Re: Fwd: Re: histotechs

From:Robert Wadley <>

         Dear Ian

         Terminology differences are again clouding the debate.

         A technician (at least when & where I went to school) requires no 
formal education (apart from High School), in the lab they are at the 
bottom of the heap, & generally speaking they don't train anybody who is 
working or intending to work at a higher level, ie a scientist.

         PhDs (Please take no personal offence) are usually considered (at 
least in the 'real world' of pathology labs) to be lower than techs, all 
brains & no idea.  The situation is of course rather different in 
'Institutions of Learning'.

         I think other commentators have hit the nail on the head.  A 
professional is someone who belongs to a recognised professional 
organisation & participates in ongoing training & education.

         Both my Degree & Grad Dip required passes in practical sessions 
(50% of each subject) at greater than 60%.  Being a scientist is not just 
all the theory, practicality in Medical Laboratory Science is 
essential.  Those students brilliant in theory but all thumbs at the bench 
were usually quietly shuffled off to Masters, PhD's & careers away from 
benches (even away from medical science)!

         Training is an essential ingredient, not everything can be learnt 
at the bench, you have to be able to step back & read a journal article or 
speak with colleagues doing different things.  But, somewhere you have to 
draw a line, set a standard, sit an exam.  Sooner or later you have to have 
an education.



At 17:13 05/24/2001 +0100, Dr. Ian Montgomery. wrote:

Robert Wadley,
Laboratory Manager
Cellular Analysis Facility  *** Services now available 24 hrs/7days ***
School of Microbiology & Immunology
UNSW, New South Wales, Australia, 2052
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Ph (AH) +61 (2) 4323 3367
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