Clinical Chemistry Fellowship Program
by Murro,Thomas Alexander — last modified May 25, 2012 01:45 PM
What is Clinical Chemistry?
Currently we think of Clinical Chemistry as the application of biochemical scientific knowledge and techniques towards improving healthcare. Clinical Chemists are really “clinical biochemists, molecular biologists, pharmacologists, etc.” who study basic molecular mechanisms of disease, develop new biological markers and instrumentation, and provide laboratory analysis and professional advice to assist in diagnosis, prognosis, and other indices related to healthcare. As a discipline, it is a fundamental branch of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. More details can be obtained at the web sites for The American Association for Clinical Chemistry and the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry.
What is Clinical Chemistry as a career for me?
Clinical Chemistry serves a pivotal role in the discovery, validation and application of novel biochemical findings in healthcare. As a discipline, Clinical Chemistry is diversified and permits doctoral-level individuals from many different scientific specialties to contribute in very meaningful ways to the healthcare system.
What are some novel scientific applications of Clinical Chemistry?
The discipline of Clinical Chemistry is in process of expanding greatly and the drivers are new technology linked to new discoveries of molecular mechanisms. Some examples of new areas include: pharmacogenomics, diagnostic proteomics, molecular diagnostics, application of bioinformatics, novel imaging techniques coupled with biochemical finding, to mention only a few!
How long will it take to prepare myself professionally in this discipline?
Typically, a postdoctoral fellowship in an accredited Clinical Chemistry program is a minimum of two years with some possibility of a third year of formal training. However, it is understood that, like all professional disciplines, continuous learning is a life-long endeavor and our training teaches you how to prepare yourself for that challenge in future years.
What will this Clinical Chemistry Program do for my career?
For doctoral-level scientists it provides a rewarding alternative career-path involving learning many aspects of medicine which then permits you to bridge the gap between high level technologies, modern clinical biochemistry and their combined application to medical practice. This places you at the forefront of both developing and/or using the latest and most sophisticated novel physical or biochemical techniques adapted to healthcare.
What does Board Certification in Clinical Chemistry mean to me?
Board certification (such as the American Board of Clinical Chemistry [ABCC], or others available) establishes a recognized level of competence and enables you to compete very effectively for the many job avenues available to you after training. In addition, it places you in a category of professionals selected because of their demonstrated achievements including making you eligible for becoming a Fellow of the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry (NACB). Our graduates are highly encouraged to take the board exams after completing our program.
What are my job-placement prospects after completing a ComACC-accredited Clinical Chemistry Fellowship Program?
Because of the wide focus in this training, several different kinds of career opportunities are usually available to individuals completing our Fellowship Program. These include, but are not limited to, placement in industry (developing assays or instrumentation, sales force, clinical trials, customer services), in hospitals as laboratory directors, in universities as faculty and clinical laboratory directors, at teaching institutions/associations, at healthcare management associations, at basic research institutions, at pharmaceutical companies. Some adjustments can be made to your training emphasis, depending on your particular career interest.