Clinical molecular diagnostics is a type of medical laboratory that specializes in the detection, analysis, and treatment of diseases through personal or family health histories.
They target specific areas like molecular biology or molecular virology to detect specific genetic markers that can be used to identify disorders or provide medical therapy.
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While it’s typically seen as a scientific degree, many schools have decided to offer clinical molecular diagnostics degrees with a focus on healthcare and medicine.
What to Expect From a Clinical Molecular Diagnostic Degree Program
Many schools that offer medical-cased degrees offer an Accredited Online Clinical Molecular Diagnostics Program, and many of them will require that you take courses like Pathophysiology, Biochemistry, Biology, and Chemistry.
Depending on the school you choose, you may also be required to take courses in genetics or epidemiology. There are also a number of elective courses such as cytogenetics, histology, medicine, pathology, diagnostic imaging, and microbiology.
Other clinical molecular diagnostics students choose to pursue a Master of Science in Clinical Molecular Diagnostics instead.
What are the Career Options After Getting a Degree in Clinical Molecular Diagnostic?
Before you decide on whether or not to get a clinical molecular diagnostics degree, it’s important that you know what the field offers. The median salary for clinical molecular diagnostics professionals is $162,000, but there are other options available.
Just because you’re not a doctor doesn’t mean that your services won’t be valuable. There are many careers for clinical molecular diagnostics professionals like:
- Performing immunohistochemical testing and analysis of histopathology specimens under the direct supervision of a physician.
- Conducting cytogenetic analysis using human metaphase chromosomes or nuclear DNA preparations under the direct supervision of a physician.
- Analyzing medical records, practice logs, and electronic records under the direct supervision of a physician.
- Providing medical information as requested by a physician.
- Managing patient care and education under the direct supervision of a physician.
- Performing genetic testing for insurance identification and COBRA coverage under the direct supervision of a geneticist.
- Performing diagnostic imaging and interpretation under the direct supervision of an imaging technician or radiologist and/or radiographer.
The Difference Between Therapeutic and Diagnostic Applications of Molecular Biology
The most prominent difference between therapeutic and diagnostic applications of molecular biology is the type of therapy that’s being administered.
Therapeutic applications are generally used to treat a disease or condition; usually, they’re used to solve some sort of medical problem.
On the other hand, diagnostic applications are meant to provide medical care and must, as such, provide accurate or reliable information. For example, if you’re told that an ultrasound indicates that you have a certain disease or condition, then it can be helpful, but it is not necessarily accurate.
That’s because a number of factors can affect the accuracy of results like temperature, humidity, bleeding, and even the patient’s age.