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The Vanderbilt Clinic sponsors the Medical Laboratory Science program, which operates within the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology and the VUMC Diagnostic Laboratories. Medical laboratory scientists are trained in all major clinical pathology areas including Clinical Chemistry, Hematology, Coagulation (Hemostasis and Thrombosis), Immunology (Immunopathology), Blood Bank (Immunohematology), Microbiology, Urinalysis & Body Fluids, Molecular Diagnostics and Seminar, which includes topics in education and management/supervisory skills. Learning occurs through presentations, demonstrations and student laboratory exercises, and experiential training in the diagnostic laboratories. .
Laboratory & classroom space is located in Light Hall, and additional space is assigned throughout the Diagnostic Labs for student use. There is also space within the Vanderbilt Clinic that is designated as the Medical Laboratory Science office and library. The Program officials include a Medical Director, Program Director, Education Coordinator, and faculty from each area of the laboratory who are experts in their respective fields.
Classes begin the first week of June and continue until the end of June the following year. Orientation is held during the first week of class and provides an opportunity for students to become acquainted with fellow students and faculty members. Course work during this week consists of an introduction and review of basic laboratory operations and skills. The Seminar course introduces students to employment, management, and education topics. Department-specific courses provide students with information needed for working in an entry-level position as a Medical Laboratory Scientist.
Students are required to be present on a full time basis throughout the year of training. Classes in the first six months meet from 8:30 am-4:30 pm Monday -Friday. Clinical rotation hours will vary according to the individual laboratory sections. Rotations typically meet 7 am-3:30 pm or 8 am-4:30 pm, though students will perform four days of rotations on a modified evening shift from 1-9 pm.
Upon satisfactory completion of the training program, a certificate of completion is awarded to the student. The course of study during the clinical year may be credited towards a baccalaureate degree for 3+1 students where an affiliation between the student's college or university and the Medical Center exists.
Students completing the year of training are eligible for the national certification by examination through agencies such as the American Society of Clinical Pathologist Board of Certification (BOC). Upon receipt of national certification, the graduate becomes eligible for state licensure by the Tennessee Department of Health, Medical Laboratory Board.
MLS Program Handbook
Programmatic information and policies can be accessed in the MLS Program Handbook. The previous version of the handbook can be found at 2020-2021 MLS Program Handbook.