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When planning the Society for Young Clinical Laboratorians’ workshop at the 70th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo, Rob Nerenz, PhD, wanted to address an important communication gap. Talking with last year’s attendees, “it became clear to me that a lot of people see a disconnect between their lab’s medical director and administrator. Sometimes the people in these two positions work well together, sometimes not,” Nerenz, assistant director of clinical chemistry at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and organizer of the SYCL workshop, told CLN Stat.

The 2018 SYCL Workshop, from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on July 28, will offer a prescription for developing strong relationships between lab medical directors and administrators, for raising labs’ visibility within healthcare organizations, and for ensuring uniform lab services across multiple hospitals and clinics. This event is just one of several exciting offerings for young laboratory professionals at the 70th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in Chicago.

Equal parts lecture and interactive, the goal of the SYCL workshop is to expose young laboratorians to the potential for conflict between lab directors and administrators, and offer solutions for these professionals to understand each others’ roles and work better together.

Attendees will get a sense of what lab administrators and directors do, what their career trajectory looks like, what keeps them up at night, how their job performance is evaluated and rewarded, and the strategies they’ve used to strengthen relationships with the other party, Nerenz said.

The workshop’s second half will introduce administrative concepts young laboratorians may not be familiar with, such as how to learn to speak the language of healthcare administrators when purchasing new instruments. “Most laboratorians in describing an instrument they’re interested in purchasing would look at its sensitivity and specificity and its turnaround time. But administrators don’t care about that. They want to know about the return on investment and the service contract parameters,” Nerenz explained.

The SYCL mixer immediately follows the workshop from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The World’s Fair is this year’s theme, highlighting inventions and innovations introduced in days gone by, such as cotton candy and Cracker Jack. Nerenz emphasized that attendees should bring cash for the raffle, which sponsors SYCL travel grants that support SYCL member attendance at the Annual Scientific Meeting.

Young professionals should also plan to attend the annual ABCC-SYCL Joint Reception on July 30 from 6:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. The American Board of Clinical Chemistry will acknowledge new diplomates and presents a series of awards and honors while SYCL will present service, mentorship, and outstanding roundtable awards and SYCL travel grants. Other grant and award recipients are also recognized, including student oral presentation and poster contest winners.

Nerenz is living proof that networking can lead to great opportunities. At his first AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in 2013, Nerenz, then a clinical chemistry fellow at Washington University in St. Louis, got a tap on the shoulder at the ABCC-SYCL reception, which led to a full-time faculty position.

He likens the Annual Scientific Meeting to a big family reunion. “Everyone’s in one place, and it leads to chance encounters that can have profound consequences for us professionally and for our institutions,” Nerenz told CLN Stat.

Register now for the 70th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo July 29–August 2 in Chicago to attend these SYCL events.