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Curriculum

Curriculum overview

The MGB MLS Training Program is designed to offer students high-quality laboratory science education and hands-on training in a student simulation laboratory. The MLS training program trains future laboratory scientists through a rigorous and integrated curriculum, including hands-on didactic instruction, on-site clinical experiences, and online learning.

The program consists of a didactic training block and clinical training block.

Didactic training block

For the first six months, students will learn the fundamentals of medical laboratory science with lectures and hands-on laboratory experiences in each of the major laboratory disciplines. The didactic component of the MLS program has been divided into major and minor coursework. Major courses include Clinical Chemistry, Hematology, Immunohematology, and Microbiology. Minor courses include Clinical Immunology, Molecular Diagnostics, Urinalysis, and Lab Management & Quality. All courses, except for Lab Management & Quality, will include both in-person lecture and laboratory sessions.

The didactic component of the program is presented with an integrative curriculum, with students taking two major courses and one minor course simultaneously. The courses are mapped in a logical sequence to equip students with the prerequisite knowledge needed to foster connections among each of the laboratory disciplines in our 6-month program. Students must pass each didactic course to progress to the clinical training block of the curriculum.

Clinical training block

The clinical training block is a four-month clinical experience at one of the affiliated MGB hospital clinical laboratories. Students will complete rotations in each of the major laboratory disciplines: chemistry, hematology & coagulation, immunohematology, microbiology, and urinalysis. Students will be required to meet specific competencies while on each rotation.

Program schedule

The MGB MLS program is a 10-month, full-time, in-person program. The didactic training block runs Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the MGB MLS Training Laboratory located in Boston, MA.

While in the clinical training block, students will report to the MGB clinical affiliate for 8 hours, with start times varying from site to site.

Graduation & certificate

Students must complete the entire program to graduate and meet eligibility to sit for a board of certification exam. Criteria for acceptable performance are determined by the student’s academic, practical, and professional performance throughout the entire program. Details and standards regarding academic progression criteria required to complete the program can be found in the Program Policies section of the student handbook.

Upon satisfactory completion of the 10-month program, students will receive a certificate of completion from Mass General Brigham. The MGB MLS program is actively seeking NAACLS accreditation. Upon the program’s receipt of “Serious Applicant Status”, all students that complete the program will be eligible to sit for the Medical Laboratory Science board of certification exam (BOC) through the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) via Route 1.

Certification is a voluntary process. We encourage all graduates to seek certification within twelve months of graduation.

More information

Jennifer Nicoloro, Ph.D., MLS(ASCP)CM
MLS Training Program Director
MLS Instructor

Colby Alves, B.A., MLS(ASCP)CM
MLS Training Program Laboratory Coordinator

Kristin Palladino, M.S., MLS(ASCP)CM
BWH Senior Medical Technologist
MLS Instructor

Elizabeth Szymczak, M.S., MT(ASCP)
MLS Training Program Consultant
MLS Instructor

Nicolas Troisi, M.S., MLS(ASCP)CM
MLS Training Program Manager & Clinical Coordinator
MLS Instructor

MGB Clinical Laboratory Medical Directors, Supervisors, and Senior Techs, in addition to Brigham & Women’s and Mass General Hospital Clinical Pathology residents will provide supplemental lectures in their area of expertise.

Brigham & Women’s Hospital
75 Francis St. Boston, MA 02115

Brigham & Women’s Faulkner Hospital
1153 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Cooley Dickinson Hospital
30 Locust St, Northampton, MA 01060

Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit St, Boston, MA 02114

Newton-Wellesley Hospital
2014 Washington St, Newton, MA 02462

Salem Hospital
81 Highland Ave, Salem, MA 01970

Wentworth Douglass Hospital
789 Central Ave, Dover, NH 03820

MLS.4200 Clinical Hematology
This course will introduce the study of normal and pathologic hematology, with emphasis on hematopoiesis, cellular components, and morphology as it relates to the field of medical laboratory science. Topics include the diagnosis and management of blood cell disorders, the analysis, classification, and monitoring of blood cell abnormalities, and routine and specialized hematology and coagulation testing. In addition, the evaluation of cerebrospinal, serous, and synovial fluids will be discussed. The laboratory portion of the course focuses on routine hematology procedures, including cell enumeration, cell identification, and recognition of abnormalities in both blood and bodily fluids.

MLS.4300 Clinical Chemistry
This course will cover clinically significant lipids, proteins, heme derivatives, hormones, carbohydrate, acid-base balance, and electrolytes. Endocrinology, vitamins, nutrition, therapeutic drug monitoring and toxicology will be included. Principles of test methodology and automation will be covered. Correlation of clinical laboratory data with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders is introduced. Laboratory exercises will reinforce lectures.

MLS.4310 Clinical Urinalysis
This course is an introduction to the study of urine analysis. Topics will include the renal anatomy and physiology, physical, chemical, and microscopic examination of urine, as well as quality control and quality assurance of the examination process, and safety.

MLS.4400 Clinical Microbiology
This course consists of instruction in the basic principles and diagnostic test methods of Clinical Microbiology, including bacteriology, mycology, parasitology, and virology. The clinical significance of commonly isolated pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria will be covered in detail, along with the laboratory procedures required for routine identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of these organisms. The student will be introduced to the taxonomy, life cycles, clinical significance, and laboratory identification of pathogenic and non-pathogenic fungi and parasites. Virus structure and the association between viruses and clinical disease will also be discussed.

MLS.4500 Clinical Immunohematology
This course explores the principals, techniques, and clinical significance of major blood group antigens and antibodies. Topics will include compatibility testing, antibody screening and identification techniques, blood donation and donor selection, transfusion therapy, record keeping, and quality control. The laboratory portion of the course is designed to provide the student with practical experience with foundational laboratory techniques used in the blood bank. The lab will reinforce lecture concepts, including ABO and Rh typing, identification of other red cell antigens, antibody screening and identification, direct antiglobulin testing, cross-matching, and other advanced techniques.

MLS.4100 Clinical Immunology
This course introduces the fundamental concepts of immunology, focusing on the molecules, cells, and tissues associated with the recognition of substances that can elicit an immune response, the various mechanisms via which immune responses are initiated and executed upon recognition of these substances, and the biochemical and physiological regulatory pathways of immune responses. The applications of Immunological principles will be explored through serological methods. Serological methods will be elucidated for the diagnosis of infectious and autoimmune conditions and disease.

MLS.4120 Molecular Diagnostics
This course provides an overview of molecular biology and the clinical application of molecular techniques used to diagnose and manage human disease. An emphasis will be placed on the clinical methodologies used to detect infectious diseases, inherited disorders, cancers, prenatal testing, forensics testing, and DNA-based tissue typing. Techniques discussed include specimen collection and handling, DNA purification, direct and amplified nucleic acid testing, Southern blot analysis, in addition to semiautomated and automated methods. Students will perform hands on laboratory activities in addition to interpretation of clinical data.

MLS.4130 Laboratory Management & Quality
This course will acquaint the student with the many managerial, educational, technical, and administrative theories and practices, as well as moral and ethical issues that may confront the health care professional functioning within a clinical or research laboratory setting. The course will also delve into the topics of total quality management and the processes and responsibilities associated with it.

MLS.4600 Clinical Practicum I: Clinical Hematology & Hemostasis
This course consists of supervised clinical training in the hematology department at an affiliated laboratory. Students will rotate through the core hematology laboratory, including hemostasis. Students will participate and gain hands-on experience with hematology and coagulation instrumentation, quality control, instrument maintenance and operation, result interpretation, critical value reporting, and applying troubleshooting skills to different lab situations.

MLS.4610 Clinical Practicum II: Clinical Chemistry & Urinalysis
This course consists of supervised clinical training in the chemistry and urinalysis departments at an affiliated laboratory. Students will rotate through various benches in the core chemistry lab (elective specifical chemistry lab if available) and urinalysis. Students will participate and gain hands-on experience with multiple clinical chemistry instruments and methodologies, quality control, instrument maintenance and operation, result interpretation, critical value reporting, and application of troubleshooting skills.

MLS.4620 Clinical Practicum III: Immunohematology
This course consists of supervised clinical training in the immunohematology department at an affiliated laboratory. Students will rotate through various benches in the assigned blood bank department. Students will participate and gain hands-on experience with various techniques used in the blood bank to identify antibody/antigen interactions, interpret serologic and clinical data used in the procurement, selection, and preparation of safe blood products for transfusion.

MLS.4630 Clinical Practicum IV: Clinical Microbiology
This course consists of supervised clinical training in the microbiology department at an affiliated laboratory. Students will rotate through the various benches of the bacteriology laboratory. Students will participate and gain experience in performing methods used to isolate and identify clinically significant bacteria, in addition to susceptibility testing. Students will also rotate through either the TB, mycology, parasitology, or virology laboratory.

The MGB MLS Student Handbook provides details on program requirements and policies. The handbook is updated annually.

MGB MLS Student Handbook (2023)

The following outcome measures are tracked and monitored as part of continuous program assessment required for accreditation.

Year

2023 – 2024

Cohort

January

July

Number of Students

6

TBD

Graduation Rate

Students who began the final half of the program and went on to successfully graduate.

NAACLS Benchmark: 70% over 3 consecutive years

TBD

TBD

Employment Rate

Graduates who either found employment in the field (for those who seek employment) or continued their education within one year of graduation.

NAACLS Benchmark: 70% over 3 consecutive years

TBD

TBD

BOC Pass Rate

Graduates who passed the ASCP BOC exam within one year of graduation.

NAACLS Benchmark: 75% or better over 3 consecutive years

TBD

TBD