What does the term “technologist” mean to you? When American Medical Technologists was founded in 1939, “medical technologist” described an expert in medical laboratory technology. Over time, the term “technologist” was applied broadly to other professions ranging from medical laboratory science to architecture to food science.
Now, to distinguish the highly specialized, science-based work of credentialed laboratorians, the associations representing laboratory professionals have chosen to standardize the credential title as Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS).
AMT is changing the certification title Medical Technologist (MT) to Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS). This transition to a common nomenclature is also being undertaken by other associations, such as ASCP and ASCLS, with the goal of providing a clear and standardized credential that unifies and highlights the skills and expertise of the profession.
“The adoption by AMT of the Medical Laboratory Scientist designation in lieu of the Medical Technologist designation is warranted and welcome for two important reasons,” said Ken Hawker MLS(AMT), board president of AMT. “First it is appropriate recognition of the level of specialized expertise that the medical laboratory scientist brings to the practice of healthcare diagnostics, which is not adequately reflected in the term ‘technologist.’ The necessity of distinguishing the value of a respected credential specific to the practice of laboratory science cannot be overstated. A second reason for changing the designation is to unify the profession and provide one common voice for advocacy. To that end, AMT joins our laboratory colleagues, ASCP and ASCLS, in standardizing the nomenclature for laboratory roles.”
Just as the practice of laboratory science has evolved since 1939 when a group of medical technologists formed AMT for the purpose of supporting quality in the profession, this name change is another marker of how AMT maintains and advances industry standards. The transition will be phased in over the next year. Other than the credential name for every individual currently certified as Medical Technologist MT (AMT), nothing else will change. Each actively certified MT (AMT) member will be automatically transitioned. Neither the eligibility criteria nor the requirements for maintenance of certification are altered with this designation transition to MLS(AMT).
For more information:
Review the paper Standardizing the Professional Title of Medical Laboratory Professionals summarizing the background of the change.
See the FAQ about what the change means for AMT certified members.