URMC Labs - Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

Careers in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

We often receive inquiries regarding educational requirements for jobs in pathology and laboratory medicine. Here’s a brief summary we’ve put together, and some links to further information.

General Reference: American Society for Clinical Pathology Career Booklet

Positions by Required Education

Requires High School Education

Courier: Picks up specimens from doctors’ offices and collection stations and delivers them to the main laboratories. Requires a good driving record and excellent customer service skills.

Phlebotomist: Draws blood from patients and enters data into information systems. Requires relevant phlebotomy experience or completion of a formal phlebotomy training program. Interested candidates must have a steady hand and compassionate outlook. Further information about this career is available at www.collegesanddegrees.com.

Two-Year College Degree Preferred (usually A.A.S.)

Clinical Laboratory Support Technician: Receives lab test requisitions and specimens, checks for proper labeling and complete instructions, calls the requesting physician if further information is needed, enters data into information system. Requires accuracy and attention to detail.

Requires Two-Year College Degree (usually A.A.S.) and a New York State License

Histotechnologist: Prepares tissue specimens for examination by pathologist. Operates processing and embedding equipment, uses microtomes to slice tissue that is embedded in paraffin or plastic blocks into thin transparent sections, mounts sections on glass slides, stains tissue on slides. For further information about this career visit the National Society for Histotechnology. Requires completion of a licensure qualifying degree program. Examples of such programs are offered at:

  • Broome Community College (online)
  • SUNY Cobleskill

Medical/Clinical Laboratory Technician: Performs clinical laboratory testing under supervision and with a limited exercise of independent judgment. This can vary from the operation of highly-automated equipment to bench testing with manual preparation of solutions. Requires completion of a licensure qualifying degree program. Examples of such programs are offered at:

  • Broome Community College (online)
  • Monroe Community College

Learn more at the U.S. Department of Labor Clinical Laboratory Technology.

Requires Four-Year College Degree (usually B.S.)

Research Laboratory Technologist: Under the guidance of a principal investigator, sets up and carries out research laboratory experiments. Collects and analyses results. May involve work with laboratory animals. Requires background in biochemistry, molecular biology, or related field.

Learn more at Science Career Magazine.

Requires Four-Year College Degree (usually B.S.) and a New York State License

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Technologist: performs clinical laboratory testing exercising independent judgment and responsibility. This can vary from the operation of highly-automated equipment to bench testing with manual preparation of solutions and analysis of results. Requires completion of a licensure qualifying degree program. Examples of such programs are offered at:

  • Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • Nazareth College
  • New York State University at Buffalo
  • Rochester General Hospital
  • St. John Fisher
  • SUNY Brockport
  • SUNY Upstate Medical University

Learn more at the U.S. Department of Labor Clinical Laboratory Technology.

Cytotechnologist: Examines Pap smears and other cell samples under the microscope looking for signs of cancer or other diseases. Further information about this career can be found by visiting the American Society for Cytotechnology. Requires completion of a licensure qualifying degree program. Examples of such programs are offered at:

  • Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Requires Graduate Degree (usually M.S.)

Laboratory Manager: Supervises and manages the business operations of the clinical laboratory. Requires a NYS license and experience in Clinical/Medical Technology and supervisory experience or a master’s degree in Business Administration.

Pathologist Assistant: Assists pathologists with preparation and examination of specimens, including specimen dissection, photography, and gross description. Usually works in surgical pathology or autopsy pathology.

Requires Graduate Degree (usually Ph.D.)

Research Laboratory Scientist: Studies the causes and effects of human disease, usually at the cellular and molecular level. Reads and evaluates findings in scientific journals. Designs experiments to further scientific knowledge.

Learn more at the Association of American Medical Colleges Medical Research Careers.

Requires Medical Degree (M.D.) and Residency Training

Pathologist: A medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis of human disease.

Clinical pathologist: Evaluates blood, urine, and other non-tissue specimens. Includes related activities such as setting guidelines for blood transfusion practice.

Anatomic pathologist: evaluates tissue specimens-heart, lung, brain, and so forth. Uses a microscope to examine prepared specimens.

Forensic pathologist: Evaluates evidence to establish causes of death, particularly wrongful death; may be a medical examiner.

Learn More

Pathology, A Career in Medicine
College of American Pathologists Online Career Center

 

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