Clinical Rotations

MDS students will complete a clinical rotation during the third semester of the program. The clinical rotation requires a major commitment of time and resources; however, it is essential for the development of the scientific, technical and professional skills of a health care professional in molecular diagnostic science. Students are in the molecular diagnostic laboratory during working hours from Monday through Friday. At each clinical site, an education coordinator will be available to guide the student’s daily assignments. A UNC CLS faculty member will work closely with the education coordinators at each site to assess the student’s learning experience. Students in clinical sites will be evaluated on their technical, cognitive, and professional skills.

Student assignment to clinical sites will be determined by a clinical site selection committee. Current clinical sites include:

  • UNC Hospitals, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
  • Laboratory Corporation of America, Center for Molecular Biology and Pathology, RTP, NC and Burlington, NC
  • North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health, Raleigh, NC
  • Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute, Chantilly, VA
  • Carolinas Healthcare Molecular Laboratory, Charlotte, NC

Students who are interested in the MDS program should plan for the time commitment and potential location change needed to successfully complete the program.

Students who are interested in establishing a clinical site at new location should follow the steps outlined in the “Establishing a new clinical site” document. New clinical sites may be established if a clinical contract is signed by the site and UNC-Chapel Hill describing the responsibilities of the MDS program and the clinical site, if a clinical coordinator at the new site is available to oversee the student’s clinical rotation and ensure that the student has the opportunity to meet the MDS course goals and objectives, and if the clinical site performs a full range of molecular tests. The process of establishing a new clinical site is lengthy and students must complete the process during the first year of the program in order to be assigned to a newly established clinical site in the second year.