About the Society for Medical Laboratory Science
Prince Edward Island technologists first discussed forming a provincial branch of the CSLT in June, 1952. A committee was formed to investigate the branch requirements.
Local technologists elected their first executive, with Audrey Cutliffe as president and Sister St. Hugh as honorary president, in 1953. Annual fees were set at one dollar. In the following year, under the leadership of Audrey Hood, they received official recognition as the CSLT’s Prince Edward Island Branch.
Medical Technology on the island has a history of staff, equipment and financial shortages. The small population meant that problems in training and keeping technologists were particularly acute. To remedy these shortages, Dr. Harold Shaw, Director of the Division of Clinical Laboratories in Charlottetown, set up a training program under the guidance of the CSLT. He sent Sister St. Hugh to the Laboratory of Hygiene in Boston to study serology, parasitology and hematology. She returned to teach at the training school.
Students did well on the CSLT examinations and the school soon received full CSLT approval, graduating between five and seven technologists annually. On several occasions the branch membership dropped very close to the CSLT’s required limit of ten technologists – again, because of the island’s small size and the tendency of women to leave the profession after a few years.
For many years branch members have recognized that their island’s relative isolation means they must make a special effort to keep up with changes in laboratory practice. Therefore, they have placed a high priority on continuing education activities and have an enviable record in providing educational opportunities.