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Press Start: Lead an Empowered Life as a Clinical Laboratorian

Lab Organizations Onboard for Legislative Day

Published December 9, 2010 7:10 PM by Glen McDaniel

The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) announced that it is being joined by sister organizations CLMA, ASCP, and AMT  to observe  the 2011 Legislative Symposium. Observed by ASCLS since  1989, Legislative Symposium (or Legislative Days, as it is commonly called) will be observed March 21-22, 2011.

This is a couple of days when laboratorians from all over the country descend on Washington. They engage in discussions, workshops on the political system, and talks from experts on the major legislative and workforce issues facing laboratorians. A part of this initiative is to have members meet with key legislators and their own representatives. Most legislators are more than happy for the photo-op of meeting someone from "back home." It is also a great way to educate legislators about who we are and what we do.

It is very gratifying that these organizations are joining ASCLS. For way too long, our professional organizations have battled each other and jostled for dominance. The loser has been the profession as a whole. Many professions have generalist and specialist organizations with members often belonging to several, based on interest, specialty and level of practice. Why don't laboratorians do the same?

In most states where personnel licensure has gone down to defeat, it has been largely because of professional infighting where some laboratory group muddies the waters by suggesting licensure is costly and unnecessary. Legislators, unaware of our value and education, just see the dissension and division.

Our organizations have also been mute and apparently disinterested in larger healthcare issues while every other professional and consumer group weighs in.

The Legislative Symposium is a good thing and we should tell our professional organizations that working together will benefit all of us. We can win together, instead of lose individually.


Hassan, I have heard nothing but rave reviews about Legislative Day. I have not spoken to one attendee who has been disappointed. This is really an effective way for us as a profession to get on the radar screen as far as legislators are concerned. It is also a good experience for laboratorians to learn how the legislative process works.

Glen McDaniel December 14, 2010 2:08 PM

Leg Day is a GREAT experience. I encourage as many people to participate.

Hassan Aziz December 11, 2010 9:58 AM

You are right. We definitely need to work together more. I am flabbergasted at how much our organizations fight each other. I remember when some pathologists would only hire ASCP techs because they said ASCP was the only legitimate organization.  Every organization  say they are better than the other and all they try to do is take your money. They do nothing to help us. It's all about them and making money.

I think this legislative day is a good move. This is the first i am hearing about it but it is a good idea. I hope ASCLS, ASCP, CLMA and AMT continue to work together on other projects as well.

Stephanie MT(ASCP) December 10, 2010 5:13 PM
Tampa FL

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