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May 2019

Training Program Serves as Pipeline for Medical Technologists


graduatesIn an effort to combat a statewide shortage of licensed laboratory technologists, the School of Medicine and Dentistry began offering the clinical/medical technology advanced certificate – or “med tech” program two years ago as a way to “grow our own” medical technologists.

The strategy is paying off. The one-year advanced certificate program first received approval from the State Education Department in 2017 and since then, 20 of its graduates (including those from the most recent class) have passed their certification exams and gone directly to work for UR Medicine Labs.

“It’s so important for us at URMC to be able to have this program,” said Kathy Parrinello, executive vice president and COO of Strong Memorial Hospital. “We’ve learned the best way to fill the pipeline of medical technology professionals is to train our own.”

The 2018 cohort yielded 11 new employees and nine of the 12 students who graduated this year will be following suit. This year, the program also received national board (NAACLS) accreditation through 2024.

This year’s cohort graduated on May 17. Parrinello noted the success of the program and offered encouragement to the graduates as they take the next step in their careers.

“You are well trained and very well equipped as you go out into the world,” she said.

All students who participate in the yearlong program receive intensive training from Pathology & Laboratory Medicine instructors. Bruce Smoller, M.D., chairman of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine praised the longtime efforts of faculty and staff, led by education coordinator Vicki Roberts, program director, together with Medical Center leadership to help get the program up and running.

“It’s wonderful when you can watch a long term plan come to fruition, especially when we have a shortage of technologists across New York State,” said Smoller. “Your futures in healthcare are bright and stable.”

The training program has already filled each of its 12 spots for the 2020-21 academic year. Check out this video to learn more. 

See photos from the graduation ceremony. 

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