Medical Laboratory Science vs. Medicine and Surgery

Medical Laboratory Science vs. Medicine and Surgery

Medical Laboratory Science, Medicine, and Surgery are closely related fields in the healthcare industry. Each plays a critical role in diagnosing and treating diseases, but their duties and responsibilities differ significantly. In this article, we will explore the similarities and differences between Medical Laboratory Science and Medicine & Surgery, as well as the unique duties and responsibilities of each profession. Understanding these distinctions is essential for healthcare professionals, students, and patients alike, as it can help ensure effective collaboration and communication among healthcare providers, ultimately leading to better patient outcomes. So, whether you are considering a career in healthcare or are simply curious about the different roles that make up the industry, keep reading to learn more about Medical Laboratory Science and Medicine & Surgery.


Medical Laboratory Science

Medical laboratory science is a branch of science that involves the use of various clinical laboratory tests to identify, diagnose, monitor, and treat diseases. It focuses on the analysis and examination of blood, body fluids, and tissues to identify abnormalities, foreign organisms, and other health conditions. The Medical Laboratory Science Program educates and trains students to become certified medical laboratory scientists (MLS) who are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue advanced studies in medical, dental, optometry, or other graduate or professional programs.

Medical laboratory science, also known as clinical laboratory science, is a field of healthcare that involves the analysis of bodily fluids, tissues, and other substances to aid in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases.

Medicine and Surgery

Medicine and surgery are two related fields of study that focus on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases, disorders, and injuries in humans. Medicine involves the use of various medical therapies, including medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes, to manage illnesses and promote health. Surgery involves the use of invasive procedures to treat or repair various conditions, often involving the use of instruments or technology to modify the body’s structure. Together, medicine and surgery form the basis of modern healthcare, with doctors and other medical professionals using a combination of techniques to help patients maintain or regain their health.

Medicine and surgery are fields of study that apply scientific principles to diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases and improve the quality of life. Doctors are professionals who have studied Medicine and Surgery, typically earning a Bachelor of Medicine or Bachelor of Surgery degree. This degree is typically awarded after five to six years of study at a medical school.

Difference Between Medical Laboratory Science vs. Medicine and Surgery

FeatureMedical Laboratory ScienceMedicine and Surgery
Role and ResponsibilitiesAnalyzing biological specimens to diagnose and monitor medical conditions, performing laboratory tests and procedures, interpreting results, and communicating findings.Assessing patients’ symptoms, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, prescribing treatments and medications, providing ongoing care and support.
FocusTechnical aspects of laboratory testing.Clinical management of patients.
Area of ExpertiseLaboratory testing and analysis.Diagnosing, treating, and preventing diseases and injuries.
Training and EducationBachelor’s degree in medical laboratory science or a related field.Medical degree (MD) from an accredited medical school, followed by residency and possibly fellowship training.
Typical Work SettingHospital or medical laboratory.Hospital, clinic, private practice, or other healthcare setting.
Career PathMedical laboratory scientist, laboratory manager, research scientist, or other laboratory-based role.Physician, surgeon, medical specialist, researcher, or other clinical role.
Collaborates withPhysicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionalsMedical laboratory scientists, radiologic technologists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals
Job DutiesCollect and analyze biological specimens, perform laboratory tests, operate and maintain lab equipment, interpret and report results, collaborate with the healthcare team.Assess and diagnose patients, order and interpret medical tests, develop and implement treatment plans, prescribe medications, provide ongoing care and support, communicate with patients and healthcare team.
SkillsAttention to detail, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, laboratory skills, knowledge of laboratory equipment and proceduresDiagnostic skills, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, empathy, medical knowledge, clinical skills, surgical skills (for surgeons)
Salary RangeThe average salary for a Medical Laboratory Scientist in Nigeria is ₦150,000 • Resident doctors in Nigeria are paid between N280,000 to N300,000 per month at federal institutions.
• State institutions pay resident doctors between N110,000 to N150,000 per month.
• Consultants at federal institutions in Nigeria are paid between N540,000 to N580,000 per month.
• Nigerian professors of medicine are paid between N420,000 to N500,000 per month.
Job OutlookEmployment of medical laboratory scientists projected to grow 7% from 2019 to 2029 (faster than average)Employment of physicians and surgeons projected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029 (about as fast as average)
Work EnvironmentHospitals, medical and diagnostic laboratories, physicians’ offices, outpatient care centers, research and development servicesHospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, outpatient care centers, academic medical centers, research institutions
Duration of Study4 – 5 Years5 — 6 Years

Similarities Between Medical Laboratory Science and Medicine and Surgery

Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) and Medicine and Surgery (MedSurg) are both important aspects of healthcare, but they differ in their roles and responsibilities. Below are some similarities between the two fields:

  1. Both Fields Are Focused on Patient Care

MLS professionals and doctors in MedSurg both work towards improving patient health and outcomes. MLS professionals work behind the scenes, providing essential information to doctors for accurate diagnosis and treatment, while doctors in MedSurg work directly with patients to diagnose and treat illnesses.

  1. Both Require a Strong Understanding of Anatomy and Physiology

MLS professionals and doctors in MedSurg both need a solid understanding of human anatomy and physiology to effectively do their jobs. MLS professionals need to know how the body works to analyze patient samples, while doctors in MedSurg need to understand how different organs and systems work together to diagnose and treat patients.

  1. Both Require Attention To Detail

MLS professionals and doctors in MedSurg must be detail-oriented to perform their jobs accurately. MLS professionals must be meticulous in their analysis of patient samples, while doctors in MedSurg must carefully examine patients and analyze test results to make accurate diagnoses.

  1. Both Require An Understanding of Laboratory Medicine

MLS professionals specialize in laboratory medicine, while doctors in MedSurg use laboratory medicine to diagnose and treat patients. Both fields require an understanding of laboratory testing, including the use of equipment and techniques, to effectively perform their jobs.

  1. Both Fields Require Ongoing Education And Professional Development

MLS professionals and doctors in MedSurg must stay up-to-date with advances in medicine and technology to provide the best care possible. Both fields require ongoing education and professional development to stay current in their respective fields.

  1. Both Fields Require Critical Thinking And Problem-solving Skills

MLS professionals and doctors in MedSurg must be able to think critically and problem-solve to make accurate diagnoses and provide effective treatment. MLS professionals analyze patient samples to detect abnormalities and provide useful information to doctors, while doctors in MedSurg must assess patients and determine the best course of action to improve their health.

  1. Both Fields Use Evidence-Based Practice

MLS professionals and doctors in MedSurg rely on evidence-based practice to make decisions about patient care. MLS professionals use established protocols and guidelines to analyze patient samples, while doctors in MedSurg use clinical guidelines and research-based evidence to determine the best treatment options for their patients.

  1. Both Fields Require Teamwork and Collaboration

MLS professionals and doctors in MedSurg must work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals to provide the best care possible for their patients. MLS professionals work closely with pathologists and other laboratory staff, while doctors in MedSurg work with nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals to develop treatment plans and provide ongoing care.

  1. Both Fields Prioritize Patient Safety

MLS professionals and doctors in MedSurg both prioritize patient safety in their work. MLS professionals must ensure accurate and reliable test results to avoid misdiagnosis or incorrect treatment, while doctors in MedSurg must make decisions that prioritize patient safety and minimize the risk of complications.

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