By: Jomar Klee Custodio, RMT, HTL(ASCPi)
My story revolves around a vision, to raise the standard of histotechnology in my motherland, the Philippines. With the aid of my ASCP BOC certification as an International Histotechnologist, I gained the insight, knowledge, and confidence to spearhead this dream into a reality.
I am a Clinical Laboratory Scientist by degree, but my first steps to becoming a professional Histotechnologist took place in a newly opened laboratory at a private hospital in the Philippines. Shortly after, I was also given an opportunity to become an educator for the Histotechnology course in an affiliated institution. Given these fortunate circumstances, I gained a powerful drive for excellence which ultimately turned into passion. The same eagerness pushed me towards probing for further intellectual understanding of the field that my own country could not offer due to the limited educational standards and resources. Within this period, I discovered that ASCP BOC did not only offer International certifications for general Medical Laboratory Scientists, but also specifically for Histotechnologists as well.
With determination on hand, I accepted the challenge and applied for the certifying exam.
There were no reviewers available in my country, no Filipino passers I could reach out to, no formal education in international level histotechnology. I had nothing but a list of references and the support of my family and colleagues.
Three months of managing work and painstaking self-studying passed. Eventually, I faced the final test, January 11, 2018, where I emerged, not only as the 59th ASCP BOC International Histotechnologist passer worldwide, but as a new person endowed with renewed sense of purpose and courage.
Armed with determination, and a desire to keep up with the growing level of global knowledge in the field, I decided that if had the capability to raise my own standards, I could also advance the Filipino nation with me. Thus, the same year, I called upon histotechnologists all over the country to share my sentiments and goals. Together, we forged an alliance and built the Philippine Society for Histotechnology (PSH). Through our humble beginnings, the movement unceasingly intensifies its influence and our numbers continue to grow. We are united to deliver our organization’s belief of “Saving lives, one slide at a time”. I, having been bestowed the task to lead the organization with the unceasing support of all our members, am steadfast in raising the bar for histotechnology in the Philippines.
“When career and passion come together, the ticket to a good life becomes the ticket to change the world”. – Jomar Klee Z. Custodio, RMT, HTL(ASCPi)CM