A Snapshot of Mayo Clinic’s Medical Laboratory Science Program

Our journey began as 24 strangers standing in the lobby of the Mayo Clinic Stabile Building, anxiously waiting for our new adventure to begin. We didn’t exactly know what we were getting into, but we were excited nonetheless.

Now, just two months later, we have been through multiple classes and spent countless hours studying together. We have successfully completed courses in Westgaurd quality control, urinalysis, microbiology, hematology, and we just started our first clinical chemistry class. Needless to say, we have all been very busy with our studies, and time has flown by.

The Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) program is structured so we only take two classes at a time, but they are run at an accelerated rate. For example, a pathogenic bacteriology class that is usually taught in one semester is taught in just six weeks. That means, we spend our mornings in the lab and each night going through the lessons that will be covered the next day. This also means that we have exams and quizzes more frequently. In an average week, we have about two written exams, one practical exam, three quizzes, four homework assignments, and five self-assessments. Whew!

This program is a lot of work, but it is also very rewarding. Every test we run or specimen we examine impacts a patient’s life, and that is why we are working extremely hard to know as much as we can.

We still have a lot to learn with much more of this program to get through, but the next big thing on our schedule is our first break, which we are all looking forward to enjoying.

Ciara Dollar

Ciara is a student in Mayo’s MLS class of 2019, and will also graduate from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in Clinical Laboratory Science. She is from Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin and enjoys her new home in Minnesota. When she’s not busy with school, Ciara loves to travel, read, and spend time outdoors with her dogs.