The American Society for Clinical Pathology's 2018 Vacancy Survey of Medical Laboratories in the United States

Am J Clin Pathol. 2019 Jul 5;152(2):155-168. doi: 10.1093/ajcp/aqz046.


Objectives: To determine the extent and distribution of workforce shortages within the nation's medical laboratories.

Methods: The survey was conducted through collaboration between the American Society for Clinical Pathology's Institute of Science, Technology, and Policy in Washington, DC, and the Evaluation, Measurement, and Assessment Department and Board of Certification in Chicago, IL. Data were collected via an internet survey distributed to individuals who were able to report on staffing and certifications for their laboratories.

Results: Results show increased vacancy rates for laboratory positions across all departments surveyed. The overall retirement rates are at its lowest, suggesting that the field has already experienced loss of personnel with a vast amount of experience.

Conclusions: Focus on retention of qualified and certified laboratory professionals would be crucial factors in addressing the needs of the laboratory workforce. The field also needs to intensify its efforts on recruiting the next generation of laboratory personnel.

Keywords: ASCP Vacancy Survey; Anatomic pathology; Certification; Clinical pathology; Laboratory; Laboratory departments; Laboratory staff; Laboratory staff recruitment; Laboratory staff retention; Workforce.

MeSH terms

  • Health Workforce*
  • Humans
  • Medical Laboratory Personnel / supply & distribution*
  • Pathology, Clinical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States