UH Med Now
Gov. David Ige’s proclamation focuses on Medical Laboratory Professionals
Faculty in the Medical Laboratory Science Program (Medical Technology) (left to right) Program Director Dick Y. Teshima, MPH, MT (ASCP), Ray M Yamaguchi MPH, MT(ASCP) , Ji-Sook Ha, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, and Sheri Gon, MPH, MLS(ASCP)CM. Paula Bender/JABSOM photo.
By Paula Bender, JABSOM News
Since 1946, the Medical Laboratory Science Program at the University of Hawaii has produced healthcare professionals who perform complex medical lab procedures that are necessary for a clinician to make appropriate and timely medical decisions for their patients.
Federal rules require that Medical Laboratory Scientists possess valid national certification; in Hawaii, a state licensure is required. This program is JABSOM’s only undergraduate curriculum.
Dick Teshima, MPH, MT (ASCP), leads a small staff of faculty scientists who teach students who first earn a Medical Lab Technician (MLT) associate degree from Kapiolani Community College or other community colleges with appropriate curriculum. Armed with their associate degree, these students then pursue the final two years of study to become medical laboratory scientists in Teshima’s department, the only undergraduate degree program taught at JABSOM. A second-degree admission route is also available for those who possess a bachelor’s degree and the appropriate pre-requisite preparations.
In order to achieve the continuing accreditation, the program must satisfy the NAACLS standards: program structure and administrative support from UHM and JABSOM, relationships with clinical affiliates, up-to-date curriculum and qualifications of faculty members, adequate resources, admission procedures and other student issues, evidence of systematic assessment, and other standards.
Many programs on the mainland have closed in the past few years, contributing to the national shortage of the medical laboratory professional workforce. JABSOM Medical Laboratory Science program continues to thrive. Its graduates provide COVID-19 testing results while continuing to assist with the analytics of other patient conditions.