Protecting the Public Health: The First of Her Kind

This week we’re wrapping up our series that have looked at the people and groups who are working hard to protect our public health- from newborn screening to blood banks to microbio labs. We’re excited to talk with Dr. Brandy Gunsolus- the first doctor of clinical laboratory science in the U.S. She’s blazed a trail that connects the lab teams to the doctors to make sure diagnoses are given efficiently and correctly. It was great to hear her story and we’re excited to share it with you!

During this series, we’d especially like to thank the Biomedical Laboratory Diagnostics program here at Michigan State for their technical support of Speaking Science. The BLD program training future medical laboratory scientists and provides our studio space, recording support, and even the time our producer Jim Monahan donates to our program. Thank you BLD for supporting science outreach to the broader community!

Memorable Quotes

“Right now the laboratory industry is beginning to see a culture shift. And this culture shift is where we’re changing from a result-producing machine into a valuable diagnostic center.”

“I knew first-hand that this position [of being a consultative specialist to fill the gap between the lab and the clinician] was needed…and so I took a leap of faith, not knowing if I was going to have a job…but, I knew this was needed so desperately.”

“There was a survey in 1992…and it found that only 57% of medical schools required course work in laboratory medicine. The survey was repeated in 2014 and only 7% of medical schools required course work in laboratory medicine…and of the 7% that do each it, they only spend an average of 12.5 lecture hours devoted to lab medicine.”

“12 million Americans are effected by diagnostic error every year…[and] approximately 100 billion dollars a year is wasted annually in the U.S. as a result of an incorrect diagnostic error.”


How do we make sure we get the treatment we need and don’t get any that we don’t? This article describes that this problem is more common that we think. This is also where people like Dr. Gunsolus can step in. She’s blogged about her experiences – check it out to learn more about her journey and career.

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