There are many ways to expand one’s knowledge of pathology and laboratory medicine, from attending conferences to networking and taking on new responsibilities. Check out what your pathologist, laboratory professional and resident colleagues recommend for advancing your career!
“I have always had a passion in medical laboratory science. Being exposed to it at a young age, I developed an interest in the profession. In my 13 years as a medical technologist, I have always built goals for myself every year, goals that challenged me, personally and professionally. I have a passion for learning. I took on jobs that challenged me, even if they were tough and uncomfortable at times. I went to graduate school and took specialist exams.”
“I always engage with other professionals through professional conferences. I remember attending an ASCP conference session on the peripheral blood smear with Irma Pereira, MT(ASCP)SH. That seminar sparked my interest to master my craft as a hematology laboratory scientist and drove me to concentrate my graduate studies in hematology and eventually get my master’s degree.”
Carlo Ledesma, SH(ASCP)CMMT(ASCPi)QLS
“1) Be selective in accepting projects. Every “yes” will come at the expense of other opportunities, self-care and family time because there is a fixed amount of time each day. 2) Follow your passions and natural talents so that you are excited to wake up and start your day. 3) Advance your academic goals every day, even if only for a few minutes. This will result in substantial progress over a week. 4) Develop your professional presence on social media! There are so many opportunities on social media that can amplify your current efforts and provide extraordinary opportunities that aren’t typically as available by the usual routes (editorial boards, chairs of committees, invited lectureships). 5) Know your promotion or partner track criteria as soon as you start your job so you can direct your efforts accordingly. 6) Don’t be afraid to nominate yourself. 7) Contribute to good karma by also looking for ways to help others. 8) Have a blast! There is no perfect job and all careers have hiccups, but, ultimately, being employed is a great accomplishment. Don’t forget that not too long ago, this job was probably exactly what you wished for.”
Christina A. Arnold, MD, FASCP
“Early in residency, I decided to say ‘yes’ to extracurricular and research opportunities that came my way. I have done my best to broaden my horizons by getting involved in activities that sounded interesting to me even when I didn’t have related past experience. You never know what you will enjoy and/or be good at until you try! Each project that is done well can also open doors to more opportunities. Getting to know faculty at your home institution, attending meetings and networking with people from other institutions all have their benefits! Joining the ASCP Resident Council, in particular, has been a unique and mind-opening experience.”
Stephanie Skala, MD