55 years of laboratory-specific topics

Dec. 18, 2023

Happy new year! This year, MLO celebrates its 55th year in publication. Medical Laboratory Observer was the very first magazine created for laboratorians. In 1968, Medical Economics, publisher of the Physicians’ Desk Reference, wanted to develop another medically oriented magazine. Two of its staff members spoke to medical experts of all types across America. They later claimed that in nearly every case, they were told, "Go see Ray Gambino."

Dr. Gambino was the laboratory director of Englewood Hospital's Pathology Department in New Jersey. As a member of the American Society for Clinical Pathologists' education programs, Dr. Gambino ran a yearly seminar to teach pathologists how to manage a lab. He also trained residents at another nearby hospital to round out their pathology training with a focus on laboratory medicine. The Medical Economics staff picked Dr. Gambino's brain for new ideas for a magazine.

Dr. Gambino told them that they shouldn’t try to compete directly against scientific journals, but rather cover laboratory-related topics that scientific journals never do. Nobody spoke to or for the laboratory professionals he elaborated. The idea flourished and Dr. Gambino became the editorial consultant for the new publication — Medical Laboratory Observer — in 1969. What began as a bi-monthly publication evolved into a monthly one that is still true to its roots.

One of MLO’s traditions is the annual Lab of the Year award. Please refer to page 7. We are now accepting applications for our 2024 Lab of the Year, which celebrates medical laboratories that demonstrate their extraordinary commitment to quality patient care. Submission requirements are at https://www.mlo-online.com/documents/document/53073100/2024-loycall-for-entries.

Lastly, I want to share with you a couple changes to the Continuing Education feature in MLO beginning this month. Very few of our readers complete a paper test and mail that to our partner Northern Illinois University. To save their staff time and money going forward, we will only be offering the test online, which is how most readers complete the CE for credit. This will also save us on printing costs. Another change is the length of time the tests will remain active. That time frame is currently 18 months. It will be shortened a bit to 12 months.

I welcome your comments and questions — please send them to me at [email protected].