About the MLS Profession

What is a Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS)?

MLS students in lab

Even though we are the third largest group of health care professionals (after physicians and nurses) many people do not know who we are or what we do. Let’s take a few minutes to describe our role in healthcare delivery and the educational requirements of the profession.

Medical laboratory testing plays a crucial role in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases as well as monitoring and maintaining patient health. Approximately 75% of all medical diagnostic and treatment decisions are based on the testing performed by Laboratory Science professionals. Medical Laboratory Scientists, also known as Medical Technologists or Clinical Laboratory Scientists, perform these tests on blood and other body fluids using analytical procedures and state-of-the-art-instrumentation. We perform testing in a variety of specialty areas within the laboratory including testing to identify microorganisms that cause disease, to detect blood cell abnormalities such as anemia and leukemia, blood clotting disorders, blood compatibilities for transfusions and quantifying of chemical constituents such as glucose, protein, cholesterol or specific medications.

In addition to the traditional hospital laboratory MLS professionals work in a variety of other laboratory settings such as research and development, environmental, and public health laboratories.

Like other health professions, our educational programs emphasize chemistry, biology, and human physiology along with a strong foundation in mathematics. Students who would enjoy our profession are those who are looking for a health career that has a focus on medical and basic sciences and who also like problem solving. If this sounds like something you would like to do, then MLS might be the career you’ve been looking for.

Please explore this web site for more information about the MLS program and careers for MLS graduates.

The explorehealthcareers.org website offers a spotlight on Medical Laboratory Scientists.

The following video shows the value of a medical laboratory.