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Meet the next generation of smart - Medical Laboratory Scientist Program

23-year old Peyton Spotts heard about becoming a medical laboratory scientist during his junior year at University of Missouri. "It sounded interesting and something I would like to do, so I went with it."

But before Spotts and his fellow students earn their certification, they must graduate, as the inaugural class, from the Medical Laboratory Scientist Program at Truman Medical Centers/University Health.

Peyton Spotts, Alex Tush, and James (JD) Dandridge all grew up in the metro. They recently earned bachelor degrees in health sciences, biology, and microbiology, respectively.

In March of 2020, when the pandemic was forcing shutdowns, Spotts, Tush, and Dandridge were thrilled to be accepted to a new certification program that would mean spending hours upon hours in the laboratory at Truman Medical Centers/University Health.

The Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) Program offers college graduates hands-on, intense training for a career that is highly in demand. “It’s 30 credit hours in a year. It’s hard core science,” said Mary Tiano, a medical lab scientist who heads the certification training. Tiano explained that what makes the TMC/UH program special is the low teacher to student ratio. “We do 1:1 in the lab when we are training, which is unheard of,” she said.

For Tush, the benefit of training at TMC/UH, an academic medical center, is being able to help identify what is ailing chronically ill patients who come to the hospital in need of life saving care. “I would say if we were anywhere else, you do not get this kind of hands-on experience. Lab scientists have told me that they get to be part of identifying pathologies that other students only see in textbooks.”

The students say that since it’s estimated 70-80% of diagnostic care is based off of lab results, they know how important it is to be accurate. And for patients at TMC/UH, having well trained lab scientists brings them one step closer to treatment.

The students graduate on May 21, 2021 and all three have accepted positions to be medical lab scientists at TMC/UH. The next class starts this June. It’s made up of six women looking to be a critical piece of patient care. If you would like to learn more about the MLS program, click this link.