Current status of US programs for training clinical laboratory scientists and anticipated impact of healthcare reform

Mitchell G. Scott, David B. Sacks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We surveyed directors of medical technology (MT) and postdoctoral clinical chemistry (CC) training programs and of clinical pathology (CP) and combined anatomic/clinical pathology (AP/CP) residency programs regarding the number, quality, training emphasis, and job-placement experience of trainees for 1985-95 as well as the directors' opinions on the impact of 'healthcare reform.' Responses were received from directors of 94 of 249 (38%) MT programs, 14 of 15 (93%) CC programs, and 63 of 138 (46%) pathology residency programs. In all four categories the numbers of trainees have increased steadily over the last 5 to 7 years but are expected to remain stable or decrease slightly. Directors of MT and CC programs expect increasing difficulty placing their graduates; directors of AP/CP and CP residency programs do not. Although >60% of MT graduates have entered private hospitals, this is anticipated to decrease, with a concomitant increase in university hospital placements. Of the AP/CP residents, >60% and <5% accepted service- and research-oriented positions, respectively. In contrast, 83% of CP residents entered university hospitals, with half of these taking research-oriented positions. Among CC graduates, 41% joined university hospitals and 10-15% accepted positions in each of either private hospitals or industry or reference laboratories. The emphasis of training varies, with clinical service and pathophysiology the major focus in AP/CP programs. CP and CC programs take two distinct approaches-some accentuating management, and others emphasizing research. Finally, MT program directors appear the most optimistic regarding the opportunities that healthcare reform may present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)934-941
Number of pages8
JournalClinical chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1995


  • clinical chemistry
  • laboratory management
  • utililization


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