Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Greetings Earthlings ...

... how do you actually introduce yourself on a new blog? Obviously I don't know ... so I came up with something cheesy. At any rate, here I is. My name is Thomas Joseph (which I'm using as a pseudonym - though it's technically my first and middle name, just not my last) and I am the author of the blog (It's a ...) Micro World (... after all). When I'm not wasting my time blogging, I'm a geneticist/microbiologist/molecular biologist for the United States government. This qualifies me, I suppose, as an "alternative scientist" since I'm not in academia. I often work closely with individuals from academia, but I have a different set of goals and pressures in my work environment. As I continue to post here, I'll talk about a number of those.

I also qualify as an "alternative scientist" given the fact that my B.S. and first M.S. degree were in Medical Technology. As a licensed and registered member of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and their Board of Registry, I can work in hospital laboratories throughout the United States (and throughout the world) in a number of fields. The four primary fields being: Clinical Chemistry; Hematology; Immunohematology (aka Blood Banking); and Microbiology (my favorite). Currently, there is a huge need for Medical Technologists (also referred to as Clinical Laboratory Scientists), and according to a US Department of Labor report (ASCP commentary here), there is a need for 15,000 new Medical Technologists per year through 2014. It's a shortage that simply won't be going away soon. Pay is also reasonable. Average salaries are topping well over $20 to $25/hour right out of college (translates into $40 - 50K/year). I didn't remain a Med Tech for long, opting for further graduate schooling and a PhD in Microbiology ... but I did jump through all the hoops and did work in a STAT lab (third shift, bleh!) for a couple of years during graduate school. As opportunities (and demand?) arise, I'll talk about these experiences as well.

With that said, I appreciate the opportunity given to me by Mad Hatter for allowing me to post my thoughts/opinions/advice here. If you have a question/blog entry request for me, leave a comment here and I'll run with it.

7 comments:

maddox22 said...

Interesting! I've thought about doing something med-techy, mainly for job security reasons (although I am interested in it, too :) I'm curious: what's your take on how long it would take someone who already has a graduate degree (although not in chemistry or biology) to complete such a program?

maddox22 said...

And along those same lines: how much overlap is there between, say, a BS/MS in med tech vs a BS/MS in straight chemistry or microbiology?

Mad Hatter said...

I'd love to hear more about what you do for the government. Also, along the lines of maddox22's question, I've heard of microbiology PhDs who do a 2-year (or maybe 3?) clinical residency in lab medicine and then go run clinical labs. Apparently, they can make upwards of 80-90K. Is this similar to a Med Tech position, just with a PhD, or is it something different altogether?

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

I'd be interested in hearing how your job changes in response to different government policies etc. I know a little bit about how the HLA typing labs have been affected...

Rhea Miller said...

Oooooo.....Can we be friends????? :P
You are doing exactly what ive been thinking about doing for a long time. I have begun researching what kind of programs i will need to do in order to work in a clinical lab...and i am definitely interested in government work over industrial...at least for the time being. I really will be looking forward to your posts!!

kcsphil said...

Congrats on your expanding blog influence. Now I have something else to read in the morning.

Yttrai said...

Welcome and thank you for the input!

I feel like i'm the only person who went straight grad school to a job specifically applicable to the grad school ;)