A Reflection on the Past 12 Weeks of the MLS Program

It’s hard to believe we’re already twelve weeks into our program. In only three months, we’ve finished six classes, and now we’re two weeks into two more. Clinical Microbiology was one of the first classes we took—and one I felt the most nervous going into. I came into this program as a post-baccalaureate with a biochemistry major. While I took many chemistry courses during my undergrad, my biology background was much more limited. It was also intimidating to know that many of my classmates, who are here finishing their clinical laboratory science degrees, had already taken a class very similar to this one. However, all of my nerves going into the course were quickly calmed.

All of our classes start on an "even ground" with no assumptions about prior knowledge apart from the required prerequisites. Therefore, I never felt behind, even though I was learning most of the material for the first time. I also found that my instructors and my fellow classmates with prior clinical microbiology experience were all very helpful and supportive. I was nervous that I would start this program and have second thoughts about medical lab science, but I found the material to be fascinating.

There are so many cool bacteria in this world!

Our final lab for this course was a set of unknown bacteria given to us on swabs. We were tasked with plating our unknowns and identifying them. While the lab was most certainly challenging, it was amazing to see how much we learned in such a short period of time.

I felt almost like a detective piecing together test results to come to an identification.

Although the pace of this program is much faster than traditional learning, I’ve found it to be very manageable with good time-management and study habits.

Makenzie Fong

Makenzie Fong is a student in the Mayo Clinic Medical Laboratory Science program. She graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 2017 with degrees in Biochemistry and Chinese. She is originally from California and is anxiously awaiting her first Minnesota winter.