SynapticDoctah

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SDN,

So I have been working at LabCorp for two weeks now full time. My position title is a "specimen processing specialist" and I work in the special chemistry department that deals with thyroid, hormone, cardiac markers, tumor markers, and anemia tests. My duties are:

-prepare and load thousands of specimens onto the test tube racks and making sure that each tube has the proper test run. When I do this I have to make sure that the serum isn't hemolyzed. If it is, I centrifuge the sample down.
-load specimen racks (150 test tubes each rack) onto 8 different diagnostic machines
-unload specimens after tests are run and check to make sure a result for each specimen was found
-locate and pipette samples for "lost samples" that may have been lost in the lab. If at the end of my day there are samples that have been scanned into the system that we didn't receive, I have to go to where the full blood samples are held and pour off another sample of serum from the patient.
-assist the CLS (clinical lab scientist) in making sure that all samples for the day/morning are released to the doctors by 7:45am everyday.
-load 8 different machines with reagents, pipette tips, maintenance, cleaning of machines

I will be working here for at least 1.5 years (if I am accepted for medical school next cycle) and I feel it is good experience.

Please let me know what you think and if this will benefit my application.

Thanks!
 

primadonna22274

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Absolutely none of those duties will benefit you as a future physician. These are med tech lab assistant duties--as you know. Adcoms much prefer direct patient care. Even phlebotomy is better experience because you are working with patients.
That said, I worked for nearly 7 years (end of HS thru college) doing various medical lab assistant duties. I learned everything I could about lab medicine while I was there and it was useful knowledge. Ultimately I knew I wanted to be in charge of patient care so I went to PA school. Did that and wanted more responsibility and independence so went to med school.
I wish you the best.
 
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I think it really matters if you already have "enough" clinical experience or not. If you have no other longterm and meaningful clinical experience prior to taking this job for the next year, I don't think that this job will be doing you any favors. I feel that you need to have some way of justifying to an admissions committee why you aren't taking a more clinically related activity-- money, location, etc?

That being said, I interviewed at schools where some of my fellow interviewees didn't know how to take blood pressures so take my advice with a grain of salt.
 
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SynapticDoctah

SynapticDoctah

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Absolutely none of those duties will benefit you as a future physician. These are med tech lab assistant duties--as you know. Adcoms much prefer direct patient care. Even phlebotomy is better experience because you are working with patients.
That said, I worked for nearly 7 years (end of HS thru college) doing various medical lab assistant duties. I learned everything I could about lab medicine while I was there and it was useful knowledge. Ultimately I knew I wanted to be in charge of patient care so I went to PA school. Did that and wanted more responsibility and independence so went to med school.
I wish you the best.

I understand that they are lab tech duties, however doesn't learning this side of medicine look good? I can guarantee that many pre med applicants don't know how the lab testing works and that is a huge part of how the doctor diagnoses patients.

Also, in regards to other exposure. Yes, I have volunteered 4 years In a surgery center and also am currently volunteering at a place called Fresh Start that offers reconstructive surgery for children. This is just an extra because I needed a job.
 
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SynapticDoctah

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There is a way to spin this as a positive on your application. Patient-oriented stuff is important but other roles are important, too.
Thats my view on it as well. Just seeing what everyone else's views are.
 

primadonna22274

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I understand that they are lab tech duties, however doesn't learning this side of medicine look good? I can guarantee that many pre med applicants don't know how the lab testing works and that is a huge part of how the doctor diagnoses patients.

Also, in regards to other exposure. Yes, I have volunteered 4 years In a surgery center and also am currently volunteering at a place called Fresh Start that offers reconstructive surgery for children. This is just an extra because I needed a job.
Which is why I suggested that you learn everything you can about lab medicine while you're there. I definitely understand needing the job...just make the most of it.
 

Ibn Alnafis MD

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It probably would be decent if you're interested in pursuing pathology.
I second this. I used to work for lab corp as a lab technician, and I interacted a lot with CLS's, Histotechs, and Pathologists. Some of job duties involved looking at specimens under the microscope and assign a "score" depending on how "positive" a tissue is for any given marker. The specimens are ultimately viewed and diagnosed by pathologists.
 
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SynapticDoctah

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I second this. I used to work for lab corp as a lab technician, and I interacted a lot with CLS's, Histotechs, and Pathologists. Some of job duties involved looking at specimens under the microscope and assign a "score" depending on how "positive" a tissue is for any given marker. The specimens are ultimately viewed and diagnosed by pathologists.
Why only if I am going into pathology though? In my opinion, wouldn't it be beneficial to AnY doctor to know what happens when they send their patients samples out for testing?
 
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Why only if I am going into pathology though? In my opinion, wouldn't it be beneficial to AnY doctor to know what happens when they send their patients samples out for testing?
I think the main reason why medical schools want a person to have clinical experience, especially direct patient care, is because they want to make sure that the person knows what they are getting themselves into when becoming a physician...besides pathologists most physicians won't work in a lab setting where they look at specimens..I think it is a good experience to have but just make sure you have plenty of direct patient care experience as well .... research experience also helps...
 
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SynapticDoctah

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I think the main reason why medical schools want a person to have clinical experience, especially direct patient care, is because they want to make sure that the person knows what they are getting themselves into when becoming a physician...besides pathologists most physicians won't work in a lab setting where they look at specimens..I think it is a good experience to have but just make sure you have plenty of direct patient care experience as well .... research experience also helps...
I have 4 years of volunteer/clinical support in a surgery center, 2 years volunteer at a hospital that offers reconstructive surgery to underprivileged children and 2 years research experience.
 
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I have 4 years of volunteer/clinical support in a surgery center, 2 years volunteer at a hospital that offers reconstructive surgery to underprivileged children and 2 years research experience.
It just seems to me that you are trying to rationalize taking a higher than minimum wage paying job that is somewhat relevant rather than a lower paying direct patient care job. I don't think you can ever have enough clinical experience and I personally think that if you want your application to be as competitive as it could be, you should find a different job. I can see somewhat of a loose connection to pathology, but whatever you learn at labcorp would be so far removed from what you learn in medical school/residency that I don't think it is worth it.
 

cliquesh

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It just seems to me that you are trying to rationalize taking a higher than minimum wage paying job that is somewhat relevant rather than a lower paying direct patient care job. I don't think you can ever have enough clinical experience and I personally think that if you want your application to be as competitive as it could be, you should find a different job. I can see somewhat of a loose connection to pathology, but whatever you learn at labcorp would be so far removed from what you learn in medical school/residency that I don't think it is worth it.
I think he/she has enough clinical experience at this point that more clincal exposure is unnecessary.

I guarantee you that most physicians, like 90% of them, have no idea how any lab tests work. It could be a good experience.
 

coolingglasses

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It just seems to me that you are trying to rationalize taking a higher than minimum wage paying job that is somewhat relevant rather than a lower paying direct patient care job. I don't think you can ever have enough clinical experience and I personally think that if you want your application to be as competitive as it could be, you should find a different job. I can see somewhat of a loose connection to pathology, but whatever you learn at labcorp would be so far removed from what you learn in medical school/residency that I don't think it is worth it.
I disagree. OP has already spent a significant amount of time working with patients. If they want to take a job that is more interesting or pays more during their app cycle, I think they should. It's an expensive process.

Moreover, I think OP can turn this into a positive experience for becoming a good physician as well as a solid med student. There's a dude in my class who was a CLS and as far as I know, he's been pretty adept at med micro/path.
 
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I disagree. OP has already spent a significant amount of time working with patients. If they want to take a job that is more interesting or pays more during their app cycle, I think they should. It's an expensive process.

Moreover, I think OP can turn this into a positive experience for becoming a good physician as well as a solid med student. There's a dude in my class who was a CLS and as far as I know, he's been pretty adept at med micro/path.
Fair enough. OP I did not intend my post to sound negative, it was just an opinion. I don't think you could go wrong with more patient care as it can only improve your application.
 

Mad Jack

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You can pitch it as an asset to a school's research department and show you have an understanding of how medical tests work. It isn't quite as valuable as direct patient care, but is more valuable than just some job.
 
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SynapticDoctah

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Thank you for all the replies. As far as patient contact, I know that it doesn't have any and that it won't help me there. However, I NEED a job that is full time and can pay for rent. Thank you so much for all the replies though.
 
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SynapticDoctah

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And I wasn't asking wether or not I should get a new job. I was wondering whether or not I should put it on my application.