Graduation Is upon Us

It's finally that time of year: the days get longer, the sun starts shining, and graduation is rapidly approaching. The past months in the program have been filled with ups and downs and everything in between. We have gone from being a group of awkward strangers trying to make sense of all of the information we have been expected to learn to a group of friends ready to step up as part of the next generation of laboratory scientists. Between didactics and rotations, we have learned an incredible amount since July, and now graduation is finally visible as a light at the end of the tunnel. However, we still have some big events before we officially enter the world of lab science.

For those of us staying here at Mayo Clinic, we are patiently—and nervously—awaiting the results of our Medical Laboratory Science "match." This unique program gives us the opportunity to rank open positions in which we are interested, and it gives laboratory supervisors an opportunity to select us in return. Over the past week, we have all compared our choices, gauging who would be interested in the same positions.

I don’t think a day went by without at least one of us asking, “So, have you done your match yet?” or “What did you list as your top choice?”

Now, all we have to do is wait, which is much easier said than done.

Then, even after we graduate in May and receive our job placements, there is still one final step before our journey is complete: the ASCP Board of Certification (BOC) exam. Our program has done a fantastic job of ensuring that we not only have the skills necessary to do our jobs as lab scientists, but we also have the knowledge we will need to pass this exam. Of course, we do have some intense studying to do before our test day comes. Practicing BOC questions and reviewing old notes are excellent ways to pack in all of this information, but they are not the most exciting.

Instead, we have been creating more entertaining ways to study, such as playing quiz games online or making our own homemade BOC version of Candyland.

These games give us the opportunity to learn the material in a much more interesting way, as well as the opportunity for some friendly competitions. When the exam day rolls around, we will all be well-prepared, and after that, we will be well-prepared to begin our jobs as laboratory scientists.

Elizabeth Gamache

Elizabeth Gamache is a student in Mayo’s Medical Laboratory Science class of 2018, and will also graduate from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in Clinical Laboratory Science. She was born and raised in Wisconsin, but enjoys the adventure of living in a new state. When she’s not doing schoolwork, Elizabeth enjoys reading, hiking, finding local coffee shops, and exploring new places.