Warning: This article contains strong and provoking words that may discourage some of the readers who are currently taking bachelor of science in medical technology and/or bachelor of science in laboratory science as it is called now.
UPDATE (3/12/2012): The comment section for this article is closed because it has gotten too long. You can find other articles related to medtech here.
BS Medical Technology (BSMT) or also known as medtech was one of the best science course one can take in Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP) during my study there. The sight of medtech clinical students (CD) wearing white uniform and black pants for the guys with a silver name tag shining sent an exclusive image for those who wear it.
The course was designed to only allows the smartest and the brightest to survive. It was famous for its hectic schedule, long laboratory hours, and difficult curriculum. All of these create a mysterious impression of the course itself and its students altogether.
Having all of these characteristics plus the banner that constantly announced the course’s top notchers in the Philippines medical technology board exam, the course receives high respect from the campus community. Thus the future seems bright for the medtech graduates.
However, the question is, is it true? Is the future really going to be dazzling for the medtech graduates, who are mostly the brightest students of the campus? This is the question that I’m trying to answer through this article.
Medical Technology Graduates Different Professions
Three years after I graduate from medical technology and I realize it is still a short period for concluding about the course’s graduate performance. However, from my observation there is no much difference though the period is lengthened. Most of the medical technologist are working in hospital and clinic laboratories, which does not provide much room for career advancement besides to become the laboratory department head.
Then there are medical technologist who work in hospitals but not necessarily in laboratories, they might work in other hospital departments.
The remaining of the medical technology graduate does not work in hospital nor clinic at all.
Every individual has different motivations, something that drives the individual to choose what he/she choose. There are certainly many different reasons why someone chose medical technology as bachelor’s degree course.
I personally chose BSMT because I was going to take medical school (which deferred permanently) and also because for the course pride. I thought I deserve to be in one of the most respected course in AUP. I wanted to be one of the elite.
I know some of my batchmates who have motivation that is not so difference with mine.
Other medical technologists I know have different stories about how they took the course. One that I personally know said that she took medical technology because it was the course that has the shortest ‘pila’ (queue) during registration day.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to motivations why someone take BSMT. However, if money was one single motivation then I suggest the person to take a course shift form immediately and that person will thank me later on.
Why? Not because BSMT cannot bring money, but because it is too much hassle if making money is the only motivation. There are certainly other course that consumes less time and resource, and allow the graduates to work in a profession that can bring a lot more money than BSMT.
When The Brightest Is Not The Richest
This is the part that may disappoint most of the BSMT students.
I think I’m going to tell you upfront that some BSMT graduates I know make less money than other course graduates. Not only that, the BSMT graduates also have lower work opportunities than other course graduates.
It’s just the way it is. That’s how the real world value the medical technologist profession. In investing terms, the BSMT sadly gives lower Return On Investment (ROI) compared to other course degree.
But how could this possible?
I’m not really sure about the exact answer. But partly, it could be because of the market law of demand and supply. Somehow the demand for medical technologist is not that much compared to other profession, and thus the medical technologist’s salary may not be as good as the other profession.
But how about in US? I heard the salary there is good..
Yes. Fortunately the medical technologist salary in US is good enough compared to other coutries such as Philippines and Indonesia. But are all medical technologist will be able to go to US? I’m not sure about that. Plus, if you notice, other profession in US can give the same salary with medical technology, if not better.
The Lessons, Wisdoms, and Thoughts
Keep in mind that the reason why I write this post is not to discourage the BSMT students nor to disrespect any BSMT graduates. Medical Technology, in my opinion, is still one of the best course one can take in AUP.
If you have passion to be a Medical Doctor, then by all means try to take medtech as your undergraduate course. It is so far the best course you can take to prepare for medical school because you will find most of the medtech subjects repeated in the medical school. Most of the brightest medical school students I know are medtech graduates.
Or if you have passion to be a Medical Technologist, I also strongly recommend you to listen to your heart and take BSMT. There is no one more successful than someone who be the person who that someone wants to be. The field of medical technologist is indeed an interesting and challenging one.
But if you are not sure and you neither wants to be a medical technologist nor medical doctor, I suggest you to take other course that suits you better. Because the pain that needs to be undergone in medtech clinical division and internship is really not for everyone.
I personally believe that money is not everything and is not a measurement of success. Although I brought the issue of salary, it is not my intention to measure medical technology course using salary. I only wanted to present the fact that the medtech students should know.
Lastly, this post is not about discrediting BS Medical Technology course. But it is rather about asking one’s motivation taking BSMT, the course that I’m really proud to have as my bachelor’s degree.