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Press Start: Lead an Empowered Life as a Clinical Laboratorian

Paying to Speak at CLMA

Published May 2, 2010 8:50 PM by Glen McDaniel

A few years ago I had a thriving consulting business which included speaking at conferences all over the country. I spoke to clinical laboratory groups, healthcare executives, civic groups and a variety of other professionals. I was asked to deliver keynote addresses and had the good fortune of making several overseas trips.

Not only did I enjoy the work, I loved the lifestyle. I was paid handsomely to speak about topics that interested me and even visited several exotic places on someone else's dime. Due to the downturn in the economy (and that didn't affect only the US by the way; several countries felt the pain as well), the business dwindled. I was forced to take a full time traditional job.

This day job pays the bills, but it also means I do not currently have the time or flexibility to entertain the invitations that have recently started to trickle in again.

I was asked to speak at the CLMA conference (ThinkLab 2010) in Las Vegas next week. I gladly accepted and made my arrangements after several logistical hiccups associated with the bureaucracy. For one thing, CLMA organizers and the conference hotel had me staying for 3 nights (as I requested) but they both had different dates-and both were wrong.

Another issue is that attending the conference will actually cost me money as opposed to getting paid handsomely as I had become used to in previous years.

Yet, I will gladly attend. I will use vacation time from my day job to attend this conference. Why? Well, I love speaking and I think I still have something valuable to say. In the past I have agreed to speak at small conferences for a minimal fee as well. I love this profession and am willing to make sacrifices for the advancement of the profession.

I guess the larger point is that rewards are not always monetary in nature; and service is not always convenient or lucrative. But it sure is worth it.


Mr. Glen McDaniel,

I have always read the Advance magazine since my graduation from college.  You have been a source of inspiration and active speaker for the field of lab science.  Once again, you went through a great extend to deliver your message at this CLMA meeting in Las Vegas.  I have been asked to join the CLMA by my associates, yet I do see a problem in it.  I started out by going online and searching for the CLMA website.  Sure enough, I did find it, and started the application process.  I must say, I am a member of a professional organization and well educated throughout my life.  I can not see the reason why anybody would want to be a member of CLMA, which has no ground for being a qualified group.  With another word, who can apply to this CLMA, I tell you who, anybody.  There is no screening process, no qualification requirement, no exam, and worse yet, your personal information is exposed for anybody.  Sure the money they collect for membership should also be questioned by those members and should give them some degree of benefit in their professional growth.  Thank you though Glen for being a sport and presenting your speech for the greater good of the profession.  Sometime we have to loose in order to gain.  

Johnson Madison May 22, 2010 9:58 AM

I did not attend CLMA although it was right in my backyard. I have heard you speak at national meetinhgs before and enjoyed it.  Is this organization the only one that doesnt pay? Is this something new? What do they do with the high fees and registration fees they charge? I think they will lose good speakers of they are not willing to pay.

Jonas B MLS May 14, 2010 4:41 PM
Henderson NV

Mr. McDaniel,

 Kudos to you for taking vacation time to attend and speak at the CLMA conference. In the past I have found it to be one of the premier conferences for laboratory managers. I applaud you for taking your personal time and money to attend and present.

 I am surfing the web tonight looking for blog sites to model a blog site for our medical laboratory technician program at our community college. I'll gladly accept any advice.  I wonder how the name changes for our profession and the merging of the ASCP BOR and the NCA exam will affect how people find out about our profession. What are you hearing at conferences about job titles and people finding out about who we are and what we do for a living? I've been a medical technologist for almost 30 years now and I still find that no one really understands who we are and what we do.

Alisa, Medical Laboratory Technician - Instructor, McLennan Community College May 12, 2010 12:01 AM
Waco TX

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