Akron General's laboratory professionals -- pathologists, technologists and technicians -- check the makeup of blood, urine, body fluids and tissues for early warning signs of disease. They play a critical role in providing patients with the best in health care.

Pathologists are physicians who read and interpret the results of laboratory tests and examine tissues to diagnose and monitor disease.

Technologists are highly skilled professionals who hold a baccalaureate degree and assist the pathologist in discovering what is wrong (or right) with a patient. They perform a full range of laboratory tests from simple, pre-marital blood tests to complex tests that detect cancer. Technologists are also responsible for confirming the accuracy of test results and reporting the findings to the pathologist and other physicians.

Technologists have training in the following specialized areas:

  • Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology (CLS/MT): Blood banking/transfusion services, chemistry, hematology, immunology and microbiology:
  • Cytotechnology (CT): Screening human-cell samples to uncover early signs of cancer and other diseases.
  • Histology (HTL): Preparing body tissue samples for microscopic examination by the pathologist, often while the patient is still in surgery, thus playing a major role in the diagnosis of malignancy.

Technicians have special training in the areas of clinical laboratory science, histology and phlebotomy (the collection of blood samples to be used in laboratory tests). They hold an associate degree and work under the supervision of a technologist.

Career Opportunities 
A career in the medical laboratory combines the challenges and rewards of medicine and science. Academic programs are structured around a strong biological and physical science background.

Akron General sponsors a clinical education training program with the Cooperative Medical Technology Program of Akron, which is a baccalaureate degree-level joint educational effort with the Departments of Laboratory Medicine at Akron General, Summa Health System Hospitals and Akron Children's Hospital. Courses for this program begin annually in July and cover a 52-week period. Click on the link below to obtain further information.

Medical laboratory professionals have unlimited choices of practice settings, including hospitals, for-profit laboratories, clinics, business and industry. They may elect to specialize in research, public health, sales and marketing, consulting, health administration, or pursue a master's or doctoral degree. Laboratory professionals have become physicians, veterinarians, business administrators, computer scientists, research scientists, cell biologists and biomedical engineers.

For more information about these careers and the educational programs available for the clinical laboratory at Akron General, contact:

Rose Ann Crawford, M.S.M.T.
Education Coordinator, Laboratory