Emory Healthcare is working to address the community's need for more medical technologists with the opening of its new School of Medical Technology (SMT), and welcomed its inaugural class on Sept. 4.
The Emory Healthcare School of Medical Technology (EHSMT) is a full-time, hospital-based program for applicants with a bachelor's degree (preferably in science) and an interest in laboratory science. Students will be awarded a certificate in medical technology after the completion of the 12-month program.
The initial class consists of seven students and a diverse group of instructors that include experienced medical technologists, pathologists and residents of Emory pathology and laboratory medicine.
"This is an exciting time for Emory as we work to fulfill our educational mission and answer the growing shortage of medical technologists," says John T. Fox, president and CEO of Emory Healthcare.
The program administrators include John D. Roback, MD, PhD, medical director; Marilea Grider, MS, MT (ASCP) program director; and Stacy Steward, MPH, MT (ASCP), laboratory education coordinator. Currently, the United States is experiencing a labor shortage for medical technologists, with student enrollment in medical technology (MT) programs steadily declining.
EHSMT offers incoming students with a new financial assistance option. A 'service-cancelable' financial loan allows students to defer repayment while enrolled in good standing in the EHSMT and an option to cancel repayment in exchange for service work after graduation as described in the promissory note. The loan is designed to help students finance their education and to assist Emory Healthcare recruit and retain well-prepared professional medical technologists.
Emory is currently the only medical technology school in the Atlanta area and, according to Steward, the program is in the process of earning NAACLS accreditation. "Our initial application and preliminary report have been approved and we are in the process of developing our 'self-study' report," notes Steward. "After submitting the self-study report, a site-visit will be conducted by NAACLS representatives and a decision will be made regarding an award of accreditation. We fully anticipate receipt of accreditation."
Aside from Emory, there are currently only three other universities in the state that offer accreditation for medical technology: Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Armstrong University in Savannah, and Thomas University in Thomasville.