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How do you upgrade from Medical Laboratory Technician to Medical laboratory Technologist in Canada?

I live in Toronto and am currently studying Human Health Science. I have completed my second year and am currently taking summer school. I am still deciding whether to pursue a career as a Medical Lab Technologist or explore other options. The Michener Institute is the only college in Toronto that offers the MLT program, and I am aware that it is challenging to gain admission there. I am hesitant to leave Toronto because I do not have family in Canada, and my friends are here. Studying in Windsor or Kingston, where I would feel lonely, does not seem worth it to me. My question is, if Michener does not accept me into the program, and I choose to study as a Medical Lab Technician first, is there a pathway to become a Medical Lab Technologist without having to study for three years again?

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LaTausha’s Answer

I'm not familiar with Canadian programs specifically. Here in US getting an MT/MLS/CLS degree usually takes an addtional 2 yesrs if you have MLT/CLT or another science degree. But I will say if you already pursuing bachelors in HHS and you're going to go back to school for 2-3 years, go for the bachelors degree Medical Technologist program instead of the technician. Medical technologist is a great career in itself as well as a soild foundation to other Healthcare careers (MD, PA,NP etc).
As far as leaving family and friends...that's part of the college experience and growing up. As a military spouse I have had to start over quite often. There's always an adjustment period, but you should focus on the bigger picture and your goals. Friends and family should understand that. Unless you have kids or another reason to need be so close to your support network, you'll be doing yourself a disservice by staying behind. At least apply to the medical technologist program. Make the hard decisions when the time comes.
Talk to an advisor or speak with the MT program director to see what path is best.
Best of luck to you
Thank you comment icon Loved reading this, thanks! Ruveyda
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Jocelyn’s Answer

Hello,

I successfully transitioned from MLT to MT in the US in December 2020. While I can't speak for Canadian institutions, I had an excellent experience with the University of North Dakota's program. They offer a comprehensive online transition program for working MLTs who aspire to earn a degree in Medical Laboratory Science.

The program is tailored to your individual needs, allowing you to take on a heavier course load if you wish. It's particularly suited to part-time students who are already working in the field. Despite facing some health challenges, I completed the program in approximately three years.

What I found most valuable was the program's individual approach. They didn't just group me with the average student data but considered my unique situation. This allowed me to only take the necessary classes, thanks to my transfer credits, and apply my clinical rotations and job time.

I highly recommend finding a similar program in Canada or even considering the University of North Dakota's program if possible. After earning your MLT degree/licensure, you'll have a better idea if this career path suits you. The beauty of this field is that the knowledge you gain can be applied to various healthcare areas if you decide that the testing lab isn't your cup of tea. Best of luck!

Jocelyn recommends the following next steps:

Search online for programs that are MLT to MLS/CLS/MT
While looking at programs decide if you want to attend remotely or in person
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