Title

Tracing our roots: the first clinical laboratory scientist

Document Type

Article

Publication Source

Clinical laboratory science : journal of the American Society for Medical Technology

Publication Date

1998-03-01

Volume

11

Issue

2

First Page

97

Last Page

100

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To trace the roots of clinical laboratory science by discussing the development of the role of the "laboratory technician", and describing selected early training programs for clinical laboratory personnel. DESIGN: A survey of literature on the history of clinical laboratory science was conducted. References consulted include various books and professional journals. CONCLUSION: The first clinical laboratory scientists began working in clinical laboratories shortly before World War I. During the war, and in the years that followed, a critical shortage of trained laboratory personnel developed. To alleviate this shortage, pathologists began to hire young women, training them on the job to perform simple laboratory tests. However, there were no established training standards, and few institutions offered a systematic method for instruction. During this same period, three educational programs were established that did offer high quality training that provided systematic instruction to their students.

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