... 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.