The Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) has released a report today in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics on recommendations for a molecular diagnostics curriculum at both the baccalaureate and master's levels of education. The report was prepared by the Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) Curriculum Task Force of the AMP Training and Education Committee. “Our goal was to address the critical need of educating future medical laboratory scientists appropriately in order to manage the rapidly growing and changing realm of molecular diagnostic testing,” says Sara Taylor, PhD, Task Force Co-Chair and a first author on the paper.
The challenge, as stated in the report, is to balance the requirements of accreditation, certification, and the needs of the job market. To address that challenge, the recommendations are based on input from three key elements: 1) the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) guidelines for accreditation of molecular diagnostics programs; 2) guidelines of several key certifying bodies for clinical laboratory scientists; and 3) feedback from current employers of molecular diagnostics scientists via a survey of AMP members.
In addition, the curriculum recommendations are directed toward three major academic levels of laboratory scientists who perform molecular diagnostic testing—the generalist MLS/CLS, and both the bachelors and masters-level lab scientists with specialized molecular training.
AMP concludes that up-and-coming molecular diagnostic laboratory scientists should complete an NAACLS accredited training program, then become certified or licensed in their state of employment. The specific curriculum recommendations, if adopted, will prepare tomorrow's medical laboratory scientists for the reality that molecular diagnostics is an integral and growing part of the clinical diagnostic laboratory. Read the report.Read more