December 2005 Mentor of the Month Q&A Session: Mitchell Scott
Welcome to SYCL's Mentor of the Month.  Questions and Answers will be displayed below...

Sir Professor Michell Scott, I met together to Annual Meeting AACC from Orlando,FL,in 07/25-29/2005,in quality of Winner , Award"International Travel Grant,for two time,for me, as the Member AACC,ID#76664,Member ASCLS-USA,ID#219762,since 2001 and Fellow NACB-Member/2005. Please,tell me ,which is the posibility for me to obtain a Sponsorsheep for a doctoral level,in your Laboratory,which you lead. I am looking forward you,to Annual Meeting AACC,IN 07/23-27/2006,Chicago. The Best Regards! Dr. Aurelian Udristioiu;MD, County Hospital Tg-Jiu, Clinical Laboratory, Romania
Tg-Jiu/ROMANIA

Mitchell G. Scott, PhD
Dr. Udristioiu, I will contact you separately about our application process.

Do you think that market demand for clinical chemistry trained postdocs is sufficiently met today? Will additional clinical chemistry postdoc programs be warranted to meet market needs in the next few years?
Chicago, IL

Mitchell G. Scott, PhD
The age demographics of both pathologists and PhD lab directors is such that I believe demand will be high for both in the near future. It is not unreasonable to estimate that almost half of todays pathologists and PhD lab directors will be retiring in the next ten years. At current training levels neither the number of new pathologists or PhDs from accredited programs appear to be able to fill this void. So, I think there is room for more training at the PhD level - the real question is how to fund these slots.

How much of a generalist (meaning in depth understanding of all lab areas) should the clinical chemist be 5-10 years from now? Is this even feasible in today's technological landscape?
Chicago, IL

Mitchell G. Scott, PhD
Good question and one we struggle with. I feel that any lab director, be they MD or PhD, needs a good background in the traditional areas - QA, electrolytes, endocrine testing, blood gases, cardiac markers, lipids, diabetes, etc. etc. After all, this still constitutes well over 90% of the testing we do. At the same time it is necessary to stay current with new technology and tests. Our approach is to train in the traditional areas mainly by didactic teaching and to stay up to date through a series of seminars and journal clubs(4-5 a week) where both faculty and resident/fellows present the newer literature. Whenever new tests or approaches are incorporated into didactic teaching it is always a tough call as to what to delete. Where you focus your research during your training is probably where you will gain your "specialist" label and this will be up to you and your mentor. No matter how much of a specialist you become, if you are a lab director, you will still likely need to need to know how to trouble shoot a sodium or a creatinine method.

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