Getting started

This Diagnostic Detectives Toolkit – "A Day in the Life of a Medical Laboratory Professional" was developed by members of the Michigan Association of Laboratory Science Educators and supported by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Michigan Department of Community Health, Bureau of Laboratories through cooperative agreement U90/CCU517018; Frances Pouch-Downes , DrPH, Laboratory Director and John Dyke, PhD, Program Advisor, Michigan Laboratory Systems.

The purpose of this toolkit is to provide high school and occupational health teachers with a variety of resources to assist in teaching certain science content standards. In particular, this toolkit provides resources for using and reflecting on scientific knowledge from the Life Sciences (e.g., cells, organization of living things, heredity) and Science in Personal and Social Perspectives (e.g., how science and technology affect our society) science content standards.

The materials in this toolkit provide a closer view of the actual science knowledge used everyday by medical laboratory professionals. It highlights each medical laboratory profession via:

  • “day in the life” laboratory tour / career presentations
  • laboratory discipline related science lessons;
  • case studies;
  • interviews with actual laboratory professionals;
  • student activities; and
  • interactive web links .

NOTE: All these files are very large and may take some time to download.

In addition, this toolkit is designed to orient students to the diagnostic role of science by encouraging them to:

  • observe the various medical laboratory professions and the career options each provide;
  • experience specific topic content from each profession via tutorial lessons, case studies, interactive web links, games and other activities; and
  • consider pursuing a career in a medical laboratory profession.

Career Presentations

This section contains laboratory tour / career presentations that provide a closer look at the daily activities performed in each medical laboratory profession. Teachers with students investigating careers may wish to develop a lesson that requires the student to: (1) preview one of the career presentations below; (2) preview one of the associated lessons provided for that laboratory career in the Teacher Tools section; and (3) write a summary report describing what was interesting, what was not appealing, and what questions they might have if they could interview a laboratory professional in that career.

NOTE TO RECRUITERS: These presentations are in PowerPoint and can be modified to suit your individual recruitment needs. Files must be saved to your computer before beginning modifications.

Teacher Tools


Clinical Pathology Lessons

  • Urinalysis
  • Transfusion Medicine (Blood bank)
  • Hematology
  • Microbiology
  • Chemistry
  • Immunology
  • Histocompatibility

Anatomic Pathology Lessons

  • Histology
  • Cytology

Genetic Testing Lessons

  • Molecular Diagnostics/Molecular Pathology
  • Cytogenetics

Handout Masters

Additional Resources

Student Activities

  • Surveys
  • Games
  • Scholarships
  • Case Studies
  • Links