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Revamped program makes high-demand degree easier to obtain for UT students

A new degree opportunity at The University of Toledo will allow students to pursue a career in an increasingly marketable medical field.

The Medical Laboratory Science Program will help prepare students for a career on the forefront of medical technology.

Although the name medical laboratory scientist may sound unfamiliar to most people, individuals in this field perform and analyze tests for physicians and other medical professionals and remain at the forefront of medical advancement in an innovative field of technology.

Currently, there is a great demand in this career field both nationally and locally, and it “is routinely listed among the careers with the lowest unemployment rates, hovering around 1.4 percent as of a year ago,” according to Dr. Douglas Leaman, UT professor and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences.

Before this year, University students interested in this profession would complete a four-year bachelor of science program in biology and then complete an additional three semesters of course work and clinical rotations at a non-UT establishment in order to qualify to be a medical laboratory scientist.

The new program will be more efficient, condensing the full five-year degree to four years with an additional summer semester.

“The expedited program should be much more attractive to students and, of course, more affordable, too,” Leaman said.

In addition, clinical rotations in the students’ final two semesters will be completed through The University of Toledo Medical Center and partnerships with area ProMedica hospitals rather than third-party institutions.

“It really makes the whole experience more seamless for the students,” said Dr. John Plenefisch, UT associate professor of biological sciences and adviser for students in the program. “It has made the whole degree program more student-centered, with more focused requirements and a clearer curricular path.”

Students interested in learning more are invited to an open house Monday, Sept. 24, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Wolfe Hall Room 1240.

Applications for next summer’s admission will be found on the department website at utoledo.edu/nsm/bio/index.html by the end of September.

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