As my classmates and I wrap up the classroom portion of the medical laboratory science (MLS) program and jump into our clinical rotations, I am realizing how knowledgeable we really have become in the field of laboratory medicine. In the past six months, we have studied bacteriology, urinalysis, hematology, hemostasis, chemistry, molecular diagnostics, virology, mycology, and beyond.
We have not only crammed for exams and memorized more bacterial names than we wanted to, but we have truly gained an understanding of the human body and many of its pathologies.
This was put into perspective for me this January, when three of my classmates and I taught a group of local high school students about medical laboratory science through the Mayo Clinic Exploring Program. We presented MLS as a career and explained the significance and methodologies of a few core medical laboratories: chemistry, hematology, microbiology, and transfusion medicine. In the past, presentations were intimidating; however, this one was effortless.
I felt confident in answering students’ questions and was able to rely on my own knowledge instead of textbook definitions.
This experience was such a great opportunity to reflect upon how far we have come and how much we have learned. I think the true test of comprehension is teaching others.
In the coming weeks, I look forward to more hands-on training in Mayo’s medical laboratories. Although this program can be stressful, and at times overwhelming because of the new information and challenges, I know that it is worth it. I’m following and achieving my dream: to learn the science behind medicine.