ASCP Career Ambassador to Change Perceptions about Lab Professionals in the Philippines
Monday, March 5, 2012
In the Philippines, patients often mistake medical laboratory professionals for nurses. To change that perception was one of the motivations for Robert John S. Lamis, MT(ASCPi) to become the first ASCP Career Ambassador to serve outside of the United States.
“Just as in the United States, medical laboratory professionals in the Philippines are the most misunderstood allied health professionals,” said Mr. Lamis, who works as an instructor and international medical technologist at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos, Bacolod City, Philippines. “Even medical doctors do not fully understand and appreciate what we do for patients. I decided to apply for the ASCP Career Ambassador program to raise awareness about the medical technology profession, especially for pre-college students.”
Another parallel to the United States is the shortage of laboratory professionals. Mr. Lamis explains that his country currently has a surplus of nurses but is in dire need of laboratory professionals.
“It is important to make our profession known and to give graduating high school students more options,” he said. Already, Mr. Lamis has given several presentations to high school students. From his experience at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos, he feels at home making presentations and is enthusiastic about value of medical laboratory science for improving patients’ well-being.
High school students have been impressed not only by his presentations but by his credential as serving as a Career Ambassador outside the United States for the largest organization of laboratory scientists in the world. He wears the ASCP laboratory coat that has his name, credentials, and the ASCP logo during his presentations. “The lab coat gives me an aura of ‘awesomeness’ according to the students,” Mr. Lamis said.
His childhood dream was to become a scientist, and he has achieved it by becoming an international medical technologist. “The analytical aspects of being a medical laboratory scientist appeal to me the most,” Mr. Lamis said. “Every result generated by a standardized procedure has to be triangulated with quality control and diagnostic expertise.”
He decided to earn his ASCP Board of Certification (BOC) international certification because it sets him apart from other international medical technologists in the Philippines. The ASCP BOC international certification is recognized as a distinction worldwide. For now, however, he is focused on obtaining a scholarship grant abroad.