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Results of the 2020 ASCP Vacancy Survey

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

This month the American Journal of Clinical Pathology released the results of the 2020 ASCP vacancy survey. These results show that vacancy rates are lower in most departments compared with the 2018 report, except for blood bank, chemistry/toxicology, flow cytometry, LIS/QA/PI, molecular pathology, and point-of-care. Retirement rates for most of the departments surveyed continue to decline, suggesting that the largest wave of retirements has passed. Certification requirements continue to increase for the anatomic pathology, cytology, and chemistry/toxicology departments, suggesting that hiring managers need more qualified and certified laboratory personnel in these areas. The abstract is included below or click HERE for the full article.


Objectives

To determine the extent and distribution of workforce shortages within the nation’s medical laboratories.


Methods

The survey was conducted through collaboration between the American Society for Clinical Pathology Institute for Science, Technology, and Public Policy in Washington, DC, and the Evaluation, Measurement, and Assessment Department and Board of Certification in Chicago, IL. Data were collected via an internet survey distributed to individuals who were able to report on staffing and certifications for their laboratories.


Results

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic disrupted the staffing of clinical laboratories and the stream of incoming graduates entering the workforce. Results show decreased vacancy rates for the majority of laboratory positions across all departments surveyed. The overall anticipated retirement rates continue to decline, which suggests that the field has already lost personnel with vast amounts of experience.


Conclusions

Addressing the current and future needs of the laboratory workforce requires a collective effort by numerous groups of stakeholders at all levels, including the laboratory employers, laboratory training programs, health care executives/hospital administrators, and professional organizations. The time is now to address the future shortage of laboratory professionals and to create a resilient clinical laboratory professional workforce.


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