3 Questions with Michelle Campbell, MS, MLS(ASCP)CMMBCM,SCCM

Mar 1, 2024, 00:46 AM by Team Critical Values

When Michelle Campbell, MS, MLS(ASCP)CMMBCM,SCCM started college, she knew she wanted to work in healthcare, but didn’t want face-to-face patient care. She considered pharmacy—both her parents are pharmacists—but it didn’t quite fit what she was looking for. Ms. Campbell knew she’d found the right fit after she completed a shadow day at the newly renovated laboratory at her local hospital. “I was standing there, speaking with a Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) as she was preparing manual blood smears for microscopic review, and I suddenly felt comfortable and like I had found ‘my’ place and ‘my’ people,” says Ms. Campbell, Senior Developer for the Translational Research, Innovation and Test Development Office at Mayo Clinic, and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She searched on her university’s website and found they had an MLS program. “It all felt like fate and to this day, I truly believe it was.”

Here, Ms. Campbell shares her thoughts on her volunteer efforts, her legacy in the laboratory, and more.

How did you first get involved with ASCP? What (or perhaps who) pushed you to become a volunteer?

I joined ASCP as a student member, but what really propelled me to dive headfirst into volunteering with the organization was being a Top 5 40 Under Forty honoree in 2016. As part of this honor, I attended the ASCP Annual Meeting held in Las Vegas, Nevada that year. I had never attended a professional meeting on this level and was in awe of the scale and quality of the meeting. From the connections I made during this experience, I knew that I wanted to play an active role in shaping similar experiences for other laboratory professionals.


I am a strong believer in the ripple effect and know that ushering in the next generation of laboratory professionals today strengthens the profession for many tomorrows.—Michelle Campbell


What is something that has surprised you about working in the lab?

I have been amazed at how close I feel to the patient, despite never seeing them face-to-face. When you have a sample in your hands from a patient, all the filters that we knowingly or unknowingly view others through do not exist. It is just a sample from a fellow human being who deserves answers about their health. And all you care about is providing the human being behind that sample with the most timely, accurate result possible. There is something about laboratory testing that provides me with this incredibly fulfilling, pure connection to the patient.


What do you hope to leave as your legacy in the laboratory?

In my primary role, I develop laboratory tests and help transition them into the clinical laboratory so they can begin using them to test patient samples. I hope that my scientific contributions through developing analytically sound and clinically relevant tests leave a legacy in the form of the number of patients they will help. I also work as an educator of medical laboratory science students, which is fulfilling as I can touch many generations to come through the knowledge and skills I pass on to students through teaching. I am a strong believer in the ripple effect and know that ushering in the next generation of laboratory professionals today strengthens the profession for many tomorrows.