CSMLS releases results of graduate employment survey

    Lack of full-time employment opportunities for newly certified lab techs
    raises concerns about future access to lab testing in Canada

    HAMILTON, ON, Nov. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - Results of a survey conducted by the
Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) reveal a lack of
full-time employment positions for graduates of medical laboratory science
    In October of 2006, surveys were sent to 595 people who were certified by
CSMLS as medical laboratory technologists in 2005. Respondents are asked to
indicate their employment status 12 months after graduation. Two hundred and
thirty-two people responded for an overall response rate of 39 per cent, and
included 208 general medical laboratory technologists; 11 clinical genetics
technologists; and 13 diagnostic cytologists. Of the 88.5 per cent of
respondents who reported seeking full-time employment, only 40.4 per cent was
    "The lack of full-time, permanent employment has been an increasing
concern in the health care community for more than a decade," comments CSMLS
executive director Kurt Davis.
    "Hiring new graduates into casual or part-time positions may meet
employers' immediate needs today, but in the long term, the lack of job
stability and security will serve as a disincentive to enter the medical
laboratory profession," he says.
    Closely related to this is the critical concern of lab professional
shortages. Shortages in the field of medical laboratory science are very well
documented in several reports on health human resources since 1999. "Over half
of Canada's medical laboratory technologists will be eligible to retire by the
year 2016," adds Davis. "This is a serious concern for the medical laboratory
profession and it must be addressed."
    A clear example of the looming lab shortage problem was brought to a
number of individuals' attention with the temporary closing of the Fishermen's
Memorial Hospital lab in Nova Scotia. Lunenburg Mayor Laurence Mawhinney made
the announcement public, explicitly stating that the temporary closure was
precipitated because of staff shortages in the lab at South Shore Regional
    "Up to 85 per cent of decisions about diagnosis and treatment are based
on results of tests performed by medical laboratory technologists. A shortage
of medical laboratory technologists will put a strain on the health care
system and compromise the ability to respond to the threat of new infectious
diseases," says Davis. "Long-term planning for the human resource needs for
the medical laboratory science profession in Canada is needed without delay."
    To view the full results of the 2006 Graduate Employment Survey, please
visit www.csmls.org. Version française disponible.

    CSMLS is the national certifying body for medical laboratory
technologists and medical laboratory assistants, and the national professional
society for Canada's medical laboratory professionals. The society has over
14,000 members.

For further information:

For further information: Kurt Davis, Executive Director, (905) 528-8642
ext. 11, kurtd@csmls.org

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Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science

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