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American Society for Clinical Pathology’s Board of Registry Approves New International Certification Category

January 4, 2006

CHICAGO, Jan. 4 /U.S. Newswire/ — For the first time since its formation in 1928, the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s (ASCP) laboratory professionals certification body, The Board of Registry, has approved a new category of certification — ASCP-I (the “I” indicating international certification).

This new certification was developed to accommodate requests from laboratorians, laboratory managers and professional associations in other countries who want to ensure that their training programs and practice standards meet U.S. levels of excellence. “Certification by the ASCP Board of Registry (BOR) is universally recognized as ‘the gold standard’ for credentialing lab professionals,” says E. Blair Holladay, Ph.D., SCT(ASCP), the ASCP vice president who serves as the BOR’s executive director.

“There are thousands of well-trained laboratory professionals practicing in other countries — some 2,000 medical laboratory professionals graduate each year in Korea, alone. Those who choose to sit for and pass the ASCP-I exam will benefit in at least two ways,” Holladay says.

“First, they will know that they have passed the same level of testing that laboratorians practicing in the U.S. have. Second, they will likely become more employable in their home countries because the laboratory employment situation overseas is the exact opposite of that in the U.S. Here, there are more openings than there are candidates. In countries such as Korea, Japan, Singapore and the Philippines, there are more laboratorians seeking work than there are openings. Thus, a laboratory professional with ASCP-I credentials will immediately set her- or himself apart from the rest of the market.”

For the most part the ASCP-I exam will duplicate the exam given in the U.S. Where the test questions will differ is in areas of laboratory practice unique to the U.S. such as OSHA, CLIA and other governmental regulatory questions.

“This new designation,” Holladay says, “will not replace the need for U.S.-designed ASCP BOR certification should a foreign national – - whether credentialed or not — seek certification to work in a U.S. laboratory.

KOREA WILL LAUNCH PROGRAM

Starting this month, ASCP will offer three examinations in the Republic of Korea. They are the Medical Technologist (MT), Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) and the Technologist in Molecular Pathology (MP) exams.

Korean laboratory professionals interested in learning more about the program are encouraged to visit http://www.ascp.org/bor/ international.

While the exams must be taken in one of 120 ASCP-approved international testing sites throughout the world (Pearson Professional Centers), much of the preparation can be accomplished online. Instant registration and practice exams are available online at http://www.ascp.org/bor/international/.

ABOUT THE BOARD OF REGISTRY

The ASCP Board of Registry was formed in 1928 to promote the health and safety of the public by certifying competent laboratory professionals and maintaining a national registry of those who have been certified. It is widely accepted as the most influential leader in the field of certification of medical laboratory professionals in the world.

More than 100 volunteer technologists and technicians, specialists, laboratory scientists, physicians, professional researchers and experts in psychometrics serve on the BOR’s scientific examination committees.

The BOR currently offers 23 certifications and five qualifications in laboratory medicine.

KOREAN CERTIFICATIONS TO BE OFFERED IN JANUARY 2006

Medical Laboratory Technician, MLT(ASCP-I)

The medical laboratory technician performs many routine laboratory tests in blood banking, chemistry, hematology, immunology, microbiology and urinalysis.

Medical Technologist, MT(ASCP-I)

The medical technologist is responsible for the accurate performance of many laboratory tests that determine the presence, absence or causes of specific diseases. A Medical Technologist must be able to conduct a full range of laboratory tests, from routine to complex, with little or no supervision. Medical Technologists also are responsible for the operation of precision instruments and complex medical devices. These individuals may function as supervisors, educators or researchers.

Molecular Pathology Technologist, MP(ASCP-I)

The technologist in molecular pathology is an individual who performs the molecular analysis and diagnosis of acquired, inherited and infectious diseases. This professional is involved in the practice or research of innovative technologies that include histocompatibility/immunogenetics and the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of infectious diseases, cancer, genetic disorders. This professional plays an important role in the evolving area of medicine known as genomics and proteomics.

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