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Press Start: Lead an Empowered Life as a Clinical Laboratorian

No Emmy for My Hard Work?

Published December 23, 2012 5:31 PM by Glen McDaniel

I love attending parties. For one, I get to unwind and spend time with friends. But I also love the opportunity of meeting new people and hearing about their lives. I have long realized that I learn much more from listening than I do from talking and there is no shortage of folks wanting to talk, especially at a party.

This last Friday I attended a cocktail party which was studded with a number of individuals from all walks of life and various professions. As the evening progressed I was introduced to a well-known television celebrity who is both an anchor and a correspondent.

Not surprisingly he told me how much he loves his work and how passionately he feels about the importance of what he does and its effect on forging public opinion. That's a certain formula for happiness and success, I thought. But no surprise there.

The surprise came when I mentioned his legendary reporting from areas of conflict and natural disasters. Sure, he feels scared, he says, but he is also something of an adrenaline junkie and gets close to the action as much for himself as the audience. Does he ever think about the feedback he will receive?

"Absolutely," he said. "Any reporter who says he or she is not trying to beat their competitor to a story, to be more dramatic, or to do an Emmy-award winning story is not telling the truth."

Interesting. This could be just one man's take; talking to someone he met innocuously at a party. But his words made me think.

What if those of us in MLS or medicine in general were driven by the same desire to compete and to be dramatic? That is not a luxury or self-indulgence we can afford.  Our focus is just so different; it is concerned with unwavering commitment and consistently sticking to a script regardless of the circumstances or the patient we are serving.

On the other hand, what if we as a profession made it more of a priority to recognize those who make unusual sacrifices every day to serve others. Actors get Emmys or Oscars for doing their job (for which they get paid very well). Singers get Grammys as the icing on their rather rich cake.

Would it be too outrageous to recognize those in other professions like MLS who go over and beyond the call of duty in the service of others? Just a thought.


I think it would even be nice if we got some credit from our supervisor and our pathologist from time to time. One place I work gave MT of the year but it was like a popularity contest. It was not for any achievement or going above the duty.

We hear from manager or pathologist or doctor on teh florr only when they think we mess up. I am not sure if it is just medical technologists but we get no credit, only criticism and punishment. That makes our work very hard.

Myra S January 21, 2013 7:07 PM
Byamon PR

Most of our professional societies are like soroities. They are clubs, mostly female and they just reward each other. AMT and ASCLS  have some annual awards. But when they vote for Med Tech of the year is basically friends voting for friends in a popularity contest. So beibg the top person doesnt mean anything but your friends like you. Then they take turns and give it to teh next person next time around.

Mervyn Jones, MT2 December 24, 2012 10:50 PM
Knoxville TN

Excellent blog. Medicine is about treating everyone and then asking questions later, or sometimes never asking questions about the identity of the patient at all. Most professions even lawyers will take your case ONLY if they agree with your philosophy or if the case will make them rich and famous. Look at all the celebrity lawyers and doctors on TV.

Of all those in healthcare I think clinical laboratory scientists are the most selfless. I dont mean we are the best or that we are high and mighty in some way, but I sure believe we do more without ever being recognized for it. Who ever thanks the lab for a first time sudden diagnosis of leukemia, enemia, pragnancy, diabetes or anything that make treatment begin earlier?

Who thanks the lab when a significant  antibody is identified or a bleeding disorder is managed preventing sudden death?

Just in general we dont get the recognition we deserve, period

Janet Carter December 23, 2012 6:46 PM
San Bernadino CA

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