[ASC-media] Who do you rely on when you need a medical test result?

bmullahy at bigpond.com bmullahy at bigpond.com
Thu May 13 08:55:12 EST 2004

Who do you rely on when you need a medical test?

Medical scientists working in a laboratory.

This week is National Medical Laboratory Science Week (NMLSW). The theme
'Medical Scientists Get Results' is designed to raise awareness about the vital
role medical scientists play in keeping Australians healthy.

A recent government report in the UK stated that up to 70% of all (medical)
diagnoses depend on laboratory tests produced by medical scientists.

Medical scientists are the 'invisible' health professionals who perform medical
tests on blood, body fluids and other body tissues. The test results are used
to diagnose, monitor and identify appropriate treatment for infection and

While most people will never see medical scientists at work, or even know they
exist, almost everybody will have benefited from the services of a medical
scientist during their life.  

"Literally hundreds of tests are conducted by medical scientists everyday -
tests that are responsible for diagnosing diseases and keeping the people of
Australia healthy," says Alan Turner, Chair of the Victorian Branch of the
Australian Institute of Medical Scientists (AIMS). 

"Some important tests include the detection of meningococcal infection, blood
sugar tests for diabetics, tissue sampling for skin cancer and testing of blood
groups to ensure compatible blood transfusions. These and many more tests are
performed by dedicated and highly motivated medical scientists who work
behind-the-scenes - and although our role may not be visible, it is vital to
medicine and the diagnostic process."

National Medical Laboratory Science Week (NMLSW) is an activity coordinated by
the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists (AIMS) to promote the role of
diagnostic medical laboratories and their staff in the maintenance of the
health of the nation.  

Medical scientists work in hospital laboratories, private pathology
laboratories, state health laboratories, forensic laboratories, universities
and research institutes.  In larger hospitals and laboratories, medical
scientists usually specialise in a specific discipline, such as immunology,
cytology, haematology, cytogenetics or blood transfusion.  

Displays, seminars and laboratory tours are now being held in hospitals,
laboratories, shopping centres, libraries and schools around the country to
give people the opportunity to learn more about the vital work of medical

For information on National Medical Laboratory Science Week visit

For other NMLSW press releases visit

For further information contact:

Alan Turner
Associate Professor of Haematology, RMIT University 
Chair of Australian Institute of Medical Scientists, Victorian Division
Alan.Turner at rmit.edu.au
W: 03 9925 7068 
H: 03 9785 2208
M: 0402 102 990

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