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What is a Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Science?

KU's doctorate in clinical laboratory science prepares MLS professionals for advanced practice roles.

A doctor of clinical laboratory science (DCLS) interacts directly with the clinicians, making patient connections and having important conversations with core members of the clinical team and providing a critical interface between practice, research and health care policy. The DCLS is a critical component of "the right test, for the right patient at the right time."

The role of a DCLS practitioner also assures the effective and appropriate use of lab tests and information, which could result in decreased costs, earlier diagnosis and improved patient outcomes. A DCLS works alongside health care providers, external and internal to the clinical laboratory and integrates information from laboratory professionals.

By providing information to consumers and health care providers, the role of a DCLS is instrumental in providing safe, effective, patient-centered and equitable health care as envisioned by the Institute of Medicine.

Students working toward a DCLS degree will take courses in disease overview and treatment, pharmacology, evidence-based medicine, laboratory utilization in health care and others.

Those who possess a DCLS degree will be prepared to act as consultants to health care providers, serve as laboratory directors, educate patients and health care providers, perform and disseminate research on evidence-based practice and test utilization and enter academic positions.

The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science has a position paper that elaborates on the role and responsibilities of a DCLS.

KU School of Health Professions

University of Kansas Medical Center
Department of Clinical Laboratory Science
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Mailstop 4048
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-5220 • 711 TTY