported after much debate and study, the ASMT House passed a position in 1989 that the terminal degree for the medical laboratory profession should be the doctorate by 2000.

In 1999, Cheryl Caskey, MA, CLS, CLSpIH(NCA), then ASCLS president-elect and chair of the ASCLS Long Range Planning Committee, and her group reviewed ASCLS positions. She posed the question if the doctorate was still a good terminal degree. This led to discussions and the 2005 ASCLS position paper on Advanced Practice....

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CLS48 in California

61 months ago

" Around the same time, the National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) held its Futures Conference of stakeholders, according to Randall S. Lambrecht, PhD, FASAHP, MT(ASCP), dean and professor, UW-Milwaukee College of Health Sciences, and chair of the NAACLS Doctoral Review Committee.

"The purpose of the conference was to look into the future and imagine the possible roles laboratory professionals would have," Dr. Lambrecht said. "It was clear clinical laboratory science as a professional discipline needed to emerge as having a significant role as part of the future healthcare team."

After the conference, NAACLS appointed a task force to study the feasibility of advanced graduate professional degrees for the field. Dr. Lambrecht said the task force produced numerous documents on the subject and issued formal updates to stakeholder organizations. After receiving feedback, the NAACLS Board of Directors held a second Futures Conference in 2004.

"There was strong consensus to maintain the current entry level degree for CLS/MT, but there was also general support for considering a clinical or advanced practice doctorate in the field," Dr. Lambrecht recalled.

Later, a multiorganizational task force was formed among members of ASCLS, NAACLS and the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) to discuss what the doctorate would look like, what the curriculum would be and how to develop and implement the programs in schools.

The Responsibilities
There was one conclusion all the tasks forces and committees agreed on: a position needed to be created to act as a liaison between the laboratory and the rest of the hospital.

"We quickly realized there was a huge gap in the healthcare information continuum, for patients and providers alike who didn't fully understand the implications of laboratory test results," Passiment said."

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CLS48 in California

61 months ago

"What is missing from our field is the keystone degree that would look at the practice from a quality and future standpoint," said Elizabeth Kenimer-Leibach, EdD, MS, CLS(NCA), MT(ASCP), SBB, chairman and associate professor, Department of Biomedical and Radiological Technologies, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta; and chair of the ASCLS DCLS task force. "We need to make sure the services we offer are what the healthcare system needs."

Dr. Kenimer-Leibach added some laboratorians have been stepping up to become the liaison, but without the needed formal training.

"Some of us are filling that role on an informal basis, but with experiential training and not formal training," she said. "What we are setting up to do with the DCLS is to formalize that education, giving them the skills and training they need. They would also be salaried to do this job."

What exactly would a person holding a DCLS do? "A clinical laboratory professional with a DCLS will have the knowledge and stature to develop, implement and oversee protocols for the appropriate ordering of laboratory tests and the use of laboratory information," Dr. Lambrecht explained.

Additionally, this laboratorian will aid in diagnosis and treatment of the patient by providing knowledge to other healthcare practitioners.

Dr. Lambrecht pointed out currently, clinical laboratory scientists do have the knowledge to assess test results, but they do not have access to all the patient information needed to interpret them. A person with a DCLS would have access to this information and be able to look at a patient's whole healthcare picture.

A person holding a DCLS degree would not have to work in a hospital setting. She could also work in a reference laboratory, physician practice, industry, public health agency, government facility, research organization or an academic institution, according to NAACLS."

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CLS48 in California

61 months ago

Requirements and the Curriculum
If you're interested in obtaining a DCLS, your first question may be what previous degrees and accreditation you'd need to be qualified for the doctorate. You may also wonder what kind of classes you'd be enrolled in if you chose to go back to school.

The task forces and committees have already considered these two points. According to NAACLS, a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution and NCA or ASCP certification credentials as a generalist clinical laboratory scientist/medical technologist would be needed to get a DCLS. Additional selection and admission criteria, like the Graduate Record Examination, could be added by individual institutions.

Curriculum requirements include a minimum of 90 semester hours of graduate-level course work and a research or capstone project. Institutions are allowed to transfer credits from past graduate coursework.

Passiment mentioned ASCLS has a curriculum guide, but that each institution would decide the exact coursework on its own. However, Dr. Kenimer-Leibach said the curriculum guide has a few major components. There would be a fundamental science curriculum, including basics such as biochemistry and immunology, that would build off of undergraduate material and expand to include other topics such as pharmacology and physiology. The curriculum should also cover healthcare policy and management skills; additionally, there would be a strong clinical emphasis, including rounding as part of the healthcare team, Dr. Kenimer-Leibach said.

What's Next
The lab organizations have already done so much to get the DCLS off the ground, but there are still more steps the groups and schools have to take to make the DCLS a reality. Each institution has to get the degree approved on its campus. Dr. Kenimer-Leibach said this can be a lengthy, arduous process."

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CLS48 in California

61 months ago

There are many points universities and colleges must consider when implementing a DCLS program. First, institutions need to conduct internal planning to make sure there is interest and support for a DCLS program. They need to plan courses, have the available faculty and go through the proper internal chain of command to get the program approved by the institution's governors.

From the program accreditation standpoint, a high-level administrator must then submit the "Application for Initial Accreditation" form, Dr. Lambrecht said. The institution will have to supply NAACLS with a profile of the school and the proposed program. A NAACLS member will then visit the school.

Passiment mentioned educators will want to set up online courses and local clinical rotations so students don't have to relocate to the nearest school to obtain the degree. The institutions also may be looking for grants to ease the financial burden for students and the school.

Dr. Kenimer-Leibach surveyed colleges and universities to see how many institutions would be interested in the degree, and she said about 25 schools are seriously interested. Luckily, the schools are also spread all over the country.

When asked how soon laboratorians will see these programs entering colleges and universities, Dr. Kenimer-Leibach said DCLS programs might be in private institutions in 2009, because they tend to have a shorter process when it comes to starting a new educational program. She envisions her college's program will be up and running by 2010.

The Doctorate Debate
Despite the excitement over the DCLS, laboratorians generally seem to be all over the map on the degree's importance (see Sidebar). Although some techs are already interested in getting a DCLS, some don't see why the degree is needed; others think it won't change how the field is viewed."

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CLS48 in California

61 months ago

"Some are indifferent, some think it is a crazy idea, some are so excited they want to know when they can start taking courses," Passiment noted. "This degree is not for everyone, it is not meant for everyone and we don't need everyone to be a DCLS like the pharmacists did. We just need more advanced practitioners than we currently have in our laboratories and in our educational institutions."

Referencing what originally happened with the PharmD, Passiment added some healthcare providers might at first resent the DCLS professionals, won't hire them or will feel threatened by them.

"But again like the PharmD, once an institution uses them, they will miss them if they are gone," she said.

Dr. Lambrecht believes some laboratorians are worried about a "degree or credential creep," meaning the DCLS would become the degree needed to enter or stay in the field. He emphasized the DCLS is not meant to compete with the CLS/MT credentials, and there are no intentions to ever make the DCLS the entry-level degree.

Dr. Kenimer-Leibach has also heard laboratorians say, "We are just technicians and we don't have to be anything else."

"Yes, that is what we are, and I am very proud of that. But the clinical laboratory and our profession currently are 'headless,' meaning we have relied on other professions to assure quality in the laboratory and chart our professional direction," Dr. Kenimer-Leibach said. "But other professions are actually not paid to accept either of these significant roles. And we, as practitioners at the baccalaureate level, don't have the formal educational tools to address non-analytical quality and patient care issues we're required by accreditors like the Joint Commission to address. This degree will speak to these needs."

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CLS48 in California

61 months ago

Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt
Even though the task forces and committees understand the laboratorians' concerns about the degree, the members believe the DCLS will improve the overall healthcare system and the well-being of patients.

"The greatest positive is patients will receive better care. With the help of this doctorate, healthcare providers will be able to ask questions about the right tests to order and what to do with the results," Passiment told ADVANCE. "This practitioner will be able to direct consults to pathologists when appropriate so physicians use the laboratory's service in a more timely and efficient manner."

Dr. Lambrecht added a DCLS position will make sure facilities do not waste healthcare dollars by ordering the wrong tests and delaying a patient's diagnosis and treatment.

He also mentioned the position will help people see the value of laboratory services and enhance the profession's visibility.

"It needs to be recognized the clinical laboratory is an essential component and plays a critical role in the new era of healthcare delivery," Dr. Lambrecht noted.

Additionally, DCLS supporters believe the degree will provide a new and challenging career opportunity, and they hope this will keep laboratorians in the profession. And, perhaps most importantly, it will solve the problem of the gap between other healthcare personnel and the laboratory.

"Other healthcare professionals don't know enough about our profession and its responsibilities to change the system. Only we can do that, and no one in our field is prepared for this responsibility right now without this degree," Dr. Kenimer-Leibach explained. "I'm convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt this is exactly what we need for our profession, and something that needs to be fulfilled to improve healthcare quality."

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STANDARDS in Lewisville, Texas

61 months ago

LINK TO ALL THE SCHOOLS THAT WILL BE OFFERING THE DCLS AND CONTACT INFO:

www.ascls.org/members/leadership/Leadership%20Directory/committees/DCLSInst.pdf

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CLS48 in California

61 months ago

Nice link. I was looking for something like that.

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dalia in London, United Kingdom

60 months ago

Thank you for the link.
I can not find any recent information about DCLS programmes. :(
I emailed some of the schools but didn't get any reply.

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Lynn in Cape Coral, Florida

57 months ago

Will a person who holds a DCLS degree be able to work as a Medical Director in a Clinical Laboratory? I'm guessing that each state who governs licensure of laboratory personnel will probably make that decision but I was just wondering if this has been discussed at all.

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John1104 in Bergenfield New Jersey

57 months ago

Yes according to the new CAP roster a Medical Director can be a MD/DO/PHD under their requirements.

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Lynn in Cape Coral, Florida

57 months ago

Thank you. It's just nice to know what opportunities a degree like this would provide. I work in Florida so I will also be checking with the Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel to see if they have discussed this and what their views are at this point.

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Todd MT (ASCP) in Arlington, Texas

57 months ago

Lynn there is a thread here about the DCLS programs opening across the US.

The DCLS degree will opening up many doors, now if they would just start the program already!

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Lynn in Cape Coral, Florida

56 months ago

Todd MT (ASCP) in Arlington, Texas said: Lynn there is a thread here about the DCLS programs opening across the US.

The DCLS degree will opening up many doors, now if they would just start the program already!

I did look at the thread before and I e-mailed Medical College of Georgia and Michigan State. I did not get a reply from Medical College but I did hear back from Michigan State where I am registered to start the Molecular Diagnostics program this Fall and they said that their DCLS program would probably start next year and that Dartmouth might be starting this Fall. I e-mailed Dartmouth and did not get a response. I agree. Stop all this talk and start the program. I'm not getting any younger.

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Alex in Tampa, Florida

54 months ago

Lynn in Cape Coral, Florida said: I did look at the thread before and I e-mailed Medical College of Georgia and Michigan State. I did not get a reply from Medical College but I did hear back from Michigan State where I am registered to start the Molecular Diagnostics program this Fall and they said that their DCLS program would probably start next year and that Dartmouth might be starting this Fall. I e-mailed Dartmouth and did not get a response. I agree. Stop all this talk and start the program. I'm not getting any younger.

Speaking of not getting any younger, how old is too old to start a program like this? I would just like some feedback. I'm 49 now and wouldn't be able to start until I finish my masters degree in 2012!

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Lynn in Cape Coral, Florida

54 months ago

I too am turning 49 tomorrow so I'm in the same boat as you. I do have my Master's in Health Services Administration but I don't know how many of these credits will transfer towards this program. I'm also concerned about the cost since I would be paying out of state tuition for a Doctorate program and I don't want to spend all of my retirement.

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awab13 in Dallas, Texas

51 months ago

I think its about time to turn our profession into a diiferent perspective. Laboratorians are way behind among healthcare professionals. Lets start DCLS now ASAP, while the healthcare professions has still enough numbers before retiring by the end of 2020.

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Alex in Tampa, Florida

49 months ago

I understand, Lynn. I am currently working 7 days a week to get through my masters degree program. I wouldn't be able to do that if I were enrolled in the DCLS program because it would be even more demanding and I would have to take more than one class at a time. So, cost is a big issue!

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Boyong in Wilmington, Delaware

49 months ago

Hi,
I am looking for school for DCLS? any info how to get into tha program?

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Alex in Tampa, Florida

49 months ago

There aren't any programs open yet to my knowledge. I'm waiting too!

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Renee in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

46 months ago

I am currently working on a PhD in Clinical Health Science at the University of Mississsippi Medical Center. There are no DCLS programs near. This program requires some type of professional medical degree or certification. I take classes with PT, OT, MT, RN, etc... I am a MT (ASCP) working full time on the MS Gulf Coast and travel to Jackson one or two days a week for class. The department chair is a graduate of Michigan State. MT's need more respect and leadership. I am tired of all the best jobs going to nurses!

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TroyP in Alhambra, California

44 months ago

The best way to get up-to-date information on the DCLS program would probably be joining ASCLS, as a member you can have access to the DCLS committee past and current BOD reports.

Michael

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TK82 in Miami, Florida

43 months ago

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Aquarius34 in Atlanta, Georgia

43 months ago

With all the talk about the doctorate degree (DCLS) you have to wonder why it is taking so long. Writer Glen McDaniel has written a blog about how we shouldnt wait for the DCLS. This is on the ADVANCE websiye. Here is the link.

Why you should not wait for the DCLS

community.advanceweb.com/blogs/mt_2/archive/2011/08/13/why-you-shouldn-t-wait-for-the-dcls.aspx

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Aquarius34 in Atlanta, Georgia

43 months ago

With all the talk about the doctorate degree (DCLS) you have to wonder why it is taking so long. Writer Glen McDaniel has written a blog about how we shouldnt wait for the DCLS. This is on the ADVANCE websiye. Here is the link.

Why you should not wait for the DCLS

community.advanceweb.com/blogs/mt_2/archive/2011/08/13/why-you-shouldn-t-wait-for-the-dcls.aspx

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Jenna in Steubenville, Ohio

41 months ago

Renee in Ocean Springs, Mississippi said: I am currently working on a PhD in Clinical Health Science at the University of Mississsippi Medical Center. There are no DCLS programs near. This program requires some type of professional medical degree or certification. I take classes with PT, OT, MT, RN, etc... I am a MT (ASCP) working full time on the MS Gulf Coast and travel to Jackson one or two days a week for class. The department chair is a graduate of Michigan State. MT's need more respect and leadership. I am tired of all the best jobs going to nurses!

What do you plan to do after your doctorate? Are you going to be able to become a lab manager/supervisor? Have you talked to other Clinical Lab Science professionals who have attended your school and completed the program? If so, how are they using the doctoral degree?

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Renee in Biloxi, Mississippi

41 months ago

Jenna in Steubenville, Ohio said: What do you plan to do after your doctorate? Are you going to be able to become a lab manager/supervisor? Have you talked to other Clinical Lab Science professionals who have attended your school and completed the program? If so, how are they using the doctoral degree?

I hope to teach. Although neither a PhD nor MS are required to teach in the MLT program, I wanted these degrees to increase my salary. Generally even a community college will pay extra for any hours earned toward a PhD. For example, an instuctor with a MS and no teaching experience and 48 hours toward a PhD makes about $55,000 per hear. A PhD with no teaching experience makes a little over $60K. I have been working as a CLS since 1996 and don't make $60K plus I work weekend and holidays. POO!

My MS is in biology. With so many CLS programs closing around the country I am glad I have the biology back-up. My hope is that I can get a teaching job in CLS and could switch to Biology should the program close. There will be an opening soon. Wish me luch!

I have no interest in becoming a lab manager or supervisor. The laboraties where I have worked do not recognize or reward advanced degrees and do not require them for advancement. It's a shame because nurses are paid more if they have a MS.

The other CLS students in this program are mostly teachers at 4 year universities. Many students already have teaching jobs and are required to get PhDs as conditions of continued employment. Since this program is not limited to CLS we have nurses, MDs, DMDs, and biomedical materials graduate students in our classes. I have no clue what the biomed materials guys do! The last 2 weeks in class lectures have been given by a cytotechnologist that earned his PhD in this program and has a faculty appointment in the Department of Medicine. I am not sure what he does, but he has great hours and makes more money than he would working in a clinical lab..........

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Lynn Gott in Cape Coral, Florida

41 months ago

I was planning on becoming a medical director of a clinical laboratory but I'm getting to the point that I am getting too old to want to go back to school again.

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Bill in Dallas, Texas

41 months ago

www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/health/policy/02docs.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

“Hi. I’m Dr. Patti McCarver, and I’m your nurse,”

OK now it's just getting stupid out there. Everyone who works in a hospital will be called doctor.

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Riboflavin in Portland, Oregon

40 months ago

I, too, am curious about the details of a DCLS. In many settings where a pathologist isn't available, the lab manager or senior tech with strong experience serve as the liason between the lab and the rest of the hospital. This, with a bachelor's or master's degree. A medical technologist with a specialty in Point of Care will often consult with pharmacists because various medications contain, or break down into galactose or maltose, resulting in falsely elevated whole blood glucose results when tested via POC glucometer, whereas a serum sample tested in the lab would produce the true value. This med tech would be able to communicate to the physician the clinical sigmificance of the different methodologies and account for the discrepant values, and bring home over $80,000 a year, all with a bachelor's degree.

While I appreciate the intentions behind the DCLS, I do not believe that those with "only" a bachelor's or master's degree are necessarily lacking in the experience or training required to serve as liason or consultants. I often have the privilege (and responsibility) of being a consultant to physicians. Just recently, I met with the medical community to educate them on why an INR result above linearity tested on a POC instrument cannot be used for clinical decisions in the ED or the OR. I am currently working with anesthesiologists in educating their department of the important clinical difference between a calculated O2sat vs a measured O2sat, all this with the support of my pathologist and the medical committee.

Perhaps a DCLS will standardize the training for those who strive to serve the medical community in the highest possible way through laboratory medicine, a goal I can fully support. But I have already worked with incredible techs who fill this niche in their various hospitals, with "only" a bachelor's or master's degree.

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thebigbang0011 in Burbank, California

37 months ago

any updates anyone?

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TroyPercival in Alhambra, California

37 months ago

thebigbang0011 in Burbank, California said: any updates anyone?

According to the latest ASCLS BOD meeting back in Oct, 2011. There was really no update on the DCLS program by the DCLS oversight committee. And in ASCLS Today, there was an article that detailed the amount of work and time required for a new doctorate program to be approved and it mentions DCLS might still be a couple years away. I honestly think we are still at least a few years away and while many in the laboratory field are excited about the idea of a doctorate program. The number of applicants who actually matriculate will likely be much lower than expected when you consider the fact that most CLS cannot make enough to cover the cost of graduate school tuition and will likely have to borrow money to complete a 4-5 years long doctorate degree with no clear career path.

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thebigbang0011 in Burbank, California

37 months ago

makes sense, this career is still pretty low radar and low support. Once the shortage gets really bad that's when things will take off due to increased attention not only from current CLS's but hospital administration, colleges, etc.

It's funny to me that schools only offer degrees that are popular and in high demand, not ones that are practical and in shortage. Pharmacy field is completely saturated now & there are no jobs but schools keep building b/c there is a demand from students for the degree. Same with law. It'll be interesting to see all the hip private schools start offering CLS programs. Right now it seems to be limited to cheap state schools...

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marissa in Rochester, Minnesota

31 months ago

UMDNJ DCLS program just been approved! They are currently working on a website with all the info. Here is a link to their powerpoint on their DCLS program and contact info

www.ascls-nj.org/Session%20Handouts/Spring-2012/DCLS%20Forging%20New%20Career%20Path.pdf

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Winner Adhi in Denver, Colorado

27 months ago

Clinical Doctorate program is one of many ways to bring more smart people in clinical laboratory and give broader space to practice the profession. Any one knows what all other universities are on the process of push the degree program out for frustrated laboratory professionals like me?
I am currently enrolled in Masters Program but not really sure if it is useful transferring to UMNJ or not. I am just waiting to see if any other options will be available in near future. …..

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Brandon in Lexington, South Carolina

19 months ago

I just thought that I would update this thread on the doctorate of clinical laboratory science.

The first class will begin this fall in 2013. Minimum GPA requirement is 3.5 along with five years experience as a MLS(ASCP) generalist. The GRE is required as well. I would like to pursue this but five years as a generalist seems like a big hurdle. I want to be done with school completely within five years. I'm leaning towards PA school with a start date hopefully in two years. They also require completion of their graduate certificate or master's program. Perhaps these requirements will change.

Any new opinions on the subject?

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njbiodude in New Jersey

19 months ago

Winner Adhi in Denver, Colorado said: Clinical Doctorate program is one of many ways to bring more smart people in clinical laboratory and give broader space to practice the profession.

I have a question for everyone. In the time it takes to get 5 years of generalist experience and getting a 4 year doctorate someone could probably go to medical school and complete a pathology residency. How can anyone honestly say this degree is worth it? Just because there is a higher degree, does that mean it's really worth doing? Or will you just end up an over-educated lab supervisor/manager who could have gotten that same job with just a MS/MHA/ and several years of experience?

An MD/DO will guarantee a higher job where you can "diagnose" patients or potentially work in clinical trial research. A pathologist can also be a lab director and edit/design existing laboratory protocols. Also you can become a hematologist/pathohematologist which will allow you to deal with all the coagulation studies, leukemia research etc.

I refuse to drink the cool-aid of these program directors that say that hospitals will let a non MD/DO be the medical director of a lab. MDs have way stronger lobbying power than lab technologists.
Well what do you guys think?

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TroyPercival in Alhambra, California

19 months ago

The DCLS is probably not be a good fit for most CLS, but there are definitely CLS out there where the DCLS would greatly benefit them. For those who want to become CLS or MLT program director a doctorate degree is usually required or highly preferred, another reason would be to become CLIA director as a doctoral degree is required to serve as high complexity lab director. DCLS is probably the only doctorate science degree that a CLS can earn through distance learning format with the exception of the last year clinical rotation). As more DCLS programs open up and DCLS student start to graduate, its role would become more clear.

Michael

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K.Ann in Memphis, Tennessee

16 months ago

njbiodude in New Jersey said: I have a question for everyone. In the time it takes to get 5 years of generalist experience and getting a 4 year doctorate someone could probably go to medical school and complete a pathology residency. How can anyone honestly say this degree is worth it? Just because there is a higher degree, does that mean it's really worth doing? Or will you just end up an over-educated lab supervisor/manager who could have gotten that same job with just a MS/MHA/ and several years of experience?

An MD/DO will guarantee a higher job where you can "diagnose" patients or potentially work in clinical trial research. A pathologist can also be a lab director and edit/ design existing laboratory protocols. Also you can become a hematologist/pathohematologist which will allow you to deal with all the coagulation studies, leukemia research etc.

I refuse to drink the cool-aid of these program directors that say that hospitals will let a non MD/DO be the medical director of a lab. MDs have way stronger lobbying power than lab technologists.
Well what do you guys think?

It's not about drinking the kool-aid, it's about advancing the profession as a whole. wouldn't you want someone out front representing you and your results you put out there? the lab needs to have visibility and that's exactly what we are lacking as a profession. Also to add to your comment about letting a non MD/DO be a medical director that's not the purpose at all, we are not trying to take away from the MD's expertise but to add to and/or be in collaboration with the MD in order to give the patient the best care possible. everybody does not want to be a MD you have to be mindful of that as well. we can argue that it's plenty of doctorate programs out there and how useful they may be is really not for anyone to say unless they have been through that paticular program themselves.

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K.Ann in Memphis, Tennessee

16 months ago

Brandon in Lexington, South Carolina said: I just thought that I would update this thread on the doctorate of clinical laboratory science.

The first class will begin this fall in 2013. Minimum GPA requirement is 3.5 along with five years experience as a MLS(ASCP) generalist. The GRE is required as well. I would like to pursue this but five years as a generalist seems like a big hurdle. I want to be done with school completely within five years. I'm leaning towards PA school with a start date hopefully in two years. They also require completion of their graduate certificate or master's program. Perhaps these requirements will change.

Any new opinions on the subject?

Yes, hopefully they will change the requirements, 5 years as a generalist is a bit much. Most people coming out of school do not rotate through all the specialties and they are no way able to get a feel for all the areas. Most large hospitals are not setup in a manor that you can rotate through every single area. In my case i have always worked in microbiology, so i'll admit its possible that i am a bit dusty in the other areas of the lab, but it wouldn't take me 5 years to get abreast on how things are run in those areas.

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Johnson1 in NYC, New York

16 months ago

njbiodude in New Jersey said: I have a question for everyone. In the time it takes to get 5 years of generalist experience and getting a 4 year doctorate someone could probably go to medical school and complete a pathology residency. How can anyone honestly say this degree is worth it? Just because there is a higher degree, does that mean it's really worth doing? Or will you just end up an over-educated lab supervisor/manager who could have gotten that same job with just a MS/MHA/ and several years of experience?

An MD/DO will guarantee a higher job where you can "diagnose" patients or potentially work in clinical trial research. A pathologist can also be a lab director and edit/ design existing laboratory protocols. Also you can become a hematologist/pathohematologist which will allow you to deal with all the coagulation studies, leukemia research etc.

I refuse to drink the cool-aid of these program directors that say that hospitals will let a non MD/DO be the medical director of a lab. MDs have way stronger lobbying power than lab technologists.
Well what do you guys think?

I don't know of other DCLS programs, but for the UMDNJ/Rutgers one, the DCLS rotation will be done at New York Presbyterian Hospital where they would be receptive to a DCLS lab manager/director. That said, the salary probably won't be at a pathologist/hematologist level, so its not worthwhile for now.

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TroyPercival in Alhambra, California

16 months ago

According to CAMLT newsletter, starting Jan 1st, 2014 license CLS or CLS specialist in the state of California would be allow to serve as lab director for CLIA waived lab. www.camlt.org/july-2013-camlt-newsline-online

While this is not related to the DCLS program but one of the main purpose for the DCLS program is for current practicing CLS to obtain their doctoral degree to go into jobs (mainly academic or lab director) that require a doctoral degree. Allowing CLS to direct waived lab definitely set a precedent that CLS is competent in perform the duties of a director.

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CLS48 in California

16 months ago

Well, CLSs are already laboratory administrative directors, just not medical directors. Most labs have non-waived tests in them so I'm not sure how the above would affect things that much anyway.

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