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Outside the Lab Profession

Reach Out

When you think about the connections you’ve made throughout your career, who comes to mind? Is it someone who has been a mentor to you? Is it someone who helped you take the next step in your career? Maybe it was someone who sparked an idea for a new research project or inspired a new process that you implemented in your laboratory. Perhaps the connection that comes to mind is a lecturer whose insight helped you find the solution to a seemingly unsolvable issue. 

As pathologists and medical laboratory scientists, we see connections everywhere. How we leverage them can create defining moments – big and small – in both our personal and professional lives. When we build robust connections and as networks start to take shape within our professional community, we not only enhance our own visibility, but the visibility of our profession. And we open doors to opportunities and pathways that may have remained unexplored otherwise. Creating and fostering meaningful connections provides us insights to a flourishing and rewarding professional journey. 

Creating those connections, however, can often feel daunting; you may not know where to start. The answer is simple: start where you are. Whether you are new to practice or a seasoned professional, pathologists and medical laboratory scientists benefit immensely from networks within their own organizations; connections with peers can help expand their knowledge base and position themselves for career growth. For external relationship building, professional organizations like the American Society for Clinical Pathology level up your opportunity to connect with others – through mentorship programs, live learning events, online communities, and more. 

Collaboration lies at the heart of progress in pathology and medical laboratory science. When we establish and nurture professional connections, we facilitate collaboration among professionals from diverse backgrounds and specialties. By engaging with colleagues, sharing insights, and exchanging best practices, pathologists and medical laboratory scientists can enhance their problem-solving abilities, learn new techniques, and contribute to advancements in healthcare.

What’s more, effective networking enables pathologists and medical laboratory scientists to build their reputation and influence within the industry. By actively engaging with peers, participating in professional events, and sharing expertise, individuals can establish themselves as thought leaders and trusted experts.

Yes, it can be intimidating to take that first step – to put yourself out there and try to create connections with others. However, as leaders in care, a strong professional reputation isn’t something that is simply nice to have, it is essential. And it can pave the way for so much – from leadership roles and collaborations with other influential institutions and organizations, to ultimately improving patient care.

By fostering a culture of collaboration and knowledge exchange, we collectively elevate the standards and impact of our profession. The power of connections cannot be overstated in how they can shape the success and impact of individuals and the profession. Embracing networking as a strategic tool is not just about personal gain but also about contributing to the collective growth and advancement of the laboratory and grounding ourselves in the knowledge that we are leaders in care.

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About the Author
E. Blair Holladay

CEO of the American Society for Clinical Pathology

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