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  1. #1
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Default transitioning: high tech to medical???

    I am curious if anyone here has transitioned from high tech into the medical field, know someone who has, or who has heard about it. If so, was it a go-back-to-school for a degree and certification thing , or a more direct transition?

    For those who don't know, I'm an INFP in science/physics research, and amongst other things have worked with lasers. I haven't heard of any medical jobs such as "laser therapist" however. There is MRI tech, but usually you do x-ray tech first, then like another year or two of schooling for MRI as I understand. I have read before that they need people to calibrate/maintain/fix/whatever the magnets, so thats one way to transition physics to medical. There are medical physicists, usually dealing with cancer treatment. Advanced imaging is out there also, using lasers for NLO imaging.

    Any input is welcome and greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    My grandpa was a nuclear physicist who created for himself an extremely successful career in the medical field (entered med school in younger thirties with a family to support--quite risky for anyone, nevermind an ISFJ!). It was a life risk that is, both literally and figuratively, paying off dividends for generations and years to come.

    I don't know how much about your background, but I guarantee you there's a niche for you with your previous area of expertise and your new yet-to-be-determined area. It's impossible that there's not, given that Western medicine relies so heavily upon technology.

    If I were you I'd leverage :workout: all of all networks I had (friend, family, acquaintance, TypeC ) and ask a heck of a lot of questions. fMRI, PET, lab testing--ask ask ask. Don't narrow anything down yet because you're still in information gathering mode.

    See if you can get into research facilities where they're using some technology that vaguely relates to what you do. Be the bridge between the medical field and the physicist. Sure, there's a lot of bridges already. But there are countless others that need to be built by people like you! Creativity is where your skills and your interests collide. Be creative.

    I'm not sure how much you're looking to switch direction, but just in case you were thinking of making a bigger jump, I would recommend staying away from medical technologist jobs--you can't develop relationships with patients because you're just doing one scan, meaning it's the domain of the Fe user making the stranger feel comfortable.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  3. #3
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    My grandpa was a nuclear physicist who created for himself an extremely successful career in the medical field (entered med school in younger thirties with a family to support--quite risky for anyone, nevermind an ISFJ!). It was a life risk that is, both literally and figuratively, paying off dividends for generations and years to come.

    I don't know how much about your background, but I guarantee you there's a niche for you with your previous area of expertise and your new yet-to-be-determined area. It's impossible that there's not, given that Western medicine relies so heavily upon technology.

    If I were you I'd leverage :workout: all of all networks I had (friend, family, acquaintance, TypeC ) and ask a heck of a lot of questions. fMRI, PET, lab testing--ask ask ask. Don't narrow anything down yet because you're still in information gathering mode.

    See if you can get into research facilities where they're using some technology that vaguely relates to what you do. Be the bridge between the medical field and the physicist. Sure, there's a lot of bridges already. But there are countless others that need to be built by people like you! Creativity is where your skills and your interests collide. Be creative.

    I'm not sure how much you're looking to switch direction, but just in case you were thinking of making a bigger jump, I would recommend staying away from medical technologist jobs--you can't develop relationships with patients because you're just doing one scan, meaning it's the domain of the Fe user making the stranger feel comfortable.
    Thanks for the feedback, especially about the medical technologist positions, because that was the first and most obvious jump I saw.

    In case it matters, my training is in math, physics, EE, and MatSci, primarily focusing on optoelectronics, semiconductors, photovoltaics, and lasers. I'm most biased towards sticking with lasers.

    I think mostly I'd rather be in a F/FP culture and out of the hard-core INTJ ones I've been in for years. If that means giving up most of my education and training to get there, well I'm becoming more open to that everyday.

    It's not directly medical, as in working in a hospital, but if I could do biotech, lasers in biotech, or medical devices that would probably be dandy as well.

  4. #4
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    Thanks for the feedback, especially about the medical technologist positions, because that was the first and most obvious jump I saw.

    In case it matters, my training is in math, physics, EE, and MatSci, primarily focusing on optoelectronics, semiconductors, photovoltaics, and lasers. I'm most biased towards sticking with lasers.

    I think mostly I'd rather be in a F/FP culture and out of the hard-core INTJ ones I've been in for years. If that means giving up most of my education and training to get there, well I'm becoming more open to that everyday.

    It's not directly medical, as in working in a hospital, but if I could do biotech, lasers in biotech, or medical devices that would probably be dandy as well.
    What about biomechanics? Any way to leverage your skills in that domain? My now-2nd yr engineering student younger INFP bro is planning on doing this--following one of my ISFP friends. (I just noticed the Fi dom pattern here.)
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  5. #5
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    What about biomechanics? Any way to leverage your skills in that domain? My now-2nd yr engineering student younger INFP bro is planning on doing this--following one of my ISFP friends. (I just noticed the Fi dom pattern here.)
    I've always seen that as a MechE topic. An old roommate of mine did that, but I don't have that kind of training. NOt directly anyways, if its a "on the job training running some computer program" I could pick that up.

    Hmm, apparently physicians assistant (PA) training takes 2 years, much less than many other programs [med school, pharmacy school, etc]

    I keep seeing "audiologist" as a good career for NFP's. Physical therapy, is that a 4-yr program??? I'll go check. Hmm, I'm seeing 3 years from UC-Denver.

  6. #6
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    I've always seen that as a MechE topic. An old roommate of mine did that, but I don't have that kind of training. NOt directly anyways, if its a "on the job training running some computer program" I could pick that up.

    Hmm, apparently physicians assistant (PA) training takes 2 years, much less than many other programs [med school, pharmacy school, etc]

    I keep seeing "audiologist" as a good career for NFP's. Physical therapy, is that a 4-yr program??? I'll go check. Hmm, I'm seeing 3 years from UC-Denver.
    Nodding to my TJ hat:

    Even if you're totally unqualified, if it is the sort of water over which you think you may be able to bridge at some point down the bank, convince them to hire you and train you. Most (competent) people with awesome jobs disregarded the job description new hire expectations and just convinced people to hire them and let them problem solve and bridge on their own.

    And in fields like technological medicine or engineering the overwhelming majority of people were trained in a completely different subfield than the one they were hired in. Truly.

    Since you've got nothing to lose, even though they are vaguely related, read the wisdom behind her words since i like her thoughts on careers (and you can read your way through the possibilities by reading other links):

    How to beat the system to get a great job | Penelope Trunk's Brazen Careerist
    How to sidestep office hierarchy to get the job you want | Penelope Trunk's Brazen Careerist
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  7. #7
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    take THIS needing certification:

    Medical Technologist or Medical Lab Tech
    Department: Laboratory
    Schedule: Per-diem
    Shift: Various shifts
    Hours: all shifts
    Job Details:

    *

    Position Summary

    Performs routine and special diagnostic procedures. Serves as general lab supervisor in the absence of an onsite supervisor or manager. May instruct MT and MLT students.

    Job Qualifications

    Education or Formal Training

    1. Associate degree from a Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation (CAHEA) MLT program, or

    2. Associate degree in chemistry, biology, or physics and five years experience in a medical laboratory area, or

    3. Associate degree in chemistry, biology, or physics and completion of a military laboratory training program of at least 12 months duration, or

    4. Associate degree in chemistry, biology, or physics and CLA registry, or

    5. B.S. or B.A. degree in chemistry, biology, or physics and no experience.

    Special Qualifications (licensure, registration, etc.)

    Certification by a nationally recognized agency as an MLT or CLT or certification registry eligible and certified within one year of becoming eligible.

    Knowledge, Skill and Ability

    1. Absolute integrity in the accurate performance and reporting of results

    2. Reasoning ability and good independent judgment

    3. Ability to work under stress - multiple demands at one time

    4. Ability to organize work and meet deadlines

    5. Professional discretion with patient information

    6. Ability to communicate verbal and/or written effectively with other hospital personnel and with patients

    7. Rigid accuracy in the identification and reporting of numbers, names, and results

    8. Willingness to work any shift and/or weekends

    Experience

    None Specified

    Materials and Equipment Directly Used

    1. General Lab technical equipment

    2. Computers

    3. Phones

    4. FAX

    5. Autoclave

    6. Phlebotomy equipment

    7. Copy machines.



    NOw I just need to see what the pay is like. I'm sure it can't be much...

    Ok, according to Health Careers Spotlight - Medical Laboratory Technician its either 26-41k$ or 42-59k$ depending on whether technician or technologist

  8. #8
    Senior Member eagleseven's Avatar
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    If you go the med-tech route, realize that there are very specific certification procedures, regulated by the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

    To become a medical lab tech (MLT), you need:
    *A two-year MLT degree.
    *Six months of clinincal lab internship.
    *A passing grade on the ASCP MLT exam.

    To become a medical laboratory scientist (MLS), you need:
    *A four year degree in biological science (with full pre-medical course requirements)
    *A one-year NAACLS-accredited MLS program (with clinical rotations).
    *A passing grade on the ASCP MLS exam.


    I begin my NAACLS-MLS course in two months (after working in research for two years). The competition to get into NAACLS-MLS schools is intense, and my program had a 13% acceptance rate.

    ---

    If an employer will hire you without certification, they will stipulate that you must become certified in a certain length of time. Certain states do not even allow uncertified techs in the lab.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eagleseven View Post
    If you go the med-tech route, realize that there are very specific certification procedures, regulated by the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

    To become a medical lab tech (MLT), you need:
    *A two-year MLT degree.
    *Six months of clinincal lab internship.
    *A passing grade on the ASCP MLT exam.

    To become a medical laboratory scientist (MLS), you need:
    *A four year degree in biological science (with full pre-medical course requirements)
    *A one-year NAACLS-accredited MLS program (with clinical rotations).
    *A passing grade on the ASCP MLS exam.


    I begin my NAACLS-MLS course in two months (after working in research for two years). The competition to get into NAACLS-MLS schools is intense, and my program had a 13% acceptance rate.

    ---

    If an employer will hire you without certification, they will stipulate that you must become certified in a certain length of time. Certain states do not even allow uncertified techs in the lab.
    They list 12 months to get the certification. I have a BS in math and physics and a MS in physics. I've spent every work-day of my life for almost the last 4 years operating technical equipment, such as a class 4 laser or ultra-high vacuum systems.

  10. #10
    Senior Member eagleseven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    They list 12 months to get the certification.
    Then they are assuming that you have already completed a NAACLS-MLS program and the prerequisites. Many people study for the ASCP certification exam for a few months, before taking it.

    Or, they want you to take the AMT certification. The AMT, a rival to the ASCP, is being phased out. The hospitals that still employ AMT techs pay very little. Further, the ASCP is exam is required for licensure in states like New York and California.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    I have a BS in math and physics and a MS in physics. I've spent every work-day of my life for almost the last 4 years operating technical equipment, such as a class 4 laser or ultra-high vacuum systems.
    Unfortunately, unrelated coursework will be ignored. Your previous experience will help you get into a NAACLS program, but you cannot apply until you have completed the prerequisites:

    A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university including courses in biological science (16 semester hours), chemistry (16 semester hours) and mathematics (8 semester hours) AND successful completion of a NAACLS accredited Medical Laboratory Scientist program within the last 5 years;

    You can either fill in the missing prerequisites at a junior college, or start out as an MLT. Either way, you need to obtain the correct background.

    ---

    Without certification, your pay will be seriously stunted, and many hospitals/states will not hire you.

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